As a landscaping professional, you excel in landscaping. You know the ins and outs of plant and lawn maintenance, landscape design, and how to take an idea from production to completion. And you’re probably already using these top 10 landscaping apps, too. At the very least, CompanyCam, right? 👀 These skills are essential for building a growing business and offering a quality service in your neck of the woods.
However, you may run into issues outside your expertise: like business operations or financial planning.
If your efforts aren’t yielding the results you’re looking for, you may feel business stagnation. Listen up! We have good news to share about business coaching/consulting.
I met with Steve Bach and Greg Shaw last month. Steve Bach is the president of Bach Business Partners, and Greg Shaw is the owner of Southern Scape, LLC. We discussed the short and long-term benefits of working with a business coach, especially when you’re in a trade like landscaping.
Meet Steve 👋
Coming from a robust business background, Steve understands the value of professional coaching — he’s working on bringing those services to business owners, especially landscape professionals. Steve’s been addressing the need for professional coaching in landscaping since he started BBP in 2015. Landscaping is an industry filled with talented (yet often overwhelmed) tradespeople who struggle to make the transition into business owners on their own.
Steve and his team have been able to show there’s an affordable way through this transitional period. Bach Business Partners enables owners to focus on their goals, whatever they may be, and continue to grow, scale, and maintain their businesses.
Meet Greg 👋
On the other side of the coin, there is Greg: a landscaper.
Greg’s landscaping experience dates back to his middle school days. Greg ran his mowing route — sparking his desire to work in landscaping. He eventually started his own business.
Greg tried to scale up his business. His crews worked harder, adding in new elements, but profits weren’t reflecting that work. After realizing that the work wouldn’t be successful without a structure, Greg sought out professional help and met Steve. Steve, along with Bach Business Partners, has helped Greg organize and prepare for ideal business growth.
Now let’s get the basics clear first:
What is the difference between a business consultant and a business coach?
Steve answered, “a consultant is going to be very specialized and help you with a singular objective. A coach is going to enter into a long-term relationship with you and […] be with you every step of the way.
“A consultant gives you the map and says “good luck,” [coaches, however] help interpret that map and get to the end goal together.”
I asked Steve what his experience was with working with business coaches in the past. He said: “At Bach Business Partners, we believe that a coach provides a level of oversight and consistency that we don’t have on our own. A coach can see things from a different perspective and not get caught up in the emotions of the day-to-day.”
“That’s the secret to coaching: Getting people to realize [their business] potential.”
I asked Greg the same question: what has his experience been with business coaches?
“I’m a big advocate for bringing in a coach that knows the business,” Greg said. “If I’m going through a minefield, I wanna follow someone who’s done it. So if I can follow a coach through a minefield and he’s already seen it numerous times, they can talk you through it. You have to learn to trust them. We have never had a bad experience with a business coach!”
What are the benefits of working with a business coach?
Greg believes having a business coach is a must, especially when “you’re not hitting all aspects of your business.” Moving from good technician to owner/operator is an adjustment. New skills need to be developed! Greg shares more of his exposure to this:
“When we first started, I hired a bunch of mini-mes. We all were good at working in the field but all the things that I was deficient at, they were also [deficient at]. So we weren’t strong in sales, accounting, finance, and all those things. As we brought on a coach, they pointed out quickly that “everyone can’t be a quarterback because if everyone’s a quarterback, who blocks and who catches the ball?”
“They brought the team aspect of you need all aspects of these roles if you’re going to be successful long-term. That’s something I’d never thought about. They helped us put together a long term plan of “you need a strong sales team, a strong accounting team, operations team, this is what that looks like and how we build and sustain it.” Man, it’s helped us grow in a very healthy and predictable way! We’ve had a lot of unhealthy growth before coaching.”
This quarterback analogy is a good one. If everyone is trying to be the quarterback, your team is not going to be efficient OR get anything done! There is a need for different skills on every team.
“You need to hire your opposite — you need to hire the other side of the Yang.”
Steve agrees with Greg. Steve says BBP provides a “very consistent, predictable experience” when it comes to business coaching.
“You can try it on your own,” says Steve. “[You can] step on those mines or put your foot in a mousetrap. Or you can have a coach help you along the way and help you avoid the costly things!”
Coaches have experience. They will ensure you avoid those mistakes. A coach will help people push themselves and maximize their potential.
If your business is struggling, how can you find help?
Attend trade shows: learn from the professionals and get new ideas
Read trade magazines
Reach out to successful individuals in your industry: ask them if they are using a coach and if so, who?
Reach out to your peers: join groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. And “don’t be scared to get out there,” Steve says.
Figure out what you are looking for in your business
Thank you Steve and Greg for speaking with me. What an incredible interview — full of helpful information from both the business owner’s and coach’s perspectives! If your business is struggling to grow, scale, or maintain its growth, a coach may be able to help you get it back on track.
To learn more about Bach Business Partners and the services Steve and his team offer, you can check out their website at bachbusinesspartners.com
For an additional landscaping professional tip, watch the video below!