Strong finish | Irrigation and green industry magazine


October 2021: You are in your last quarter of your hard-fought 2021 landscape game. You have known victories and defeats, exaltation and despondency. It’s been a long, COVID-filled drudgery, a year unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Despite all the disruption of the pandemic, most companies in the green industry (actually most construction or facility companies) are performing better than expected, even with all the masks and warrants. We have persevered with the sadness of illness and, yes, even deaths in our businesses and families. Through it all, business has generally been good and some have even been excellent.

But now is not the time to run out or exhaust the time for the rest of the year. There are plenty of distractions looming with Halloween candy in every supermarket – and Thanksgiving and the Christmas season just weeks away. Yet despite the allure of the holidays and the fear of COVID, this year’s game is by no means over and it’s time to finish strong.

To make things progress. Finish creating the future you originally planned for 2021, when you started this year.

We all set goals – long term, annual, quarterly, daily. When you started this year, you had expectations and goals for everything you needed to accomplish in order to get your business and family where you wanted to go.

If you are like my business, you have already achieved many of your improvement goals this year. But some of the more difficult goals remain intact or partially completed. We are at a watershed moment where there is still time to accomplish, and achieving our goals and launching our initiatives is how we push and propel our businesses to the top.

“An opportunity,” they say, “often strikes only once”.

Delivering our toughest goals to 2022 just won’t be enough, even if the rest of 2021 looks short. We have to make our hay while the sun is shining.

Commit to yourself and your team to end strong. Leave the 2021 landscape realm fully spent, after doing your best, giving your best throughout. Give it all. Lead your team by staying focused with each remaining day.

Now is the time to dig up that 2021 goal sheet. Find this process improvement list and check off where you’ve been nice and where you’ve done it. Take stock of where you’ve been mean and let it slide.

Sort what remains unfinished by importance to the growth and resilience of your business. There is still time to “do the rest undone”. What can you still accomplish to build a better and more promising year 2022 and beyond? Really look at your business from multiple angles to make sure you don’t miss an area for possible improvement. Consider some common goals that are often overlooked:

• fleet improvements and capital improvements

• security protocol programs to protect personnel

• marketing material launches and website upgrades

• approach and development of new customers

• visits with current customers, face to face as it is prudent

• cleaning facilities, with modernization and upgrading plans

• difficult choices regarding the personnel and management of your company, if necessary

There are tons you can still accomplish! Spread the enthusiasm. Share the responsibility. Delegate where you can. Gather your team, encourage them to support your efforts, and help your business end a year like no other. And award bonuses for completion, if applicable.

The satisfaction of having both done well financially while building a better future for themselves will be extremely gratifying. We all have a chance to say that we have overcome this year of the COVID slump with operational and professional results being the best, or among the best that we have seen.

The best way to predict our future is to create it ourselves. Now is the time for you to end strong and have a great year 2022 and beyond!

Gary Horton, MBA, is CEO of Landscape Development Inc., a green industry leader for over 35 years with offices in California and Nevada. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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