LandOpt lowers revenue bar, will work with smaller firms

Updated May 9, 2017
LandOpt is working on offering a scholarship for one company’s licensing fees to be covered for the new associate program. Photo: LandOptLandOpt is working on offering a scholarship for one company’s licensing fees to be covered for the new associate program.
Photo: LandOpt

Landscapers who are looking to increase their revenue now have the opportunity to try out LandOpt’s new associate program, which is designed to help smaller landscaping companies take the next big step.

Previously, LandOpt only worked with companies that had annual revenue of $1.2 million or higher. The associate program accepts businesses with revenue between $750,000 and $1.2 million a year.

“We found that the pool we were pulling from was very small and also we were running into the fact that many of the people interested in LandOpt couldn’t afford us,” said Cassidy Huff, a marketing associate for LandOpt.

In response to this need for a less expensive program, LandOpt tailored its traditional offering so that more landscapers could take advantage of it business operating system.

The key difference with the associate program is that it is a two-year commitment instead of the traditional program’s six years. There is less onsite coaching, and fewer visits from the success coach, but users of the associate program will still have complete access to their coach.

Similar to online college courses, company owners will be able to build a solid financial education and understand cash flow management in the comfort of their home or office and at times that work best for them. At the end of each lesson, they will be quizzed on the topic to see how much they retained. Users of the associate program will also have access to webinars and a library of previous webcasts.

A benefit of LandOpt’s program is that its dedicated success coaches hold company owners accountable for following through with the processes and systems.

“The job of the success coaches is to make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” Huff said. “People may go to a great seminar but when they get back they fail to integrate it into their day to day. They (coaches) make sure you’re doing your classes in the time frame and meeting the objectives.”

Participants in the associate program will make fewer trips to Pittsburgh, LandOpt’s headquarters, for training there. However, they will still have networking opportunities with other LandOpt landscape contractors through the LandOpt Principals Meeting and Success Celebration and the Operations Field Day.

“The guys in the green industry are so laid back and very willing to help each other,” Huff said. “Those with LandOpt are in different territories so they don’t compete against each other. They can talk to each other as peers instead of competitors and talk about financial plans.”

Huff equates the cost of LandOpt’s program to hiring a mid-level manager. LandOpt not only helps landscaping businesses increase cash flow but also provides processes that allow owners to recapture some time for themselves and their families.

“It gives you a peace of mind – you can get your life back, you can finally take a vacation after eight years,” Huff said.

The company is currently looking to fill over 20 spots in the new associate program and has already had some introductory meetings since the announcement of the program during GIE+EXPO in October.

For those interested in the program, a few preliminary steps are required. After calling LandOpt, the company owner schedules an informal introductory meeting for information gathering purposes. After that, phase two is handled via a web conference during which LandOpt representatives and the owner discuss the company’s financial situation to make sure the company can afford LandOpt.

Once that is assured, the landscape owner will travel to Pittsburgh to meet all of LandOpt’s staff and review the full range of benefits of the program before deciding to seal the deal.

While LandOpt has yet to run into the problem of companies in the same area wanting to join the program, Huff did make it clear that LandOpt would choose whichever company in a given area was the most qualified and hungry for growth.

“We’re not a rescue mission,” she said. “We don’t come in and fix everything. They have to want it.”

LandOpt is currently looking to add higher tiers for companies that have been using the traditional program so that they can create leaders and open second locations. If enough people are successful in the associate program, it may add programs for even smaller landscaping companies looking to succeed.

“We’re in it to help all landscape contractors and raise the business performance and professional standards in the green industry so it’s less cutthroat,” Huff said.

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