7 Deadly Sins for Green Industry Business Owners


By Taylor Tuomie

No green industry business is perfect. Even the most successful businesses have taken wrong turns at some point in time. Their shiny trucks, well taken care of mowers and equipment and their sophisticated management software might make it seem like they've done everything right from the start, but no one is immune to mistakes.

Some mistakes aren’t terrible to make either. They can be a learning experience and can actually strengthen a green industry business in the long run. But there are a few that can be lasting and can kill a business. Here are 7 deadly sins that green industry business owners make.


Not training employees

One of the worst things that a business owner can do is to not train their employees. They feel that since their business is seasonal that they don’t have the time to train their employees. Employees want to be trained. They want a chance to strengthen their skills and grow in their career. And not only does it help the employees, training your employees will help to grow your business. In our 2016 Green Industry Benchmark Report, we saw that companies that spent time on regular training grew at a faster rate.

Not selling

You should always be searching for new customers. Assuming that your current customers are going to refer you new business and will keep you growing isn’t something a smart business owner does.

You should always be on the hunt for new business. Even if you feel like you’re going to hit a point where you’re routes are saturated and you might not be able to handle the amount of new accounts, it might be time to hire on another service tech or two and grow. Smart businesses actively market and sell their services consistently.  

Not delegating

Green industry businesses can often fall into the trap of taking on too much responsibility. Therefore, they wind up doing everything on their own and don’t delegate. If you want to run a successful business, you need to know how to delegate every day tasks. The simple truth is that you can’t be everywhere at once, you can’t do everything.

Not listening to customers

Thinking you always know what is best for your customers is a good way to lose them quickly. You should constantly evaluate your services and you should have a firm grasp on how your customers view your business. It is naive to think that just because you aren’t hearing from your customers that it means they’re happy.

Working too much

Take a break! Seriously! Green industry business owners tend to get caught up with their work. The passion and drive are necessary for running a successful business, but you can lose that very quickly if you don’t take regular breaks.

Have time scheduled out for regular breaks. If you know that you’ll be busy during a certain time of year, do your best to schedule time before and after so you can get away from work.

Not creating processes

If you aren’t documenting your processes, you’re hurting your business. You should be creating processes for your activities like bringing on a new customer or employee, how to handle an upset customer or how commercial accounts should be handled.

Not getting advice

Find a peer group. Seriously. It is incredibly helpful and can grow your business immensely. While it might seem tough to find the time, you should make time to meet with other business owners regularly.

Get advice from others who have been in the industry and learn from them. There is no reason why you shouldn’t strengthen your network and learn from those peers.


2017 Green Industry Benchmark Report


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