Crisis Leadership Strategies For Landscape Companies

– Hello, My name is Jeffrey
Scott from and I’m here to help you kick butt and win throughout this crisis called COVID-19. So winning in the crisis
economy, I’ve made some notes. I’m gonna talk you through 10 things that you can do right
now to inspire your team and really focus them on winning
and focus you on winning. Think about the past crises we’ve had, think about all the wealthy
people in the world. The wealthiest have taken
advantage of the crisis, they’ve stayed calm, they’ve been a leader in times of panic, in times of crisis. And so point number one for
you is to remove the fear, you have to remove all
fear from your team. And fear comes from uncertainty, Right? Lack of knowledge. So you have to give them
data, and give them updates and give them information ongoing, give them direction ongoing, so that will remove the fear from them, reduce the anxiety and
allow them really to focus on the task and the challenge at hand. Number two, share the burden. Be transparent. We’ve always wanted our employees
to act like owners, right? To take that ownership mentality
and ownership thinking. Well, we have to train them
to think like we do as owners, we have to give them that information, we have to be transparent with them and then teach them what
the information means. So it’s incumbent upon
you to be transparent to share the financials,
to share the goals, share the obstacles that will help them carry that burden on
their shoulders as well, and really to step up
and act like an owner. Number three, share your
cashflow projections. I’ve been a fan and I’ve been trumpeting open book management for
years, probably decades now. And we’ve always talked
about PNL and balance sheet, but now we’re talking
about cashflow projections. You have to share with them
the worst case scenario, the next best case scenario,
the next best case scenario, what it all looks like, and what everybody can
do to help control cost and help think through and act through to help your company be successful, by understanding cashflow,
’cause cash is king, right? Sales is vanity, profits
is sanity, cash is king, or as my friend would say,
cash is the ace in the hole. Number four, assign bird dogs. What that means is you have a PNL, you have all these expenses, and assign different
expenses to different people, let them bird dog the specific expenses. Even if they’re not in charge of it. There’s been a run on toilet paper, right? I hope that wasn’t you and your company, because that’s an expense,
that’s a cash outflow that you don’t need to
be spending right now. So put somebody in charge of toilet paper. That’s a simple example,
and put people in charge of the different things
to bird dog and watch and help you bring those
costs under control. Build up your cash reserves. I’ve been saying this for years, now it’s absolutely critical. If you haven’t started doing that, start doing that right now. And that means, deferring loan payments, getting better terms from your vendors. Negotiating better pricing. Securing lines of credit. Lines of credit now, having
a great bank relationship, you’ve gotta build up those cash reserves in order to both survive
and thrive in this economy. We have the corona hump that
we’re trying to flatten out and so what I want you
to do is flatten out or smooth out your cashflow dip. The less deep you can
make that cashflow trough, the better off you’re going to be, and secure the money in place to make it through that trough. Number five, let’s see here. Number six, focus on the future. You’ve gotta be positive,
you’ve gotta be optimistic, you’ve gotta focus on the future. Where are we going with this business? Listen, we’re gonna go through recession and come back out, and you’ve
gotta be ready to jump, grab and get those opportunities. You’ve gotta be future focused now, because that’s where
optimism lies in one’s heart, it’s with what we’re doing,
what goes we’re achieving, where we’re going, and so your leadership is gonna be critical, having that vision. And it may have changed from a year ago, and it may have changed
from three months ago, but being clear on the vision
for how you’re gonna grow your business forward,
and the opportunities even that you’re gonna look
for in the next one, two, three months, six months, 12, 18 months and into the future. I’ve a good friend, John Delisle, he’s one of my longtime clients. He actually grew through
the last great recession, he’ll probably grow
through this recession, it’s possible, you need
the right team in place, the right drive and the
right vision of the future and then sharing that vision. Number seven, keep selling. Keep in touch with your clients,
keep your clients close, closer than you ever have before. Keep the communication with them. Sell, give them services they need. In this lockdown, we’re
stuck at home here, right? But we want a nice home. So if it’s commercial,
they need your services, they need things taken
care of, like disinfected, stay closer than ever to your clients. And in fact, now is the time to innovate. Now’s the time to really
think about services that you haven’t supplied but
they need or want right now. Innovation happens in times
when there’s that tension, either the drive of the entrepreneur just to grow the business, or really that need that
we’re focused on right now. So with collaboration, you should be able to innovate internally and
really help your clients get what they want and
need during this next year. Number eight, protect your
employee’s health and their jobs. It’s number eight, it’s really number one, but I wanted to share some new information before I get down to that basics. So you have to set your company up so that your employees are
healthy, so what does that mean? I won’t cover all the basics
that you’ve read about, but it also means compartmentalizing your teams in a certain way. So if somebody gets sick, it doesn’t get distributed
to other people. If you have multiple divisions
it might mean setting them up as really separate businesses
operating physically distant from each other, so that
you have the best chance of remaining healthy through this push. It also means protecting our jobs, it also means getting
ready for the upturn. It means buying material now early, so you can have the materials
and work through the trough, and be prepared for the upturn, so don’t just think defensive, think offensive and
communicate to a great extent as you’re protecting
health and protecting jobs. And like I said, be transparent, let your team know the challenges, if you wanna protect their jobs, they need to be part of that, if you wanna keep the best employees, which you’ll need in
order to really take off as we kind of turn the corner here, and I think that’ll be in 2021. You want your best employees on board, so make them part of the solution, the thinking through of the solution, and you’ll have them with
you as you pick up momentum and sling around the corner to 2021. Lastly, and I think I said, yeah, so number nine, second to last, give them a stake in the outcome. Jack Stack who wrote that
book “A Stake in the Outcome” realized that employees who feel ownership or even have ownership in a company, are going to outperform
somebody who just has a job. So, let them share in
the wins of your company. Involve them into plans
and the belt tightening, but let them share the outcome, gives them a stake in the
outcome, a stake in the win, and you’ll see who the
real fighters are for you. You’ll see who’s gonna
be on board with you. And lastly, number 10, your challenge. Keep your team in the loop,
keep the collaboration strong and your communication has
to be at an all time high. If you increase the communication, people’s fear will go down. It’s gotta be consistent,
you can’t change strategies like this and like that,
okay, I know in part you are, but it’s gotta be with
a consistent vision, where you’re not changing that vision day to day, week to week. So you need a steady hand,
a focus on the future. And lastly, you need optimism
balanced with decisiveness. Yes, you’ve gotta make
decisions, gotta make them quick with a limited amount of information. But be optimistic, keep
a focus to the future, and that’s gonna be your
best shot of winning, kicking butt really, and succeeding, and getting ready to take
advantage of the opportunities when other companies have simply given up, or sadly closed the door. I’m Jeffrey Scott from
Jeffrey Scott Consulting. If you want more resources, you’ll find them at, thank you.

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