Recap: 2013 Financial TeleSummit for Landscapers

Last week marked the first ever Financial Management Telesummit for Landscapers– and it was a huge success! The event, hosted by A Banner for social Fochtman RorieBetter Way to Learn, was moderated by our friend Chris Heiler of Landscape Leadership, and featured green industry leaders and business owners including our CEO Mike Rorie.

Mike kicked off the three-night event with Tom Fochtman, former owner of CoCal and now the CEO of Ceibass Venture Partners.  They covered  “Building Your Business to Sell”  in an hour-long segment that was chock full of great takeaways for green industry owners- especially since we are getting closer to the beginning of a new year.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of some of the information Mike, Tom and Chris shared during the Tuesday segment. You can also listen to the recorded sessions from each night of the telesummit here.

Run Your Business Like You Will Sell it One Day

Your business is probably your biggest, most valuable asset. Put your energy and focus into making smart business decisions all along the way. It pays in the end, whether you sell or your business, pass it on to the next generation, or close up shop.

CH: “Four of five years ago, the economy really tanked…My company took a big hit. What I realized at the time was I had a really good reputation in the community, I had a pretty strong personal brand built up. But what I didn’t have was a business that I could sell….At the time, all I could do was walk away from the business I had built.”

MR: “What I want to emphasize is the value of these businesses if you operate them like a stock. Like a company where you make smart businesses decisions. And you’re doing it usually over 30 years or better.”

TF: “Build a business enterprise, don’t build a lifestyle business to fund your lifestyle. Because if you build a best of class business enterprise, funding your lifestyle will be easy, and you’ll have a valuable commodity that you can sell.”

Allow Yourself One to Three Years to Retire or Sell

Selling a business is a definitely a process, and one that you never want to rush. Allowing yourself  one to three years before selling or exiting is a good timeline to keep in mind.

MR: “If you wanted to sell your business tomorrow, and somebody came in like Tom to look at it… you’ve really got to afford yourself 24-48 months. Because once you sell, you’re done. Your asset is gone.”

TF: “If you’re not ready, it can take a long time. It can certainly take a year. The key is to control the process, to get yourself ready and then you’re in control.”

Strive to Be the Best at What You Do

If you strive to be the best at what you do in your marketplace, it will pay for itself- from a buyer or otherwise.

MR: “I want to emphasize to all the listeners, no matter what market segment of this vast industry we’re in, residential, commercial, hardscape, design build, bid build, maintenance…I don’t care what it is, you better be the best at it in the market you’re competing.”

TF: “You have to have the ambition and the drive and the passion to be the absolute best of whatever type company you are. So that means the best people, the best work, if you’re a maintenance contractor, the best renewal rate…You just have to strive to be the best and there will be ready buyers for your companies.”

Listen to the Recorded Segments

This post doesn’t even begin to sum up the great quotes and information shared on the Tuesday night segment of the telesummit. To hear the entire segment and listen to the Wednesday and Thursday segments, visit this page.

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