What would Mike Rorie Do? Great but long!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Team-Green L&L, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    After the tremendous acquisition of Groundmasters, Cincinnati by Brickman Inc. I got to thinking about us as a small business and "What would Mike Rorie do?

    I stumbled upon an issue of Lawn & Landscape Mag in a box from 1999 that features an article called "Building a Business" about the growth and success of Groundmasters.

    Here's the inspirational part: Groundmasters was founded in 1979 by Mike, without any previous background in the green industry. In 1980, Gary Kuykendall joined him. "We had no experience, no knowledge, no business plan or any of those things. I think we had gross sales of $38,000 doing whatever we could do the first year together." "We did about $100,000 the next year and $250,000 in 1982".

    From then on it was

    $500K in 1985
    $1 mil. in 1988
    $2 mil. in 1992
    $3 mil in 1995
    $5 mil in 1998

    Now, how did that happen? Here are a few excerpts from the article:

    "We saw the beginning of the suburban commercial developing and decided we wanting to be working on bigger jobs."

    "...we knew that would mean we were only competing with companies that could do that work, instead of going for jobs the neighbors kid can do."

    "There's obviously a higher entry level to commercial work because of the costs for the trucks, the mowers, the staff, the facility and everything else to handle the larger property work. That pushes the bar higher for other companies to compete for this business, and that's something that we're trying to do continuously in our market."

    This article is amazing. I will try to post a link is I can find one and I will keep adding to this thread.
     
  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    good stuff, keep it com'n!
     
  3. CMLawnCare

    CMLawnCare LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 32

    What month was that article in
     
  4. MidwestMow

    MidwestMow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Here is the link to the article, You're right, it is long, its 5 parts:
    http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/articles/article.asp?ID=647&CatID=&SubCatID=/
    http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/articles/article.asp?ID=646&CatID=&SubCatID=/
    http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/articles/article.asp?ID=644&CatID=&SubCatID=/
    http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/articles/article.asp?ID=648&CatID=&SubCatID=/
    http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/articles/article.asp?ID=645&CatID=&SubCatID=/
     
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I want to know what he is doing now and how he is taking the recent acquisition of his new parent company. Can anyone get Mike on line for a Chat? Sean you need a producer like radio stations to get guests to come on and talk biz with us small fries.
     
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    You've got to be kidding? Mike just sold Groundmasters to Brickman for $25 mil. and is taking a vacation. He started Groundmasters directly behind my house and I watched his development from conception. What an amazing man!
     
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Typically when this type of a transaction occurs the previous owner does not just throw the new owner the keys and say see ya. They continue as part of the organization at the very least for a transition period. As I understand Brickmans was also just bought so I would imagine there is quite a bit of turmoil.

    I was involved in a similar scenario just before I started my company. There was a roll up of several large companies across the country to form Landcare USA. This seemed to be what my owners wanted and they were well compensated but then just shortly after that Landcare was bought by Tru Green and became the monster we all like to pile on. That did'nt go over so well with my owner and unfortunately he was bound by a contract for a period of years. As soon as his contract was up he went out and started all over again.

    To grow a business to the size of Groundmaster it is more than a financial endeavor. It is just like a child you raise, to give up something you have created out of you mind and years of hard work. Then you sell it to a similar company and expect things will go on as you had planned then a bigger company comes along and buys out that company now your plans are at best in transition. That is not easy for a man who has been in complete control for 25 years. I bet he wishes he was on vacation or at the very least in a bad dream.

    Since he is your neighbor why don't you pop on over and ask him to come on line and fill us in on how things are going. He is just a man with a plan that stuck to it and had some luck along the way. I 'm sure he would not agree with the amazing part. I have heard him speak at one of Grunders boot camps seems like a normal guy.
     
  8. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    Being reading up on him and his business. It really is amazing! My wife likes the idea of selling in 24 years for $25m! I like his views on taking the horticutral aspect out of running a business and run it as just that, a business. Run it like a business no matter what industry you are in.
     
  9. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Mike is down-to-earth, but I don't think I will be seeing him again soon. I haven't seen him since they moved their offices to another part of town. If I run into him I'll mention LS to him, but we're not "buddies" or anything. I see him at seminars and stuff now here and there.

    The trucks still bear the name "Groundmaster" and the transistion has been slow (if any) to bear Brickman's logos. The website is still active, and the uniforms are still the same. The only thing that has changed, as of right now, is ownership.
     
  10. martinslandscaping

    martinslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    hey I can help out here, the trucks are not going to change there name in Cincinnati for another year, they have done this in Columbus Branch, I know Mike and Gary and upper the mangers pretty good, Mike is going to still work as a VP of opperations. They carry a very high standerd and this is why there are where they are today.

    Martins Landscaping
     

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