Last week, Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO, was a guest speaker at Jim Huston’s outstanding summer Brainstorming Meeting in Park City, Utah. The themes of the meeting included an exploration of new ways to compensate & incent labor, innovative ideas on recruiting and retaining employees, and why now is the best time to consider selling your business.

“First of all, I want to applaud all the owners who were in attendance. This is the busy season and they took timeout to work on their business instead of in their business. This desire to keep learning is a best practice and is going to produce a competitive advantage for them…kudos,” said Tom. “The value of Jim Huston’s events are extraordinary. Landscape business owners are exposed to best practices, you make connections, you get help from veterans of the industry, and you meet other enthusiastic owners who are looking to improve and thrive. The energy is contagious, and you get to share your concerns and get feedback on how you’re thinking and acting. Powerful stuff.”

Some of the meeting’s highlights and insights from Tom include:

Recruiting from Puerto Rico
Should you be bringing in labor from Puerto Rico? Remember Puerto Ricans are by law citizens of the United States and may move freely between the island and the mainland. No uncertainly here with the political football called H2B. Some members reported mild success here. Others did not do so well as there were problems with work ethics and assimilation into the mainland culture. Given the continuing labor shortages this is an option to look into…but keep your eyes wide open. 

Piecework and Motivating Employees
Piecework is something you should consider. It motivates employees, increases productivity and gives an “ownership mindset” to many. It does have its drawbacks, quality issues      being one as employees work too fast and may miss details. But as a tool to motivate the workforce it is worth looking into. Be aware that there are state-by-    state considerations and that breaking the mold from traditional pay by the hour is not for everyone.

Great Time to Sell
It’s a sellers’ market. High multiples. Money is still relatively inexpensive. Lots of action in commercial. If you’re thinking about it, now is the best time in history. Don’t wait. Explore your options.

Get to a Jim Huston Event
Be sure to include Jim Huston’s winter meeting — January 2019, Park City, Utah – in your list of must-attend events for next year!