When we mention: “we’re investors, investing in landscaping companies (to help them grow)” people’s first question is: “How? How do you invest in Landscaping companies?”
While it is all far more detailed than what is covered below, here’s a quick answer to explain Blade Partners’ approach to “investment” in landscaping companies.
1) Outright Acquisition – we’ll buy your company! - an approach that is often most suitable to guys who’ve been at it 20-to-30 years and are looking to cash-out, please know: we will acquire your landscaping firm. This approach provides owners with an exit path to reward them for their decades of dedication. These deals tend to have a component of cash up front, with many owners preferring to stay-on in the business through the transition to round-out their earning potential.
2) Partnering for Growth – owners of younger companies (those with less than 5 years) tend to want to stay with the development of their entrepreneurial dream. These owners, having some experience under their belt, realize that getting to the next stage requires investment in: equipment, staff, and business processes. Owners who are building their business see the bigger potential, but realize that more customers, more services, and greater efficiencies are all possible with growth. However, they know that growth takes investment. Thus, for owners of younger firms, we offer a partnership model that provides economies of scale as they roll-together under the larger umbrella of Blade Partners - meanwhile protecting their personal brand and benefits of ownership, for which they got in the business in the first place.
3) iOK Shared Service – through our shared services we “invest” in landscaping companies by providing them access to the services that optimize their operations. Here we’re talking about everything from: customer service (handling of email and phone administration), bidding & estimating, billing, and vendor management. Many times, landscapers get in it for the outdoor work, but are soon confronted by the burden of backend administration. They often get hit with long hours managing paperwork and missed opportunities hidden behind emails and phone calls which receive no response.
The iOK Shared Services from Blade Partners are available to our portfolio companies to provide them with the systems and processes which are the hallmark of professionally managed firms. This investment creates efficiencies and improves processes and customer services which in-turn lead to happier employees, delighted customers, and owners with a growing sense of pride, more value in their equity, and more personal time-freedom.
Unfortunately, there are some owners who “don’t want to grow”. They say they have: “too much business”. They often use shortage of employees as the excuse as to why they can’t or don’t want to take on more business. These are companies who don’t want help and there is not much we can do for them.
We know there are ways to improve operations, making employees happier and more engaged with work. Better systems lead to better management which leads to growth. In many senses the path is straightforward. Unfortunately, some only see the bumps in the road and are closed-minded to the idea of a brighter world. If you’re reading this far, that is NOT you!
Working together we know owners can elevate from working “IN” the business and move to working “ON” the business and eventually “ABOVE” the business - as a silent owner.
Open, growth-minded owners know this vision is possible. We love to work with proactive, positively motivated owners. If that is you, let us know!