What does it take to make best-run company? Follow along as we uncover the secrets of a well-run landscape company through a series of company profiles and best practices. 

Like many others, Mark Borst, owner of Borst Landscape & Design in Allendale, New Jersey, got his start by mowing neighbor’s lawns. Finding it was a passion, he ultimately pursued a degree in landscape architecture while simultaneously launching his own business. Throughout the company’s growth, Borst says he has been focused on company culture — the tone of which he says is set by the owner but continuously cultivated by top management staff.

“It’s not a one-time thing,” Borst says. “You must constantly be keeping an eye on your culture. Part of that is setting goals and being clear on what they are — and then keeping everyone updated as to where things stand. Everything must be measured. By failing to do so, how can employees even know where things stand? And how can you know whether you’re successful?”

Borst makes a point to treat his employees well with things like competitive pay, vacation and holiday time, uniforms, and the opportunity to take part in health care and 401k benefits. Borst says the effort is all about making it feel like “more than just a job.” He wants employees to think of it as more of a long-term career opportunity. That’s also why he makes a point not to work people so hard that they come to dislike the work, providing “work/life balance.”

Unlike some other industries, Borst says that one unique thing about landscaping is the fact that your “lowest paid employee is your frontline employee.” They’re the ones that clients see all the time. If they’re not treating your clients well, that’s a direct reflection on your company. Borst believes strongly that you treat your people well and they will treat your clients well.

Borst has also been actively involved in his community. He sits on the zoning board and keeps up with ongoing needs of the town.

“I stay involved in making the community I live and work in a better place,” Borst says. “We often do donation or reduce-cost landscaping for the town. That helps keep our name out there in a positive way.”

While even the best companies will admit they “always have room for growth,” there are definitely some businesses in the green industry that are already employing many of the practices industry professionals say epitomize a best-run company. Follow along as we uncover the secrets of a well-run landscape company through a series of company profiles and best practices.

Read more: