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The Best Of: 2019 Kickstart Business Advice

CASE Construction Equipment has compiled a list of the top 25 best pieces of landscaping business advice taken from over 300 2019 CASE Kickstart Contest entries.

During the course of CASE Construction Equipment’s 2019 Kickstart Contest, there were more than 300 submissions from across North America. One of the questions we love to ask is: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Between the contest winner, Jeff Rausch of Daybreaker Landscapes, and many other contestants, much wisdom was shared. And now, we’re bringing that intelligence to you with a compiled list of the top 25 best pieces of business advice from the 2019 CASE Kickstart Contest entries.

#25 – Dan Hernandez, Danmar Construction and Landscape Design, Paramus, New Jersey

“Figure out how much equipment you need in order to pay yourself a decent salary. Then, figure out how long it will take to purchase and pay for that equipment.”

#24 – Robert Cameron, CMS Landscaping, Holyoke, Massachusetts

“Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your business.”

#23 – Michael Perrine, Rick L. Perrine Property Maintenance, LLC, Kenosha, Wisconsin

“You can catch a lot of bees with a little honey.”

#22 – Jeffrey Rausch, Daybreaker Landscapes, Union, Illinois

“Some of the best business advice I have received has been to run my business like a business. As simple as that may sound it is a principle that I have really been focusing on. When you work long hours and are just taking as much work as you can physically handle, there is little time to consider any of this.”

#21 – Michael Huhn, Michael Huhn Services, LLC, Mount Washington, Kentucky

“It's okay to say no to a project, never buy anything you can't afford, and always treat your equipment like family.”

#20 – Scott Smaston, Precision Turf and Irrigation, Charlotte, North Carolina

“Don’t do business with someone who cheats in golf.”

#19 – Alonzo Murray, Murray Professional Services, LLC, Cleveland, Ohio

“Treat your business as a child. In the early stages the business will be demanding of time, but eventually the business will mature and pay you back.”

#18 – David Arroyo, Strictly Stone, Round Lake Park, Illinois

“Hardscaping is like Baseball. You could have a bad day today and lose big. But go home, try your best to rest easy, because tomorrow is another day and another chance at winning.”

#17 – Mitchell Allen, South Fraser Custom Landscapes Ltd., Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

“A happy customer will tell two or three friends; an unhappy customer will tell 10. Attention to detail is everything.”

#16 – Kent Hartman, RMTS Inc., Pueblo, Colorado

“People are your best assets, and by empowering them to believe in what they are doing, allows your team to want to produce the best quality product possible.

Also, reinvest into the school in your community, by donating goods and services. By investing into schools allows increased company awareness as well as helping kids who may not have the opportunity to have a place to grow in their own way and learn valuable life skills.”

#15 – Benjamin Willson, Century Outdoor Solutions, Avon Lake, Ohio

“Reduce the number of steps involved in a task. Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good.”

#14 – Laural Roaldson, Laural Landscapes, Inc., Concord, California

“Surround yourself with talented, committed people of high character. Allow those people to reach their full potential. Also, leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.”

#13 – Brian Pluess, Wisconsin Masonry, LLC, East Troy, Wisconsin

“You cannot retire on one job. Build a friendship, not a bank account. The friendship will be there long after the bank accounts have dried up.”

#12 – Parker Vollick, Vollick Excavation, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

“It’s not that complicated, do the things you have to do to live the life you want. Some of what you have to do is going to suck. Some days you’re going to be tired, some days you’re going to be sick, some days every bone in your body is going to hurt. You can either sit around and whine about it or you can cowboy up. Push through, accomplish what you can with what you have. Every time you put in the work it’s like a deposit in the bank. Make enough deposits you’ll get a withdrawal, and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. You pay in advance to get everything in life, so don’t wait to start fresh on Monday. Wherever you are, start now.”

#11 – Susan Manda, Blue Cedar Landscape, Pleasant Hill, Missouri

“Slow nickels are better than fast dimes. When you focus on building trust and relationships, projects will always be there. If you strictly focus on the short-term you will always need to be out looking for jobs.”

#10 – Zachary Koolen, Cedarcroft Landscape & Design Ltd, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

“A piece of machinery is the cheapest employee you have ever hired.”

#9 – Chad Martens, Deerwood Projects, Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada

“Make family priority. Life isn't all about work.”

#8 – Jack Carabotta, Aquaflo, Kent, Ohio

“Own the best equipment and maintain it as if it were working at my home – No leaks, smooth running and quiet as possible.”

#7 – Scott Roche, Landscapes Unlimited, Randallstown, Maryland

“The old 80 - 20 rule. 80% of your revenue typically comes from 20% of your good clients.”

#6 – Jack Butcher, Butcher’s Landscaping & Services, LLC, Springfield, Ohio

“The best business advice I have ever received would be to just not give up. We're in a business where we can't let bad customers get to us, we can't let breakdowns break us, we can't let customers not paying us lead us to bank selling off. But what we CAN do is keep pushing through and giving it our all by not giving up.

The best advice I have probably shared would be to fellow landscapers who are just starting out or wanting to get started to always follow their heart and make the jump. I always tell them if I didn't follow my heart, I would be working for someone else and not as happy as I am today.”

#5 – Paul Paolone, Everscape Gardens, Ardmore, Pennsylvania

“Stop jumping off machines, you're going to ruin your knees young boy.”

#4 – Wolfgang Noack, Reliance Property Management, LLC, Sugarloaf Key, Florida

“Do not diversify too much. Concentrate on one or two things and give it your best and one hundred percent focus. It will do wonders to your reputation and your business. Nothing is worse than trying to be good at everything. That almost always fails.”

#3 – JR Laborie, Laborie Land Works, LLC, Beaver City, Nebraska

“I was told by a successful business owner once: ‘When you own your own business, you get to work half days…you get to pick which 12 hours.’”

#2 – Eunice Anderson, Jersey Premier Landscape Management, Hammonton, New Jersey

“I learned a long time ago I may be good at something, but someone else is better than me. So, find that person, put them in a position to succeed and let me focus on running the business.

Also, a dealer once told me: I can buy the best machine in the world, but if my operators can’t run it properly or don't care to take care of it, then it’s no better than any other machine out there. So, invest in my people, care about them, take care of those people, and they will take care of me and the business.”

#1 – Keith Smith, Allscape Landscaping and Lawncare, LLC, Mooresville, Indiana

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

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