This Secret Will Help You Run Your Business like a Fortune 500 CEO - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

We recently updated our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that our revised Privacy Policy applies.

This Secret Will Help You Run Your Business like a Fortune 500 CEO


NALP Consultant Bill Silverman let us in on the secret to running your company like the CEO of a major corporation.

Having a multi-million-dollar business is the dream of many business owners. It’s a sign that you’ve made it. It’s the point where you’ll have enough money, time, and freedom to do what you want when you want to do it. That’s the dream. The reality is often quite different.

In reality, more growth often brings more headaches, more time on the job, more stress and less free time to do what you want.

As your business grows, it becomes more complex. You have more customers, more employees and possibly more services. The management techniques that served you well when your business was smaller, don’t work as well in a complex, multimillion-dollar business. Yet, most owners don’t adjust to these new realities.

To build a growing, profitable multimillion-dollar landscaping company that virtually runs itself, you need to run your business more like the CEO of a major corporation than like the owner of a small mom and pop shop.

How do CEO’s of large corporations run enormous, complex businesses?

Before becoming a business coach, I worked for several large companies, including Marriott Corporation which had 200,000 employees. Bill Marriott knew he couldn’t manage all 200,000 alone, so, he broke the company into parts—Marriott Hotel Division, Courtyard Hotel Division, Fairfield Hotel Division, marketing, sales, finance, etc. Then, he entrusted key managers with full responsibility to run those parts of the company, and he ran the business through those key managers.

You can use this same strategy of breaking your company into parts and letting key managers run parts of your business to create more consistent, profitable growth, reduce your stress and frustration, and cut hours from your work-week.

To illustrate, here’s an example from a client of mine who owns a multimillion-dollar 40-person landscaping company. When we started working together, the business wasn’t growing and wasn’t making a profit. My client was working from 6 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and he was stressed out and frustrated. He was an “I do everything” owner. He spent so much of his time trying to manage everyone and be involved in everything, that he wasn’t doing what he needed to do to move the business forward. He was actually holding the business back!

Break your business into divisions that run themselves

We broke up the business into parts, promoting two employees to run his maintenance and irrigation divisions and hiring a manager to run his design/build business. Their job was to ensure their respective divisions met their sales and profit goals and their customers were happy. Most managers don’t have experience with owning and running a company, so my client had to coach them on what it means to be an owner, teach them how the company makes money, and help them create a plan for their function’s success.

My client also outsourced his marketing to a marketing firm and had an office manager handle the financial and administrative side of the business.

Instead of trying to manage all 40 people, my client now manages five, and they manage the rest. This freed him up to focus his role on high value activities such as creating and managing the annual plan, managing and developing his team and managing high value clients and high value projects (e.g. creating new services, opening a new location, buying a competitor, improving operations).

After the restructuring, the business started growing again and had a significant increase in profit. My client is usually home by 6:30 p.m. and has less stress, more control, and more time to do the things he needs to do to keep improving and growing the business.

Afterwards, his comment to me was, “I could kick myself for not having done this years earlier! Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?”

Unleash huge potential in your business

Does this sound like you? You built your business being a “hands on, I do-everything-owner.” But trying to manage that way now that your business is larger than a million dollars is holding your business back and causing you unnecessary stress and frustration. Manage your business like a corporate CEO, following the example in this case study and make your company the smooth running, growing, profitable business that you’ve always wanted!

Bill Silverman is a NALP Consultant and the owner of Springboard Business Coaching