Review of business coaching

From Cam Polsen,
CPE Landscaping

CPE- landscaping logo
Photo of CPE Landscaping MD Cameron Polsen with his business coach
CPE- landscaping logo
Photo of CPE Landscaping MD Cameron Polsen with his business coach

I’m Cam Polsen, and my business is CPE Landscaping. We’ve been operating for 20 years, and we specialise in commercial landscape construction, particularly for large schools, local government open spaces, and private facilities such as aged care and correctional centres.

I’d tried coaching before with someone else

To be honest, I’d had coaching before but it didn’t really deliver. I originally got a coach because I was stressed about the business; landscaping is hard and the projects we do are large scale with tight margins.

That coach was a good person but they just kept talking about scaling back my time in the business so I’d be less stressed. What I actually needed was to improve our profit and get practical advice to make changes on our sites and in our management. Coaching wasn’t working so I stopped and just kept doing what I’d always done.

We were going ok. But just OK. It was always a bit stressful; we were winning good jobs and running multiple sites but we were always having to juggle money and stressing about paying bills. After all our efforts we’d only see minor profit. I didn’t feel in control.

We knew we could do better

My general manager, Geoff, was getting frustrated because he knew we could be doing better. But we’re tradesmen, not businessmen – you only know what you know.

One of our supply partners told Geoff about his business coach, so Geoff sussed it out. I was worried that it was going to be similar scenario to the coaching I’d done previously.

Business coaching session with landscape construction business CPE Landscaping

Straight away we knew Tenfold were a cut above

Geoff called Tenfold and he could tell that these guys were different. The quality of the questions they asked about job profitability and billable hours and managing cash flow when you’re carrying big retentions. In that first call, they showed that they know our industry.

We met with their business coach, Lee, and he talked about specific aspects of the business we’d work on to improve profit and cash flow. In that first meeting I thought, “This is what I wanted all along.”

That was in March 2022 and we’ve been with Tenfold since. In that time our business has transformed.

The proof is in the numbers

In the first year of business coaching our revenue increased 26%, gross profit increased 36% and net profit doubled then doubled again. We’ve kept the same team size and our efficiency has increased by 50%.

I’m still blown away. I took a lot of work but Lee had a very clear plan. He showed us our Speed To Results plan and directed us, and we kept implementing.

Your bank account shows the results so you know it’s worth it.

Graph showing the uplift in results for CPE Landscaping with business coaching

I’m in control and the stress is gone

Lee has certain way of making the complex simple. He knows what to focus your effort and attention on to get the results the business needs. It’s all very practical and we could see the margins improving every week. He holds everyone accountable. Every little bit adds up.
I have a better handle now on everything: financial, planning, organisational, team management.

Business coaching has given us the leadership skills we always needed

We have a large team of around 40 people in different roles and levels. Lee mentors us on how to get the most out of them and retain them. If we’re going to have a meeting with a site crew or a difficult individual, he helps us design the meeting, predict what’s going to come up, and he gives us the questions to have a productive conversation. It’s changed our leadership completely.

Coaching is customised for our business and for us as operators

Tenfold is different from other business coaches and mentors. Our coach isn’t following a book and he’s not making it up on the way. He works with the person. With us, he broke down our numbers and worked on each section and showed us how to pull the info we need for our specific business.

I can see us working with Tenfold for a long time. Even though we’ve already had massive improvement I know there’s even more we can do. After that, Lee will work with us on the big picture.

Even if you’d had coaching before, give Tenfold a go

I know from my own experience that there are lots of different types of coaches out there. Even if you’ve tried coaching before, it’s worth talking to Tenfold. If you think your business could be better but you don’t know how, they do.