Building the Framework of Your Landscape Business Operations

Owning a landscape business is more than likely your lifelong dream. It represents your love of horticulture, creating beautiful landscapes and green spaces and building a career path that will bring your family financial stability for years to come.

While the horticultural side of the business probably comes naturally to you, the business side can be daunting. Sharing your vision with a team of employees takes trust and, quite frankly, a leap of faith. But to grow an extraordinary business, your road map to success includes creating a solid business plan, hiring quality employees and instilling your values into your company culture.

People – managers and employees – are the front-facing side of your business, but there’s so much more that needs to be set-up and managed to keep your business running smoothly.

The Harvesters have been in your boots. They have experienced the highs, lows and middle road that every landscape business goes through. But why go through the pain if you don’t have to? The Harvesters can help you look at your business objectively and help you gain a better picture of your business vitality. With that knowledge, we can then help you determine whether or not you have the right systems, people and capacity to grow and become more profitable. Some businesses don’t want to grow – and that’s OK – but gaining better control of the operational health of your business is essential for any business of any size.

When reviewing your operations, think about things that can be measured. Things like billable and unbillable hours, daily gross margins by crew and how many hours should it take to do each job. Measurability is key. If there’s no system in place to measure, you don’t know if you’re working efficiently. It’s like driving a car without a speedometer; you don’t know if you’re driving at the right speed.  You think you know, but maybe you don’t. If you go too fast, you’ll run off the road and crash, and if you go too slow, you don’t get to where you want to go.

Basic business tenets – You can’t fix what you can’t measure. Whatever you measure gets managed. And, whatever you manage gets improved.

With that in mind, the Harvesters focus on eight key buckets that serve as essential operational building blocks to a healthy company.

They are:









Ed Laflamme LIC

started his own business from scratch, built it up, sold it and then wrote a book about how he did it. So, he’s been there. He understands your frustrations, worries and concerns. Some of you may want to buy companies, while others may want to sell the one you own. You need expert assessment and guidance before you can move forward. Ed has experience in this area. He is recognized as a CLP: Certified Landscape Professional. Read Ed's full bio.

Bill Arman

worked for and helped grow one of the biggest landscape outfits in the country. He’s seen how the big boys do it, how their systems and structures work. So his know-how is rooted in recruiting, hiring, training and growing great people—that along with quality assurance. Bill, alone, has gone on 15,000 quality site visits in his career. Nobody else has that, not that we know of anyway. He received Lawn and Landscape/ Bayer Environmental Science's 2006 Leadership Award. Read Bill's full bio.

Fred Haskett

Is a Green Industry veteran who has more than 35 years of professional management experience leading and developing regional multi-state and multi-unit companies. Fred, has had a diverse career spanning both the lawncare and landscape maintenance industry segments. As a Head Harvester he will bring tremendous experience in operations, finances, sales, marketing and franchising. Fred is a landscape industry certified manager, certified arborist, certified turfgrass professional and in 2006 was named an NALP Trailblazer. Read Fred's full bio.

Jud Griggs

Jud has had the good fortune of working with some of the best design/build companies in the country over his long green industry career. Starting with Lied’s in Wisconsin, Jud worked with Tom Lied, one of the founding members of ALCA (Now N ALP). Next, Jud moved to Naples, Fla., to manage the operations of Smallwood Landscape – one of the preeminent design/build companies in Florida. From there, Jud joined Dallas-based Lambert’s to work with Paul Fields and manage first the business operations and then lead the company’s sales and marketing efforts. Recently, Jud worked with Scapes in Atlanta Each of these companies, with the exception of Scapes, were in the Lawn & Landscape Top 100 list during Jud’s tenure at each of the companies.