25 Leading Business Advice Tips from CASE Kickstart Applicants
One lucky landscape contractor will win a suite of prizes from CASE Construction Equipment through the Kickstart Contest, a landscape business development contest. The grand prize winner — announced Monday, April 9 — will receive a six-month free equipment lease, professional consultation from landscape contracting industry expert Jeffrey Scott, $3,500 Parts & Service Reward Card and other premium prizes.
All submissions were compiled online at CaseCE.com/Kickstart. Contractors were asked to answer questions about their operation, including some of the best business advice they’ve ever received. We’ve distilled some of the best business tips from more than 350 entries into bite-sized chunks you can easily scan and apply to your business.
Some of the more profound, blunt and inspiring advice included:
- “Do it right or not at all,” TJ Stinson, Stinson Landscape Service. Poughkeepsie, NY.
- “Don’t look at the clock. Work hard until the work is done,” Brian Newlun, Whispering Springs Builders. Osage Beach, MO.
- “Keep your head high, be honest and keep calm when things get rough,” Edward L. Stout, Diamond E. Farms, Hedgesville, WV.
- “Be willing to always listen and learn,” Todd Ramsey II, Land Management LLC. Bedford, VA.
- “You only have one shot to build your reputation,” Jack Norris, Total Lawn and Landscape. Watkinsville, GA.
- “Word of mouth advertising is the best advertising. If you do good work, hang on because that client will be referring you to their friends and family,” Benjamin Johnson, B. Johnson’s All Season’s Property Services. Sturgis, MI.
- “Don’t wait for business to come to you. Go out and get ‘em,” Ryan Acheson, Greenleaf Excavation. Barrie, Ontario.
- “Build a good team. One person cannot achieve greatness. You’ll need a good team behind you,” Edward Solomon, Solomon’s Landscape & Design, LLC. Mauldin, SC.
- “Never over commit. It will only backfire. Work smart!” Cindy Donlon, CNR Landscape. LaSalle, Ontario.
- “If you take care of your clients, they will take care of you. Quality customer service, attention to detail and good work ethic cannot be substituted,” Caleb Joseph Max, Caleb’s Country Services, LLC. Round Hill, VA.
- “Professionalism, dedication and persistence is going to build a business. Whoever said running a business was easy was never a landscaper,” Troy Barkman, Paradise Landscape and Design. Steinbach, Canada.
- “Take care of your customers as if they are family. Without customers you are nothing,” Zack Earnhardt and Matt Kinley, GreenSpaces Landscape Solutions, Thomasville, NC.
- “Always pay attention to little details, that is what will set you apart,” Casey Moss, Moss Landscaping. Geneva, IL.
- “You have to wreck to get good. Not literally, but learn from your mistakes. Make one and don’t make it again,” Kristopher Kulick, Boulder Landscape Excavation & Supply. Leechburg, PA.
- “Keep your prices in line with the industry and don’t undersell yourself by lowballing,” Brandon P. Vincent, County Wide Lawn & Landscaping. Shepherdsville, KY.
- “Always try to exceed the expectation of your customers, regardless!” Kevin Francis, New Leaf Landscape Construction. Charleston, SC.
- “Do every job as you would for yourself,” David M. McCullough, David M. McCullough Excavating. Arbuckle, CA.
- “Chase your own dreams, don’t get distracted by what your competition is doing, plan and get to work,” Jennifer Davies, Pratt’s Lawn Care & Landscaping. Ontario, Canada.
- “Never be afraid to reach out for advice, for help or guidance,” Robert O’Leary, RJ Lawn and Landscape. Farmington, NY.
- “Do what you’re good at and hire someone else to do the rest. It will be a lot more worthwhile than trying to figure out how to be a bookkeeper,” Elias Schlecty, Beyond the Lawn. Clayton, OH.
- “Invest in good equipment,” Dustin Thomas, Thomas Mowing & Landscaping. Taylorsville, KY.
- “Break each problem into smaller problems and solve them one at a time,” David Perry, My Lawn Care. Poland, OH.
- “Be debt obsessed. Debt is like an anchor and it will always drag you down,” Tom Sweeney, Sweeney’s Custom Landscaping, Inc. Villa Park, IL.
- “Keep educating yourself and your crew,” Ismel and Maria Vargas, Genesis Outdoor Services. Mankato, MN.
- “Work on getting better, not bigger,” Brian Carpenter, Integrity Lawnscapes, LLC. Peru, IN.
26. Our partner in this effort has been Jeffrey Scott. You can download, for free, his book Destination Company™ — a “roadmap to attract, motivate and retain great employees by building a great company” by clicking here.