According to Forbes in a recently published article titled “How to Build a Company You Can Sell,” there are five things that made D. Foley Landscape of Walpole, Massachusetts attractive for purchase by The Brickman Group in 2009. While seven years ago may seem like ancient history to some of you, if you’re interested in building a company that may, someday, fund your comfortable retirement, check out a condensed version of what made D. Foley Landscape so appealing:

  • Clean, up-to-the-minute financial statements
  • Proven and repeatable systems
  • A company that operated with little wasted motion or resources and that practiced continuous improvement
  • A company with best practices that could be merged into Brickman’s existing operations
  • Employees who had learned to think and work like business owners

Dan Foley founded D. Foley Landscape in 1987 while he was at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. As the founder of the company located about 17 miles south of Boston, Foley became active in the then-Associated Landscape Contractors of America, now the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

Step by step, Foley grew his business by associating with other successful contractors in professional organizations. He also sought help and learned from knowledgeable business consultants. Eventually, relying on “open book” management (an ongoing “work in progress,” he admitted on several occasions) and then embracing lean systems, his company became one of the industry leaders in the market between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

After closing the sale of D. Foley Landscape and his related company, CampusCare, to Brickman in July 2009, Foley stayed on with the company for a few years before becoming Brickman’s vice president and general manager for New England. He has since left the landscape industry and does coaching and management consulting.

Look for more information on preparing your company for sale or succession in our January 2017 issue of Turf. Not a subscriber? Sign up to receive your free issue today.