🌷🐛🌲The landscape business might not be the first place you’d think to find a #GirlBoss, unless you’re looking for Janna Bradley. She’s the Co-Founder + Chief Operating Officer at LMN, a business management software company.
Janna Bradley is the female brain behind two homegrown landscape industry businesses started from the ground up. We caught up with this Canada-based female disruptor in between her biking and reading the Harvard Business Review. On any given day you can find Janna sharing her business passion with landscape business owners ready to scale and grow.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was running a successful landscape company (TBG) in Toronto, Canada and we had a need for business management software that addressed our challenges, in the field and in the office. We were looking for software that would automate processes like estimating, scheduling work, tracking crew time and more. There was nothing on the market so we decided to build a solution ourselves. We ended up sharing it with the industry and they embraced it. Ten years later and the LMN platform has grown to become the #1 business management software for the landscape industry.
When did the entrepreneur light bulb go off? 💡
My parents tell me I was quite independent at a very young age. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology and took a horticulture program through Landscape Ontario. Despite my husband Mark and I both having high paying jobs, we didn’t feel challenged professionally and were growing tired of the 9 to 5 grind. We both loved the outdoors and started TBG part-time while continuing to work full-time. Six months into the business and we decided to quit our corporate jobs. Our parents thought we were insane! But we were happy, satisfied and the business grew bigger than we ever imagined. We had grown a small residential design/build landscape business to $50M in annual sales and a team of 200.
After managing both TBG and LMN for a few years, we decided to transition out TBG and focus on LMN full-time.
What advice would you give other women wanting to start a biz?
Honestly, just go for it!
How do you bring goodness to the world?
I have always loved volunteering and giving back to our community. We wanted to do something big that aligned with our family’s love of the outdoors. Three years ago, we co-founded the Durham Shredders, a mountain biking club, in our community of Durham Region, Ontario with a mandate to get kids on bikes and teach them valuable technical skills and personal development like team building, an appreciation for nature and confidence. Today we have 750 families, 40 coaches and some amazing riders competing in national events. We love it!
I also have to say that knowing our software is helping landscapers build better businesses and take back their lives is its own reward.
None of us can achieve success without some adversity along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There really isn’t one person. I feel like I have several mentors in different areas of my life that I draw from depending on what I need, from business advice and leadership to wellness and parenting. I truly believe ‘it takes a village’.
Janna Bradley’s “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why?
- Surround yourself with people who have the skills that you don’t. It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses early on. You can’t do it all so it’s certainly more effective to outsource to those who have the strengths you don’t, whether it’s hiring a team or building a board of directors for your company.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. I wouldn’t be where I am today without taking those leaps of faith throughout my career. If you believe in yourself, there’s nothing stopping you.
- Recognize work/life balance early on as this will also translate to how you lead. Most people work to live and your business is their means to that end. If you want committed employees, you will need to respect their lives outside of work. It can be as simple as asking about their families or being compassionate when a family member is ill. Flexibility over foosball tables.
- Always be learning. This one’s pretty simple. Personal development is the key to professional growth. Always be working on you: mind, body, and soul.
- Be appreciative of the experiences that are brought to you, good and bad. Some of the world’s most successful people have a gratitude mindset. Your darkest days hold lessons you can be grateful for.
Favorite “Life Lesson Quote” ✒️
“No experience is ever wasted. Everything has meaning.”
I’m a firm believer that each life experience prepares you for the next step in your journey. Personal growth comes from being aware of these experiences; recognizing the good and the bad in each, and making a commitment to learning from them.
Secret Talent? 💃🏼
Our landscape company provided snow and ice removal services in the winter months. I became quite a proficient snowplow driver and actually beat the guys in a snowplowing contest. I took home the trophy as the driver who effectively plowed a certain lot the fastest. I’ll always be proud of that moment!
Each morning I read daily tidbits from women in business blogs plus the Harvard Business Review and the daily news.
Favorite Drink Order? ☕️
A glass of cold water is just so refreshing, or the perfect Caesar (Our American audience may not have heard of this Canadian classic. Imagine a Bloody Mary made with clam juice-infused tomato juice, so yummy!).
Janna Bradley Favorite Instagram Account?
View this post on Instagram
The account follows one of ten brothers who started the landscape franchise, Grounds Guys. Peter Van Stralen and his family have been living off the grid and traveling the world since 2015. I enjoy following their adventures and admire their commitment to giving back, following a philosophy of #workplaycare. We were pleased to have Peter speak at the LMN Leader’s Summit in Orlando.
My phone and the 100s of apps on it. I wouldn’t know what to do without the 6 merged Google calendars I have on my phone.
Favorite Way to Decompress?
Definitely being outdoors!
Women You Admire?
I admire the women in the landscape industry collectively. It’s such a tight industry and those who are in the industry are there because they really want to be, from the women who own businesses to those working in the office and in the field. They really are passionate about what they do and are committed to supporting other women in the industry.
What are you excited about for this year?
Fall 2019 will be an exciting time for LMN members as we’re launching an updated version of our popular LMN Time app! The app automates the tracking of crew hours, eliminating outdated and ineffective punch clocks and paper timesheets. With LMN Time, owners can access job progress and reporting in real-time to produce accurate invoices, fast. The update will streamline the user experience and add some of the key features our users have been asking for.
About Female Disruptors
Female Disruptors is a passion project by Lisa Buyer, designed to spotlight women who are disruptors in their space. You don’t need a bestselling book to be a female disruptor—you need passion, vision, focus, compassion, determination and a burning desire to share this with the world.
Spark your ambition with more inspirational stories of women breaking down barriers: