Ep 031 – Secrets to Success: Strategies from LMN CEO Mark Bradley

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What if the key to your landscaping business's success isn't just hard work, but smart work? On this episode of "Roots of Success," host Tommy Cole introduces Mark Bradley, the CEO of LMN, who reveals the secrets behind his rapid business growth and the systems that keep it thriving. Delving into the importance of apprenticeship programs, key financial metrics, and goal setting, Mark's journey from nuclear industry to landscaping leadership offers lessons every business owner needs. Tune in to discover strategic ways to boost efficiency, enhance employee morale, and achieve continuous improvement in your enterprise.


Enjoy The Journey

Key Moments:

[05:44] Scaling business led to challenges in efficiency, quality.
[07:31] Business success depends on optimizing customers and employees.
[12:50] Embrace continuous improvement for business success.
[18:57] Key financial metrics and supporting ratios for business.
[22:29] Key metrics inform key performance action for improvement.
[30:38] Training and higher wages attract skilled workers.
[34:08] Career ladder is key for growing people.


    1. What are the benefits of implementing apprenticeship programs in landscaping?
    2. How do I measure the success of my business using key financial metrics?
    3. What systems and processes should I use to optimize my landscaping business?
    4. How do goal setting and continuous improvement contribute to business success?
    5. How do I set and achieve business goals in the landscaping industry?
Episode Transcript
Mark Bradley [00:00:00] The Roots of Success podcast is for the landscape professional who's looking to up their game. We've got a brain trust of experts to help you nurture the roots of a successful business and grow to the next level. This is The Roots of Success. Mark Bradley: Welcome to another episode of Roots of Success Podcast. And I'm your host, Tommy Cole. And we have a great one today, as we always do. Our guests are awesome, We have the CEO of LMN Mark Bradley on the show today. Welcome Mark. Yeah, thank you. Glad to be here. Tommy Cole: this goes way, way back. I met Mark years ago. He probably doesn't even know this. But I'd say eight, 10 years ago, I saw him speak at the NALP event in Louisville, Kentucky. And I was in the very back and I said, man, that guy, that guy's, guy's got something good to, good to share with our industry. He's got a good software. It seemed like, and I was fascinated by your [00:01:00] story and building your landscape company. And I said, at some point I'm going to meet that guy. And years down the road, here we are together on a, on a podcast and, our paths have come across each other numerous times over the last several years. Mark Bradley: So I'm, I'm very excited to have you on board. Yeah, well, thanks for having me. I really appreciate the invite and yeah, excited to chat. I'm definitely a fan of the podcast. I've enjoyed listening to a lot of the other episodes recently. So, yeah. Good to be here. Background before Landscaping Mark Bradley: Good, So let's go way back, Mark. let's talk about your sort of bringing up into this world and you all the side businesses and the startups of as, as a young adult, but, but, but Give us a little bit of background. I've, I've heard the story a few times and, attending some of your mastermind sessions and just some small talk here and there, but let's give our audience kind of like a backstory of, of where you were as a young adult. Yeah, sure. Yeah, I mean through my early, early [00:02:00] years, high school years, I was kind of grew up in the countryside and lived on an acreage and enjoyed enjoyed working outside, just really loved being out there, doing hard work. And I think through my high school years, I found myself. You know, selling firewood and topsoil and trees and doing small landscape projects and just really took a lot of a lot of enjoyment out of the work itself and always enjoyed the creativity and that side of things. And as I went through high school, I decided to enter the nuclear industry as a, as an apprentice. So right out of high school, I did an apprenticeship as a steam fitter and found that to be a, an incredibly valuable experience. I mean, it was great, good to learn the trade skills, but also just to learn a lot about organization, about, [00:03:00] Estimating project management, job costing. I just, the, the experience of working in that environment was really, really valuable. but I did find myself a little bit, maybe. Tired of that type of environment a little faster than I would have expected. I found, you know, working indoors, working in a union environment with a, with a lot of people that, you know, sort of had a, I would say sort of a limited belief of, of where they were going in life. Tommy Cole: I just found myself. a little bit tired and needed something a little more refreshing. And that's, that's what sort of led me back into landscaping, just getting outside and enjoying things. Yeah. it's all fascinating as a young adult or as a kid of like looking back in the past of all the small things we did, what got us here. I mean, my, for instance, I was. Selling fireworks in Texas. I was cleaning warehouses. I was throwing, I [00:04:00] was doing paper route, you know, as a 14 year old kid that didn't have a driver's license. It's like all those things that happen that you don't really know what's going to take you has taken you to great places. So working at the nuclear plant has kind of kicked you off with your landscaping, you know, career with estimating project management, jobs, that sort of thing. It's. It's fascinating. my mom and dad always said, well, you're going to have to learn how to like greet customers and work the register at the same time in a firework stand. And I'm like, I don't know how this equates to life, but I guess, sure, I'll, I'll figure it out. But it equates to life a lot, right? Mark Bradley: Yeah, it's so true. I think everything is a building block. You know, if, if you kind of look at yourself as a. You know, the ultimate in pattern recognition, I think, as we are more and more exposed to different things in our careers and even in our personal lives. I think they all kind of stack up all these patterns become part of a [00:05:00] greater recipe. And I think if you're clear on your purpose, then you put those patterns to work in different ways. But yeah, no, I'm super thankful for. My my time as an apprentice, I learned a lot for sure. Getting Back into Landscaping Mark Bradley: But yeah, getting back to landscaping was, was, was more natural for me. And so as I kicked off the landscape company, it, it grew really quickly. We focused on design build and landscape maintenance and, obviously, being from Toronto, snow plowing was a big part of the business. And so as the business started to scale, which it did grow fairly quickly, I, I was pretty fortunate my 1st year in business. I hit a 1M dollars in sales. It was maybe fortunate and unfortunate because I made a lot of mistakes, whether it was learning the hard way on estimating labor times or making bad decisions on. Who to work for. There was many but yeah, I think because the business was scaling so quickly, I just [00:06:00] really had to focus a lot on. Systems processes, I really tried to do my best to, to really get job costing dialed in as quickly as possible so that I could really understand what was working well and what wasn't. And yeah, the business continued to grow. So I guess about 10 years into business, it was growing. Very nicely, but I was definitely starting to feel the, the pain that I think many of us feel is, you know, the efficiency starts to, decay pretty badly and then quality. And then there's safety issues, and then there's morale issues and culture issues. All these things start to pop up as you scale the company and kind of tests. The limits of your leadership. And I certainly was finding, all of the above, definitely lots of challenges we as we were growing the business. What are standard systems and processes in Landscaping Tommy Cole: Yeah. So tell me about, this is just a [00:07:00] fascinating take. When you say the word systems and processes, I feel like that's a word that is being used in In our industry to the most extreme when people say that, but from you, Mark, what, what does that mean to you? Systems in processes? it's such a big, word that we all want to accomplish. But at the end of the day, I feel like we go to conferences and masterminds and things, and we talk about, we need to integrate systems process, but then we go back to our office. And our shop and we just kind of get back involved in the same thing of what we're just easy to do Like kind of like the easy route and but what does that mean systems and processes to you? Mark Bradley: Yeah, that, that's a, that's a great question. And I, I really tend to agree that sometimes people talk at such a high level that people don't really, action anything. And so the easiest way for me to look at systems and processes is. What are they for? [00:08:00] And ultimately, when you're in business, I kind of look at it from a pretty simple perspective. I'm in business, to service a large group of customers with a team of employees. And so ultimately, my revenue depends on being really good at what I do, and the likelihood of actually making any actual profit relies on being really good at doing that work. And so ultimately, the systems and processes I have to attract more business to the, to the company, and then they need to allow us to create and deliver what it is that we're selling better than anybody else and do it in a way where we can compete at average pricing or competitive pricing, but still earn a profit and still pay our staff better wages than everybody else. And so those systems and processes really. Start to take on more meaning. It's about optimizing my [00:09:00] customers and optimizing my employees so that I have an optimal business outcome. And so ultimately when you look at a business and you think about what needs to be done to really truly be the best at attracting customers and building people, you quickly realize that you need to set some goals and then those goals need strategies and supporting systems in order for those things to actually happen. Tommy Cole: In a repeatable way. So the systems are all about customers and people. Yeah, Goal setting Mark Bradley: you know what's what's fascinating to me is i've attended several of your masterminds and and seen you speak on various platforms and you are really big on goals You setting what we call smart goals and holding yourself accountable to those goals, adjusting those goals through life. Managing the process and the progress of those goals. [00:10:00] I, I feel like Mark, that has been one of the biggest things that's got to the platform that you are now personally and professionally is, is this big goal setting. Can you talk about how that's made an impact on, on you and your businesses? Yeah, for sure. Ultimately, like the way I kind of look at goal setting is when we create a mission for ourselves in life or in, or for a business, that it's just part of our life, I think once we have a mission, then it becomes a lot easier to set some goals short and long term that allow us to actually make that mission become a reality. And so when we when we start to break down a business and we think here's our vision for, you know, 10 years from now for the business, and here's our mission, that's going to get us there. I think the next step is really just. Deciding on what the big [00:11:00] goals are for the business. And so personally, I like to set three to five goals each year with supporting key results. And then as a business, I like to do the same and in business. I think most businesses, the, the, the overarching goals are fairly similar. You know, we're usually. We're going to grow revenue. That's the goal for most businesses. We're going to grow people. That's gotta be a goal in most businesses. Then we've got to grow our brand so that people find out about us. We need to provide. The best customer experience possible so that the customers are happy and they keep coming back and they keep telling everybody else about what we're doing. And then last, we have to be efficient at what we do, because if we're not efficient and we can't do it competitively and we can't pay our staff really well. So those five goals [00:12:00] for me are always kind of the overarching goals for business. And then what I'm doing is creating three to five. Key results for each of those goals for every quarter so that we're always moving the needle in those five areas. We always have to be growing revenue. We always have to be growing people. We have to be growing the brand. We have to be getting more efficient and we have to be getting better at servicing our customers. So each quarter, if I'm constantly evolving the business with a few key initiatives that get us some measurable improvement in each one of those areas, then The business just keeps getting better. Tommy Cole: And ultimately I think that's what life and business is about. It's just, you know, continuous improvement. It's very fulfilling when you can live in the moment and just see what is getting better each day. And I think. When you design a goal setting system with a supporting measuring system, then all these other things come into clarity [00:13:00] much, much faster. Love it. You know, I think you hit the nail on the head with continuous improvement. A lot of times us as business owners, especially in the landscape industry, we are the worst about overthinking and overanalyzing every single decision. Whether it's the right one and the wrong one and why and how come and the weather and the labor and the sales. And the operations and the HR and the culture. And should I do this? And should I not do that? Well, how come? Well, why not? And the ripe old age of software. Is that software good? Is it bad? Why is it bad? It's just, but at the end of the day, and you would probably agree to this, Mark. It's not the outcome. It's about the journey, right? It's this long journey of continuous improvement along the way. And I use the analogy of. You know, chopping down a tree, right? You're not going to hit it in one swing and it's going to fall down, but the continuous [00:14:00] chopping every single day, eventually the tree is going to fall. Right. And that's the part of the journey. Focusing on Key Metrics Tommy Cole: What, what type of things that you have learned across your business success so far in your personal life about continuous improvement? has got to where you are now. Mark Bradley: Well, since you mentioned the ax in the tree, that's my, one of my favorite quotes, and I think we've shared this before the Abraham Lincoln quote, my favorite yeah, just to sharpen the ax. If I can sharpen that ax that tree's going to come down a whole lot easier. And so ultimately I think like for me. Along the way, what I, what I tend to focus on are the key metrics in the business. And so when you understand what the key metrics are, it becomes a lot easier to measure the result of all of these activities that you mentioned that we might decide are important. And I think ultimately what happens is us [00:15:00] business owners tend to be more emotional than we need to be when we don't have really good metrics. Guide us. And so what happens is sometimes each day, depending on what issue is in front of us, we start to react. And the problem with that is, is when you're kind of a reactive business owner is you tend to overthink all the little things and then you overreact to the little things. But when you're a little bit more metric driven when you've got goals and you can look at the actual results and look at the metrics that tell a rational story. Then even when you're in maybe a negative emotional state and you're in a bad mood or you're exhausted or somebody just upset you or a customer called to complain about a crew or whatever it happens to be, or somebody just quit the worst thing, right? Now you can go to the metrics and actually just kind of see how things are going. And take a rational look at the business. [00:16:00] And I think move forward with, with at least some sort of, clarity instead of an opinion or a mood that you're in. And I think as business owners, that's important, but it's also important for everybody to. In the business to have key metrics. And I think when everybody in the business understands what the key metrics are, they know when they're winning and when they're losing for themselves, and they're less reliant on somebody to come along and tell them. That they're doing a good job. And I'm all for, you know, positive feedback, but the reality is oftentimes we're busy and we don't talk often enough and we don't give feedback often enough and people don't understand that they're actually doing a great job. And when we put those metrics in front of them and they understand what success looks like, two things happen. One, they can focus their efforts and actually put effort into things that are going to move the [00:17:00] needle. In the area that we need it moved. And then secondly, they can feel good about their day and be in the moment and enjoy the success that they're actually having at work. And I think metrics that are tied to goals just kind of create a winning formula for everybody, because. Tommy Cole: Everybody wants to get better when they know what they're measuring. And then everybody feels like they're doing better when the success is happening and it's rational. So even in the worst day of the year, everybody knows that you're still winning. And I think that's pretty important. All right. Totally agree. So some key metrics, Mark, are there key metrics that you look at in, in, you know, take our audience that are all business owners, what, what are some key metrics that they should be looking at as far as the business? That's part one question. Part two is. Sharing that information with your team, right? There's always that hesitation of sharing [00:18:00] too much or not enough, or are they going to understand it or why should I share all, there's all these overthinking things of sharing metrics or sharing knowledge and operational knowledge. how do you go about all that? Mark Bradley: That's a, that's a big question for sure. And a good one. So first off, I, the first question was what metrics, And this one I get all the time. People ask me like, what metrics should I be measuring? And the truth is there's a lot of metrics in every business, but the key metrics are the ones to, to really focus on. And so I think if you get some key metrics and then you look at some supporting metrics it becomes a little bit more clear. So what are the key metrics? And so financial metrics. We need some people metrics. We need some sales metrics. We need some, [00:19:00] metrics related to customer experience. We need some metrics related to marketing analytics and whatnot as well. And so if you start to look and say, well, we've got metrics for each major portion of the business, what are the key ones? And then once we have the key ones, then we can kind of, you know, narrow in on some of those more defined. Supporting metrics separately. So key metrics for me, for financial health of the business, I want to know the growth rate of the business. Of course, I want to know the revenue. I always want to understand what the gross profit, the net profit, and then a key metric that I really believe in is revenue per hour, and so if I understand those basic metrics as my financial metrics, then it becomes really easy for me to look at expenses. On a more granular basis on key ratios in the [00:20:00] business. And some of those key ratios for me are the labor ratio, the material relate ratio, equipment, subcontractor and overhead ratios. And once I know those ratios and I know the gross profit, then it becomes much easier for pricing and for day to day. Job costing. And so once I've got those key financial metrics, then it's just a matter of trickling those down. And so for the frontline field staff, it's going to be taken right down to estimated versus actual hours, because that's all they can really control. They don't estimate the jobs. They just execute the job. So what we're doing is saying, here's your production goal for the, for the crew in revenue, and we're going to give you enough work to hit that revenue goal. Okay. And all you need to do is hit the numbers on estimated versus actual hours. And we're going to we're going to win together. And so we take the financial top line metrics [00:21:00] and create a key metric for every employee in the business. And in the case of the field staff, it would be estimated versus our for sales staff. It's going to be very different. It's going to be, you know, the proposed work volume and number of estimates and proposals they have out. Their close rate is going to be a key metric. And then the work that they've closed year to date, along with gross profit and revenue per hour. And again, so we've got a small number of metrics for every department that keep tying back to the company goals. Tommy Cole: And so we do the same thing for every department. And once everybody has a key metric in a company. Then everybody is aligned to those top line financial goals. And then we can really start to hammer in on, driving real improvement in each of those five areas that we've got goals that are all tied back to one financial plan. Wow. I love how you [00:22:00] started very broad, big picture, right? With this, with the sales. Finance and the people that you get very, very big on your key metrics. And then below that, you start the supporting key metrics and you start diving into a little more detailed items. That, that's, that's real good for our audience. 'cause I think we can get sidetracked of like, what are key metrics? It's just, it's, it's also, you know, a fancy word. But people don't, I don't necessarily understand what those are. At the end of the day, it's great to start high and kind of nose dive detailed into those into those small categories and find those work. Mark Bradley: a key thing there is I always like to say that there's key metrics, which are super important, but you have to also understand. What the key performance actions are that actually impact those metrics because metrics, they're telling us a result. But what we [00:23:00] really need to focus on is what key performance and we take to really drive improvement. And I think when you take the time to explain the key metrics to your staff, what you really need to do at the same time is explain. What the key performance actions are that can actually improve those results. And I think when you look at metrics in that way, then you can really drive change because everybody understands that we have key performance metrics to tell us what's happening or key performance indicators. Tommy Cole: But ultimately it's the actions that we take that change them. And if we're optimizing those actions all the time, then we start to actually use metrics the way that they're meant to be used. And so as a leader, I think it's most important to decide what the overarching metrics are. And then train the staff on what those key performance actions are that will actually get, that we're looking for when we make some changes. it. [00:24:00] I, those are who the metric is the stat or the, the, the, the, the slugging percentage, if you're a baseball player, right? That's the stat, right? But how do you deep dive into those action items to get your stats higher or better or improved? Right? That's great. Mark, I learned something new last year. These, these three little words. And I, last year when you mentioned it, I'm like, I don't know. I think he's crazy. Like, what is he talking about? And it took me a couple of times to understand it, but these three little words that I've heard over and over and over, and you mentioned it earlier, was revenue per hour. How to improve revenue per hour Tommy Cole: And as I said, take a step back and understand what that means to you and your element team that has developed this. It's fascinating and, and I use that in a lot in my coaching sessions with people, is that, that's [00:25:00] fascinating. Explain revenue per hour in your term so our audience will, will understand a little bit better and, and how to improve that. Mark Bradley: Yeah, so revenue per hour is a really important metric in every business because ultimately in the landscape business, we can only pay our staff a certain percentage. Of the revenue, and so that tends to be 25 to 30 percent of the revenue. So if you're producing 75 per hour, it's going to be really difficult for you to pay more than 20 to 25 per hour for your staff. And if you're making a 10 percent profit. Then you're making like 7. 50 per hour off of that employee. If you can find a way to increase that revenue per hour, let's say to 150 per hour, twice that number that I just mentioned, well, you've got a lot more money to pay [00:26:00] your employees both, you know, by the hour and their benefit packages and everything else. And you've got a lot more profit, twice the profit in fact, for every hour of work. But the best part is you also have a lot more overhead being recovered for every hour that you work. So you recover your overhead faster, you pay your staff more and you earn more profit when you increase the revenue that you produce with each hour worked. And so often that happens with estimating your work differently. It happens by selling more expensive materials on install jobs. On maintenance, it comes from actually finding a way to get more material embedded into the, the projects or more expensive services. And so oftentimes selling a lot of enhancements to [00:27:00] existing maintenance customers is a great way to increase the average revenue per hour. You know, some tasks are going to be low revenue per hour, but when you mix them with high revenue per hour, It makes a big difference. And so oftentimes, you know, it could be as simple as with on a maintenance account, trying to sell them mulch, trying to get their turf maintenance account, where there's some expensive fertilizer could be, going back out to all of your maintenance accounts and offering landscape lighting and sound systems. And when you actually end up blending. The revenue with really strong enhancement sales, the revenue per hour comes up significantly. And everybody's better off for it. The business recovers its overhead faster, makes more profit, and it can pay its employees more money. So I think it's a, it's a key metric that is highly overlooked quite often. Tommy Cole: And I think when you [00:28:00] don't look at revenue per hour enough, you end up Selling a lot of low revenue per hour work and not making time for the higher revenue per hour. And the business kind of, you know, bumps and skips along the way it is. But when I've seen people change that focus, it's incredible to see how their businesses change. Yeah, I, I would, I would totally agree. At the end of the day, you're providing a key service to your clients more than just mowing grass and. When you can provide additional services and higher revenue per hour you get to make more money and pay your team more. Apprenticeship Program and future of Landscaping industry Tommy Cole: Speaking of paying your team more you've been an advocate of paying frontline people more and this thing you call apprenticeship program, which I absolutely love and what you're doing, not, not just through [00:29:00] LMN and Greenius, although that, that has a big driving force, but you have some bigger goals, set to, to really make this industry, very well known and very powerful, no different than the electricians. Mark Bradley: And the plumbers and the HVAC industries out there to get landscape up to a higher level of platform. Explain what you're doing now and what the future holds with this landscape industry and this apprenticeship program that you love to talk about. Yeah, I mean, ultimately, I believe that our industry has been slow to adopt apprenticeship programs. We have, national associations in both Canada and the U. S. that have apprenticeship programs, have certifications. I think landscape business owners have been slow to adopt because there's not a lot of, mandatory regulation around apprenticeship. But I think that [00:30:00] what I've seen is the best companies, deploy apprenticeships as part of their business plan. And apprenticeships are a key tool in growing a highly skilled workforce because ultimately Apprenticeship means training for the trades. And what we're doing is we're providing training, an organized training platform for apprentices to come into the industry, learn a trade and become certified. And what that means for us as, as business owners is. We then have a pool of highly skilled people to do the work efficiently and with a high level of quality and a level of safety. And when we've got that type of a workforce, businesses can thrive in a few ways. Number one, we can afford to pay our staff a lot better wages because they know how to do the work and they do it right the first time and they do it safely. And they do it the way our [00:31:00] customers are expecting them to do it because they've been trained properly. And I think that's why apprentices, apprenticeships are, are so important first and foremost. But I also think as business owners. We attract growth minded people when we advertise for apprenticeships. We just don't attract the great people when we're advertising for laborers. Unfortunately, we, we attract people who have a low ceiling or low beliefs in themselves. And I think soon as we put that term apprenticeship on the job title with a sliding scale of wages that show them what the future can look like, we're going We attract better people. And so I think if you were to compare us to plumbers or carpenters or electricians, the, the, the difference is the people who apply to be an apprentice in one of those trades is, has a different mindset. They're looking for more out of life. And so, and they believe that they deserve [00:32:00] more. And so therefore they put more into their day to day work and learning so that they get more in the future. And I think as an industry. Once we adopt apprenticeships fully and we lose the laborer titles, I think what we're going to see is a much better workforce and much better companies and much, much better results for customers, higher wages higher efficiency, better quality, better customer service. Tommy Cole: And it doesn't necessarily mean higher costs. When you're better and more efficient, you can get better outcomes for everybody. Without necessarily driving the cost up. Yeah. it's much needed in our industry for sure. And if we have that mindset as a business owner, that that's what we need to produce. It, It fascinates me still to hear this day where like, if I, if these words come out of the owner's mouth or just, if I just find the right person. If I could just [00:33:00] hire that, that awesome, amazing crew leader, if I can just find that, and quite frankly, Mark, so you shaking your head, you're like more than likely those people are within your organization. One, they're, they're on your team. You just don't know it yet. And two, the law of attraction is states that I'm going to produce this business. that has good training, good quality people so that they are people from the outside are attracted to that sort of mindset and that growth and that want to do good mentality, right? I, I think an apprenticeship program, when you approach it as a business owner from that standpoint, standpoint that I bring really good people that may not have the skill set yet, but I can get them to the next level and you can have a good career. What is a career ladder and why is it improtant Tommy Cole: That's why I'm focused on this thing called career ladder, right? I think you've mentioned that in some of your talks, you know, the course of years, [00:34:00] talk about the goodness of a career ladder. Like when I, where am I going if I jump on this team as a crew member? Like, what does it mean? it's almost the blind leading the blind of not where, knowing where you got to go on this company. Mark Bradley: And I know you talk about this a lot. Can you explain some of that a little bit? Yeah, for sure. Career ladder, I think is, is a key component of growing people. And so I believe that we should all have goals to grow revenue and grow people. Because we can't grow revenue without growing people. And so the career ladder is the most important system that you have in the business, because the business can only grow. If you're growing people and the rate at which you grow people is a direct reflection of your leadership. And so when your business does not have the right people in it, that is a reflection of your leadership. When you don't have the right people, [00:35:00] that's because you are not the leader that attracts the right people yet. And so I think when you have a career ladder, that is one of many systems needed. To attract people in the sense that when they hear about your business and they get to your hiring website and they see a career ladder, they see progression. And as soon as they see progression, there's a career there. And that has to start with apprenticeships. I'll come into this company and I'll accept. That I'm going to make 60 percent of the trades rate in year one, but in year two, I'm going to make 70 percent in year three. I'm going to make 85 percent in year four. I'll make a hundred percent. And if I know what year four rate is, then I've also, I can see that my career is growing and I can see where I'm headed for wages. But then also, you know, what happens beyond that? What happens if I do become a [00:36:00] crew leader or a project manager? Or what if I move into sales or what if I move into a. Executive role in this company. And I think when you can really show that opportunity on a, on a career, board of some sort in your office, on your website, everywhere that your employees happen to look, then they know that the opportunity exists. Tommy Cole: But I think in most small businesses. The opportunity only exists in the owner's mind because others can't see it. so I think having clarity and really broadcasting your career opportunities, a completely different type of employee to your landscape company. Good stuff, Mark. So as we wrap this up, this has been a great, great series so far. Mark Bradley: Is there any one last bit, tidbit of information you want to leave our audience and we'll also get into another [00:37:00] episode too, what would be a followup after this, but one last bit of information or a takeaway that you can leave with us. Yeah, I mean, I, I really think that, focusing on creating a culture where there is a career development program. Where there are some clear goals and there is a really clear method to give feedback or to get feedback as an employee in your company. I think that's really ultimately the system or the process that many people are missing. Tommy Cole: And this is, you know, where you, where we set out earlier, you were asking what systems and processes are important. I think the overarching system and process that is missing for most businesses is. setting, key metrics, and a continuous feedback loop so that people understand what success looks like and how they're doing in the business day to day. Wow. I love how we just tied it all back [00:38:00] together. And, Sort of intentionally and unintentionally at the same time. That's great, you know, systems and processes, but the most important thing is goal setting, and taking care of your people having career paths and key performance indicators and metrics and action items. A whole bunch of wealth of knowledge, Mark. Once again, we'll have you on here again, very soon, because I know our audience is just feeding for more information from you. So we really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule and, and being on our show. Mark Bradley: All right. Thanks for having me. John: Ready to take the next step? Download our free Profitability Scorecard to quickly create your own baseline financial assessment and uncover the fastest ways to improve your business. Just go to McFarlinStanford.com/scorecard to get yours today To learn more about McFarlin Stanford our best in class peer groups and other services go to our website at McFarlinStanford.com And don't [00:39:00] forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. See you next time on the Roots of Success.