March Madness is upon us and the enterprise value specialists at Ciebass were recollecting some of the “madness” that they have witnessed in the lawn and landscape industry.

“If you think of madness as behaviors or thinking that is foolish or irrational or unwise we have seen a lot,” said Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO. “I think of owners without an exit plan who due to unforeseen circumstances, were forced to sell at a discount leaving a great deal of money on the table. Or companies that do not diversify their client base and suffer when they lose a major client. Or those companies that really don’t respect the competitiveness of our industry and get crushed by a wily opponent.”

 The team then went on to give more examples of “madness” in the lawn & landscape industry:

  • Growing so fast that quality suffers and they lose customers
  • Not training and educating next-level management
  • Being slow to adopt and adapt new technology that could give them a competitive edge
  • Having poor documentation of operating procedures and systems
  • Being “too busy” working in their business and not on their business
  • Revenue growth is great but profit margins slip
  • Tolerating dysfunctional or toxic employees 
  • Not being a member of NALP and utilizing all the educational and managerial opportunities.
  • Reluctance to join a peer group, share best practices, and be held accountable. Embrace what peer groups are all about!
  • Only thinking about sales and marketing when they are “slow” or “low” on revenues
  • Not holding management teams accountable 
  • Having low expectations and not shooting for Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight or Final Four status in their planning. Seek to be best of class, top of the heap. Don’t settle.