9 Top Business Insights And Principles From GIE+EXPO


Couldn’t make it to GIE+EXPO this year? We’ve got you covered. The editors of Turf Magazine are on the ground, covering everything you need to know at the show. At the end of the day, our editors come together and curate the top moments from the busy day’s events — from announcements at press conferences to inspiring advice from educational sessions. Here are some of the top moments to help you run a better business.

1. The 4 Villains Of Good Decision Making

There are villains among small business owners. They are the four villains of good decision making. Avoid them at all costs to make better, smarter decisions in your business, said Gary Schwantz of Schwantz Inc. at his GIE+EXPO/NALP LANDSCAPES session, “Decision Making Made Practical.”

  1. Narrow framing – unduly limiting the options we consider.
  2. Confirmation bias – seeking out information that bolsters our beliefs.
  3. Short-term emotion – being swayed by emotions that will fade.
  4. Overconfidence – having too much faith in our predictions.

2. Catch Your Team Doing Things Right

In his session “Soft Skills for Hard Workat GIE+EXPO, Marty Grunder says that catching your team doing things right is one of the greatest ways to motivate them. For example, he suggests using a private Facebook page just for your team to post things for them to see. Snap a photo of someone doing something great and post it to the page. Compliment one of your team members in front of everyone. Create a board in the office where you can post things that motivate employees such as photos of a job well done or quotes from a satisfied client. Focus on the positive. You will get a lot further with praise than you do with criticism.

3. Hire People With Complementary Skills

John Puryear, president of Puryear Farms in Gallatin, Tennessee, says that it doesn’t help your company to try to hire clones of yourself. During the CEOs “Unplugged Design/Build Session” at GIE+EXPO, he says that’s because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and you don’t want everyone to be the same. “I’ve learned that the best music is made by an ensemble of different instruments,” he says. “I encourage you to identify your own weaknesses and surround yourself with people who have strengths where you have weaknesses.”

4. Video: A Successful Marketing Strategy

Video is huge right now. Christopher Yates, president of Success Landscape Marketing, says that doing some authentic video that helps make a personal connection with your customers can have a huge impact. Create a video that talks about who you are and what you do. You want it to be compelling so they keep watching, but not too long that they lose interest. In addition to connecting your clients to you, video also helps with your bounce rate, which is how long someone stays on your site. It’s not enough for viewers to just stop at your site briefly, you want them to stay there — and video can create those opportunities.

5. Develop Success And Profit With Networking

There is great power behind networking. You need to have thought partners. Thought partners are the people you can call up when you need to troubleshoot a problem. How do you find a thought partner? Join a peer group, meet people at the trade shows, introduce yourself to peers. Nick DiBenedetto, of ND Landscape, Inc., shared these recommendations during the session “How to Develop Success and Profit with the Golden Trilogyat the GIE+EXPO.

6. Developing A Game Plan For A Successful Exit

Ron Edmonds, principal consultant for The Principium Group, presented on how to make a game plan for a successful exit if you are selling your business. A business owner has to be prepared for anything that might be thrown their way. Whether your business sells quickly or takes a while, here are eight business value factors to be aware of when putting your business on the market.

  1. Growth potential
  2. Financial performance
  3. Overdependence
  4. Cash flow
  5. Reoccurring revenue
  6. Unique value proposition
  7. Customer satisfaction
  8. Strength of management team

7. Jaws’ No-Brainer Principles

Ron Jaworski, NFL Pro Bowl quarterback, fondly known as Jaws, gave the keynote speech for NALP at the Opening Kick-Off and shared his seven no-brainer principles for businesses. Here’s what he had to say:

  1. You must really like people: how can you be a strong business person if you don’t like people?
  2. You must be a good example: that means do the little things that will make you successful
  3. Create an atmosphere where people enjoy coming to work
  4. Define the goal, delegate responsibilities, and lead
  5. Empower your people
  6. Build relationships within your business: technology has its place, but nothing tops face-to-face contact
  7. Be sincere: in other words, be yourself

8. Creating A Team Mentality

At his recent GIE session, green industry consultant Marty Grunder, founder and CEO of Grunder Landscaping, Co., in Miamisburg, Ohio, said that one way company owners can help lead their teams to success is to realize it’s not all about them. He says that it’s not about you but rather, it’s about your team — and how you work together. Grunder says that business owners need to recognize that fact in order to be better leaders.

9. Attributes Of Successful CEOs

Becoming a chief executive officer (CEO) is tough. They have to work through a lot of different problems and become master problem solvers to make their business the best they can be. How did they get there? Here are the four key attributes for successful CEOs:

  1. Be decisive
  2. Engage for impact
  3. Adapt proactively
  4. Deliver consistently