I’m Greg Herring, and I’ve been a business owner since I was 10 years old. Over the years, my work has evolved quite a bit from my first venture. Today I’m focused on helping business owners all over the world thrive and flourish because I believe that the core of any community is its businesses.
What does that look like?
The short version is that I install financial dashboards and operating systems that provide more margin for business owners in their work and their lives. See more on my key deliverables, below, for a more complete picture.
The Player-Coach Model
To help business owners grow their businesses while building margin for their passions in business and life, I combine the role of contractor (doing the work), consultant (providing an expert point of view from a CFO or COO perspective) and coach (encouraging owners to move forward in their goals and plans). In short, I don’t just coach or provide advice, I also get in the trenches and do the work.
A great example was my work with Alen Corporation, where a straightforward exercise in improving financial reporting turned into a long-term, part-time engagement that allowed me to build capability throughout Alen’s operations and processes, leading to growth and greater profitability. My work gave Alen’s owner and CEO the margin he needed to pursue his goals.
As a fourth generation business owner, you might say that building businesses is in my blood.
What is it like to work with me?
That’s a great question; one that I’ve spent more than 20 years answering for Herring Group clients and partners. If you’re a business owner/operator, I provide transformational results through:
Trust starts with personal integrity. Trust allows for honest conversations about hard topics. It creates an environment where accountability, support, and friendly competition are possible. It’s a key ingredient to the profitability I deliver.
Time. Space. Tranquility. These are all key to what I provide my partners and clients. As a business owner myself, I know how important it is for owners to own the business—and not the other way around. With that in mind, I am always looking for ways to help owners reclaim margin in their businesses and their lives.
My years with Price Waterhouse at the start of my career taught me to work smart and work hard. That legacy benefits all of my clients, and leads to descriptions like “organized & reliable” and “quick responses to concerns.”
Each of my engagements is a kind of treasure to me. I learn a bit more and get a chance to face challenges that help me add more value. A great example was my work with Alen Corporation. In addition, my time with The Browns Schools, gave me an incredible cross-section of experience, including M&A, financing, restructuring, and divestitures.
My experience is that no business or engagement is one-dimensional. They encompass multiple disciplines and concerns: business processes, operations, financial planning, and family legacy. Each of these concerns is crucial. I look at these concerns through the lenses of my multi-industry, multi-company experience and provide insight and direction for strategic decisions.
Why I do it
What Clients Have to Say
My original ask of him at the start of his 10-year engagement was to fix the financial reporting, which I assessed to be sub-par and inaccurate. When he quickly resolved this issue, I began asking him to take on more challenging and in-depth projects that were at the heart of our operational success. I require world-class operations, and Greg’s contributions gave me time and space to focus on my goals for Alen’s future.
Greg resolved many operational issues including manufacturing relationships, quality, and inventory management. He also developed and sourced new products, making a significant improvement in our product offering.
Finally, Greg left the company empowered, especially in the organization of finance, operations, product development, manufacturing relationships, and quality management. He left behind capable leaders and excellent processes that have given me a foundation on which to build. He’s a builder, and he helped me build Alen into a more valuable company.
I also appreciate his factual approach to doing business, as it has helped me focus in an impartial way. His deep understanding of how operations are connected to the business side brings a unique perspective to what he does. He relates to the challenges between operational and business processes, and is able to leave emotion out of the equation.
Beyond his experience in business and finance, Greg’s operational background makes a huge difference to his approach. Offering an interdisciplinary process in areas such as family politics, finance and human resources, he brings a unique perspective to everything he does. Greg’s ability to provide clarity, take operations to the next level and offer quick responses to concerns has provided a clear path to profitable growth for our business.
I’ve continued to use them because they’re effective and practical. I really like how Greg is in the trenches with us, doing the hard work to help me transform the processes in my company. His perspective, especially the insight he brings from outside the landscape industry, has been a huge plus, and so has his specific, on-point data analysis. He’s helped me build systems and reports that get my messages and my priorities out to my team.
On the whole, working with the Herring Group has brought me far more value than I expected, and Greg is the best consultant I’ve ever hired.
- Financial dashboard with key metrics for managing and controlling the business
- An operating system of meetings, reports and required decisions summarized in an annual calendar
- Clear understanding of optimal profitability (operating income divided by revenue) and the implications for sales strategy
- Clear understanding of the drivers of profitability and the implications for strategic planning
- Profitability of each significant division or product/service line and the implications for business strategy
- Clear understanding of the behavior of costs over time and the implications for growth
The Herring Group
The Herring Group brings CFO and COO services, perspectives and strategies to companies who need that expertise occasionally or part-time. In addition, The Herring Group compiles an Annual Peer Benchmarking Report for landscape companies to help them “know the score” and see where they are winning and losing.