I've been successfully running a business for almost 40 years. On one hand, that means I have a lot of experience, and on the other, it means it's easy to keep doing something because "we've always done it this way."
That's why I enjoy getting around my peers at our events, and even more so I really enjoy the deep and detailed conversations we're able to have with our ACE Peer Group members. We just had a visit with one of our groups earlier this month, and I left with pages and pages of notes for my own business too. There were three major takeaways that I left thinking about, and I think they could help any business to improve:
1. Align your team to a single vision. You can't ever be too clear about where you are headed as a company. As you have heard me say many times, the goal of every team in the NFL is to win a Super Bowl, and every team knows this is their goal. So, what is your Super Bowl? Maybe it is to grow your maintenance division or to do more hardscaping. It doesn't matter what your goal is; it matters that every single person on your team knows what the goal is and how they contribute to it.
2. Focus on the drips. At every company, there are drips. The small inefficiencies that over time add up to big dollars. Don't be ashamed of your drips, but name them and own them. At GLC we hadn't revisited our routes in years, and we knew we were racking up indirect time. Grunder Landscaping Co.'s COO Seth Pflum took ownership of the problem, and tried new ideas to stop, or at least reduce, the drips on our routes. Whether it is your routes, morning rollout, or the hand-off from sales to production: Let someone own the improvement of the process and stop the drips.
3. Empower your team to succeed. I was a bottleneck at Grunder Landscaping for years. I wasn't giving the team the chance to prove their skills, and I was holding on too tightly to the business. I have worked hard on letting go of control, stepping away from projects that aren't really in my skillset, and empowering my team members to make decisions without me. As a result, we've had record-breaking years for both sales and profitability in 2019, 2020, and now in 2021. Focusing on my own strengths and putting others on our team into positions where they can focus on theirs has been the secret.
Our peer group meetings always end with pages of notes and lots of takeaways, but we also focus on accountability to make sure the takeaways are actually implemented. The "ACE" in ACE Peer Groups stands for accountability creates excellence. Having mentors in the industry hold me accountable to the goals we've set has helped GLC to make changes even when they were uncomfortable and difficult. We knew if we didn't make the change, we were going to hear about it. We do that with our own peer groups: we push the owners to do what they said they would, and as a result, they make changes they knew were needed.
I strongly believe in the program we have and its ability to help businesses get to the next level, but I also wanted to share what our current ACE members had to say in the video below:
Our ACE Peer Groups are adding new members this November, and the first step for any new member is to attend an ACE Discovery Meeting. This time ACE Discovery will be held in Beaver Creek, CO and all Discovery attendees will have admission to the annual ACE Summit included in their registration.
The ACE Summit brings together all ACE Peer Group members for a few days of networking, learning, and fun. There is more than $400M in revenue in our peer groups, just think about the amount of experience in that room.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about our ACE Peer Group Program, email email@example.com.
Talk to you next week!
President & CEO
Grunder Landscaping Co. & The Grow Group