As any member of the green industry will tell you, burnout is one of the most costly obstacles – it is also the most common. Running a small business, especially in the landscape industry, requires long hours, physical labor, and significant amounts of client and employee management. All of these factors can contribute to serious levels of mental and physical exhaustion, which can eventually lead to landscape business owner burnout.
Burnout is not something to be overlooked. According to the Harvard Business Review, workplace stress contributes to nearly $190 billion in healthcare costs and almost 120,000 deaths each year.¹ In a recent Deloitte survey, 77% of their 1000 respondents said that they had experienced burnout in their current job, and 91% said that unmanageable stress or frustration that resulted from burnout and other circumstances affected the quality of their work.² As a landscape business owner, you cannot afford the cost of burnout for yourself or your employees.
Fortunately, burnout is not an inevitability. With the right policies, routines and infrastructure in place, you and your crew can optimize your performance. To help you avoid and overcome the challenges of business owner burnout, the LMN team has reached out to some of the most trusted landscape business owners and landscape influencers for their advice. Below are some of their tips to avoid burnout for landscape business owners.
Stanley ‘Dirt Monkey’ Genadek
Working in landscaping is a marathon and not a sprint. Oftentimes landscapers will get a lot more work than they can easily handle. And instead of pacing themselves, they push themselves. They work extra hours, nights, and weekends, sometimes taking on multiple people's responsibilities instead of delegating.
The best way to battle fatigue is to create strict hours of operation; respect them, and stick to them.³ Reserve time for yourself, which will be crucial if you're going to have a successful long-term business. Set times that you are available for both your crew and customers. And once the shift is over, don’t answer your phone for business-related calls. Let it go to voicemail and return the call during your next shift. That means don’t answer the phone if it’s after hours – unless, of course, you’re on an emergency call. Make sure you let the crew know when it’s good to contact you. Enforce that. This goes the same for customers as well.
Blake From B&B Lawn Care
Keep your goals visible and look at them every day.⁴ Remind yourself daily that you are trying to make small wins to achieve your overall main goal. You are not judged on what you did last week; you are judged on what you do today. Set days off to spend with your family or to enjoy your hobbies. Why did you start your business in the first place? What do you like about your business? Make a small change that reignites that spark.
Brittany From Auman Landscape LLC
Schedule time off and force yourself to actually take it.⁵ Find a monthly hobby that you can do and make sure you take Sundays off. To help with business owner burnout, delegate tasks that aren’t your specialty or aren’t the best use of your time. Don’t overcommit yourself and schedule work appropriately. Don’t take on jobs that you don’t want, and don’t do work you aren’t passionate about.
The Spencers From Spencer Lawn Care LLC
Don't try and tackle all of your jobs and problems at once.⁶ Take it one day at a time, one job at a time, and before you know it, all those small accomplishments will add up to big results. Don't be afraid to take a break or ask for help. Keep it light, and don't be afraid to have fun doing what you're doing!
Eric Jones From Turf Teacher
I like to avoid burnout by simply sketching in my sketchbook. I carry one with me everywhere I go. I love landscape architecture, and something so simple as drawing relieves my stress and helps me avoid burnout. Some of my colleagues laugh at this, but it is what works for me.
We are business owners, which means we overwork the left side of our brain, so I like to give it a break and work the right side – our creative one.⁷ I tell everyone, especially my students, "just draw." It works, and it is a peaceful moment that I need and enjoy. If you're not into drawing, pick up an instrument, sing, or do something creative. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
One of the most significant stressors for any landscape business owner is time management. That is because organizing payroll hours, tracking job progress, and managing invoices are all time-intensive. These tasks can be overwhelming for growing landscape businesses with limited staff members.
Fortunately, with LMN Time, you can automate many of these processes and even manage them from your smartphone. Employees can remotely report job progress in real-time, and services and materials can be tracked more easily. Reduce your stressors and avoid landscape business burnout by downloading LMN's time tracking app.
If you are unsure about how LMN’s suite of landscape business management apps can help you, download LMN Free today. Try it out for yourself for FREE!
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