CEO Gary Horton’s recent article published in Green Industry Magazine
October 2021: You’re in the final quarter of your hard-fought 2021 landscape game. You’ve had some wins and losses, elation and dejection. It’s been a long, COVID-filled slog, a year unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Despite all the disruptions of the pandemic, most green industry firms (indeed most construction or facilities-based companies) are experiencing better-than-expected results even with all the masks and mandates. We’ve persevered with the sadness of sickness and, yes, even deaths in our companies and families. Through all of this, business has generally been good and for some, even great.
But this is no time to punt or run out the clock on the balance of the year. There are distractions a- plenty looming with Halloween candy all over the supermarkets – and Thanksgiving and the Christmas season just weeks out. Yet, despite the allure of the holidays and the dread of COVID, this year’s game is by no means over and it’s time to finish strong.
Get things done. Finish creating the future you first planned for 2021, when you started this year.
All of us set goals – long-range, annual, quarterly, daily. When you began this year you had expectations and goals for everything you needed to achieve in order to take your business and your family where you want to go.
If you’re like my company, you’ve already gotten many of your improvement goals done this year. But some of the tougher goals remain either untouched or partially complete. We’re in a defining moment where there’s still time to achieve, and hitting our goals and launching our initiatives are how we push and propel our companies upward.
“Opportunity,” they say, “often only knocks once.”
Punting our toughest goals to 2022 simply won’t do, even if the remainder of 2021 seems short. We must make our hay while the sun shines.
Commit to yourself and to your team to finish strong. Leave the 2021 landscape field fully spent, having done your best, giving your best all the way through. Give it your all. Lead your team, staying focused through every remaining day.
Now’s the time to dig up that 2021 goal sheet. Find that process improvement list and check off where you’ve been nice and gotten it done. Take stock of where you’ve been naughty and let things slip.
Sort what’s left unaccomplished by importance to the growth and resiliency of your company. There’s still time to “do the remaining undone.” What can you still complete to build yourself a better, more promising 2022 and beyond? Really consider your company from multiple angles to make sure you’re not missing an area of possible improvement. Consider some common goals that often go overlooked:
• fleet improvements and capital improvements
• safety protocol programs to protect staff
• marketing material launches and website upgrades
• new client outreach and development
• visits with current clients, face-to-face as is prudent
• cleaning facilities, with modernization and upgrade plans
• hard choices about staffing and your company leadership, if necessary
There are tons you can still accomplish! Spread the enthusiasm. Share the responsibility. Delegate where you can. Huddle your team, get them behind your efforts and march your company to complete a year like none other. And award bonuses for completion, if appropriate.
The satisfaction of both having done well financially while having built a better future will be enormously gratifying. All of us have a chance to say we overcame this COVID-morass year with operational and professional results being the best, or among the best, we’ve seen.
The best way to predict our future is to create it ourselves. Now is your time to finish strong and set up a great 2022 and beyond!
Gary Horton, MBA, is CEO of Landscape Development Inc., a green industry leader for over 35 years with offices throughout California and Nevada.