Stream Audio "Damn COVID is Kicking Some Butt…(while a few landscapers get wealthy)"

by Tony Bass

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I’ve intentionally avoided talking about the obvious pain in the rear end since I published A Landscaper’s Response to COVID-19 dated March 15, 2020.

The entire subject matter makes my blood boil. If you want to study how I feel about it, you can read my open letter from March. My views and opinions have not changed.

My company has not closed a single day…and I hope we are never forced to close by the government…. like many of my brothers in business.

I’m proud to report zero layoffs and zero cases of COVID in my company. We are blessed to report the highest gross sales in our company history. Frankly…business has NEVER been better.

I hope you are enjoying similar results.

But it’s clear…not everyone is increasing their wealth in 2020.

True story. I took a tongue lashing via email from a handful of liberal fear-buyers back in March after my letter was published. But that’s ok.

I have just as much right to share my experience and my business strategies as the next guy or gal. And…after 32 years as a job creator…I’ve developed thicker skin than most.

However, an email reply this week from a young landscape business owner really got my attention. Let me explain. This story will help you see how a few landscapers are getting WEALTHY in 2020.

This young man had first contacted my company in 2016. We have been following up with him ever since.

Then in June of 2020, he requested updated quotes… indicating he was ready to expand his company. So, we reinvigorated our follow-up, after providing the requested information. Less than 30 days later…he seems offended by my consistent follow-up.

Here’s an excerpt of the email I received:

Well Tony, I’m starting to wonder if you realize what is currently going on in this country and in the last two weeks I’ve lost half my employees and 40 percent of my customer base in a small market to begin with. Take me off the mailing list… if you are really here to help people, maybe stop focusing on just your agenda. Thanks in advance. Eric.

Think about it…if you lose 40% of your customers and ½ of your employees in two weeks…I’m betting you’d be pretty stressed out too.

But here’s what the young landscaper named Eric doesn’t know.

I lost 40% of my lawn service clients within a 30-day period in the spring of 1991. It was Gulf War round 1…and my first opportunity to learn about business during a recession.

I can still remember the fear, the loneliness, the uncertainty, and the anger I experienced when my butt was kicked by outside forces. I felt paralyzed…broken…and distinctly remember crying myself to sleep worried about my situation.

But after a day or two of my self-imposed pity-party, I woke up and went back to work. I knew I had to move forward…somehow…someway…I needed to replace those lost accounts. I didn’t want to give-up on my 5-year old lawn company.

I was 27 years old. Homeless (renting a bedroom from a friend)…divorced…financially embarrassed…my only assets included used landscaping equipment…and most importantly…a small customer base that continued to pay me for lawn services.

Here’s what I did. (It’s exactly what Eric, the young landscaper, needs to do.)

I started over.

I became a student of business and direct response marketing.

I began to invest in my education, and build my power-team of advisors…I finally realized I couldn’t figure everything out on my own.

Within the next 30 days, I would replace the lost accounts with new, high-paying accounts using direct response marketing. (And I could teach Eric how to do the same thing.)

I learned some valuable lessons in my first recession, like this.

There’s a healthy amount of people who have MONEY…even in a bad economy. I just had to connect with them and share my company story.

One well-planned marketing message started my turn-around.

Next…I needed more money. I had learned first-hand that living from paycheck to paycheck was no fun… in fact it was down-right haunting…the stress never escaped my mind. So, I searched for a teacher…and found the best available.

In a two-day business class, I was taught that I really didn’t understand my cost of doing business.

I had underestimated the cost of hiring labor, providing benefits, and the money required to train my workers. Further, I didn’t have a clue the true cost of wasted time.

Our field productivity was inconsistent. The old equipment was constantly breaking down. My employees would get frustrated. They hated this part of their job and it showed. Poor workmanship is like a slow growing cancer, eating away the healthy part of the body.

I had to face one of the toughest decisions in my history…

I learned that I MUST raise my prices.

Yes…even when things seemed hopeless inside my company and outside in a dreadful economy, I had to raise my prices.

My survival was at stake. (Just like young Eric’s survival is at stake today.)

So…with much fear and worry…I raised my prices.

To my surprise…95% of my customers gladly accepted. Only a handful left. And several of those who left were slow-paying pains-in-my-ass anyway. It was a win-win.

During my first recession, I was able to accelerate my business growth, ramp-up profits, and prioritize my efforts on the highest-paying business activities.

Turns out, mowing, riding the skid loader, and running errands were not the highest paying activities in my company. So those jobs were delegated to employees willing to work for under $25/hour.

So, here’s what I have to say to Eric and any lawn and landscape business owner who is struggling to make it during the recessionary pandemic of 2020…

Your financial future is directly tied to quality of your thinking.

 And your thinking is tied to what you read, watch, listen to, and practice in your daily routine.

This damn COVID don’t seem to be going away if you watch the news. So, stop watching that poison. Invest in yourself. Build your power team of teachers.

Personally, I’m not buying into the doom and gloom being pandered by the media. Nope!


I’m not going to stop communicating with my clients and sit in an airtight bunker.

Nor will I hide behind a mask acting as if I fear human beings.

My agenda is simple.

My purpose in business is to create and keep clients. Period.

I accomplish this by following and teaching the Wealthy Landscaper Formula: 

1) Price Right,

2) Keep Promises, and

3) Create Clients.

You can do this too.

Focus on what you can control.

  • How you spend your time…
  • Where you place your attention…
  • Who you hang out with…
  • Where you want to go in your future..

I’m standing by to help you along your road to wealth.

Stay Energized,

Tony Bass, founder


PS – If you are ready to grow your business, improve profits, or just make sure you are doing things right, we’d like to help. Here are three ways we can help you become the Wealthy Landscaper in your market.

  • Take the Wealthy Landscaper Productivity Challenge – FREE TRAINING VIDEO and PDF download
  • Want to add high-paying customers each and every month of the year? Get the 3-Part Client Attraction Training Program. Get Instant Access to the Digital Training Program –
  • Build your financial plan and learn how to Price Right. Attend the highly acclaimed Profit Builder Training Program – Limit of 12 non-competing business owners plus one guest per company – Learn more at