July 24, 2024

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Business Life

Chick-fil-A drive-thru propels engineer’s landscaping business

Ian MacLean didn’t intend to preside over a landscaping organization that would be celebrating two many years in business enterprise this 12 months. 

“God acquired us by means of a large amount of difficulties to get to 20 a long time, and defeat all the figures that you listen to compact corporations have to confront,” he explained. 

MacLean, 42, is possible one particular of the few landscape small business homeowners with a diploma in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering.

Aviation operates in the loved ones. MacLean’s father, John, experienced labored for American Airways, so no one particular was surprised when MacLean attended the University of North Dakota to go after a job in aviation.

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Then 9/11 transpired. His aviation-connected diploma misplaced its luster as pilots ended up laid off by the countless numbers and the airline sector retrenched in the wake of tragedy. 

MacLean returned house to Southlake, and the initially work opportunities he found ended up in landscaping, an business he had labored in growing up. 

Sensing a organization chance – MacLean notes he had a small in entrepreneurship – he started Highland Landscaping 20 several years ago with 3 section-time staff. The business has developed to consist of 45 personnel and a lot of sub-contractors. His father, John, and brother, Jason, also are closely concerned in the company, and he puts his 3 small children to operate when they are off for the summer or on a break. 

“As most entrepreneurs do, I was tremendous fingers-on early on,” said MacLean. “I was executing the irrigation operate. I was planting the trees, shifting the boulders, operating the machines, and conference with the customers, and coming up with proposals, tips, and styles.” 

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However, as the small enterprise mainly labored modest residential careers, it constructed a track record for thoroughness and a flair for design and style. That popularity led to a smaller work that proved to be a breakthrough. 

Highland Landscaping was hired to landscape a miniature botanical back garden at the Chick-fil-A on Southlake Boulevard. The design bundled seasonal foliage and bouquets that were being switched out as the seasons altered. 

“We were being just starting off to employ folks to do individuals work we were all undertaking at the beginning,” explained MacLean. 

The Chick-fil-A franchisee at the time, Mark Guilbert named MacLean and prompt he submit a compact indication in the back garden with the company’s identify and get in touch with details. 

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“I did not locate this out until eventually several years afterwards, but apparently we were being keeping up the generate-thru line because individuals were being seeking to know who did the landscaping,” explained MacLean. 

The inadvertent marketing labored. 

“Our telephone begun ringing off the hook with men and women contacting us from the generate-thru,” he mentioned. “That was a major stepping stone for us.” 

That modest indicator also led to a agreement with the city of Southlake to decide on to landscape 4 roundabout intersections, a big task for the Hilton in Southlake Town Sq., the Brian R. Stebbins Park in Town Sq., and a flurry of major household and professional assignments.

When the Chick-fil-A manager still left to become CEO of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce, he persuaded a reluctant MacLean to join the organization, also. 

MacLean began observing the influence of becoming in the chamber had on his business enterprise and started off to get other smaller small business owners associated, way too. The chamber then approached MacLean in 2010 to be a part of the committee that ran the organization’s Oktoberfest, a fundraiser for the chamber. He went on to chair the committee in 2012. 

MacLean states it was not much of an Oktoberfest with attendance of about 25,000. 

“It was just a regular road fest, a avenue competition,” he said. 

MacLean employed a new management company to focus on placing on a much more authentic pageant with German beer and foods. Organizers also added a few levels with live songs and introduced in some German entertainment. 

“We also seemed at how to lover far better with enterprises, specially the companies that are involved in this celebration,” he explained. 

The Southlake Oktoberfest has developed to be an event with an attendance of around 100,000 and named one particular of the top Okctoberfests in Texas and No. 4 in the U.S

To incorporate to the authenticity, Southlake Chamber’s Oktoberfest has formed a partnership with Altstadt Brewery, a Fredericksburg-based brewery that utilizes common German brewing practices. 

“They acquired included initially about two years in the past, but they wanted to boost their involvement,” mentioned MacLean. 

The Octoberfest now has a few phases with live tunes, about 30 meals suppliers, 700 volunteers and participation from extra than 300 companies. 

“Between the chamber staff, the excellent committee we have developed and considerable blessings, we’ve developed the function into a behemoth,” said MacLean. 

MacLean does not have a German heritage, but he and his spouse and children are  included in their Scottish ancestry. 

That is the rationale his enterprise is named Highland, as the MacLeans originate from the Highlands in the Western Isles of Scotland. The Highland symbol is the MacLean clan tartan. 

“You’ll see the MacLean men wearing our kilts, and my brother Jason and I used to contend in the Highland Games,” MacLean stated. 

Anybody who has observed the film, “Entrapment” with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones has observed a bit of the MacLean heritage. 

“That’s the MacLean Duart Castle they stay in throughout the movie,” he explained. “It’s where they keep the world MacLean collecting each number of several years, and we’ve designed the trek many occasions.” 

There is another connection to the movie, just one Sean Connery. Connery’s mother’s maiden name is a MacLean. 

Fletcher Consulting president John Fletcher recalls assembly MacLean through a chamber assembly, sitting following to him at an event. 

“He obtained up and spoke, and he was excellent,” stated Fletcher. “Then he sat down and explained to me how substantially he hated general public speaking. But he was a natural. He was excellent.” 

Fletcher bought MacLean involved with a local Dale Carnegie Schooling team to do some expert improvement. 

“Ian was previously a excellent speaker, but he won the most-improved in his class, so he has grow to be actually achieved,” mentioned Fletcher. 

MacLean is a big believer in the teaching he obtained. 

“As someone who doesn’t essentially get pleasure from receiving up in entrance of folks, that’s a demanding part of management,” he claimed. “Any management part that has a general public talking component to it can be a huge hump that you will need to get about.” 

The Dale Carnegie schooling assisted strengthen his public talking and it also furnished supplemental equipment as MacLean began to ascend to more substantial management roles. 

“It definitely aided in studying to continue to be connected with the folks you’re leading. That is an critical side of management at any degree, not floating off into outer house,” he said. 

There is also the make a difference of encountering opposition as just one leads larger and extra varied groups, MacLean mentioned. 

MacLean utilized Dale Carnegie’s No. 1 rule in those cases, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” 

“You start off to encounter distinctive strategies than your very own, and you’ve bought to be nimble and receptive to hear them out, function with them and uncover a typical floor resolution,” he explained. 

That Octoberfest success opened the door for MacLean to be approached by the United States Chamber of Commerce to serve on its Little Business enterprise Council. It virtually didn’t materialize. 

“When I heard there was someone from the U.S. Chamber waiting to see me, I couldn’t believe of any purpose they would want to discuss to me or vice versa,” explained MacLean.

MacLean eventually got concerned, serving on the organization’s Little Small business Council. He served as chairman of that council all through a tumultuous time for smaller business enterprise: the pandemic. 

MacLean states it bluntly. 

“It hit the enthusiast,” he mentioned. 

As a member of the Small Business enterprise Council, MacLean was already  familiar with the really distinct marketplaces and businesses all over the nation. 

“When the pandemic strike, it was actually unbelievable how the huge array of activities distinct business enterprise entrepreneurs had been possessing in unique elements of the country,” he reported. 

Small companies ended up hoping to recognize which companies were  allowed to be open, which kinds were considered vital, MacLean stated. Those people policies varied relying on wherever the small business was found.

There have been a large array of new and shocking worries, he stated. 

“In some situations, people’s staff members just ran out the door and hardly ever came back, although some others stayed,” he mentioned. 

The Modest Organization Council labored to assistance these enterprises come across a way forward. 

“It was like threading a needle, discovering assistance, locating counseling, acquiring some aid and speaking to members of whatsoever amount of authorities they required to communicate to in purchase to get support and discover a route forward,” he reported. 

What was a viable option for just one small organization in 1 market place was not an helpful answer for a further smaller business enterprise in another part of the country, MacLean said. That is one particular issue that MacLean believes the govt does not get right. 

“Small enterprise concerns are not often solved by a just one-measurement-fits-all answer,” he mentioned. “That’s why the federal governing administration will get it completely wrong so typically with modest business enterprise troubles, mainly because they can only create one particular-dimensions-fits-all options.” 

MacLean has some tips for younger people today starting their 1st career, significantly if they want to finish up in a management place. 

“Don’t just do enough to just get by,” he reported. “Exceed that, and exceed it by as much as you maybe can. Do that, and there is a rather good probability you are going to find you in a leadership function.” 




Daughters Ella, 14 Clara, 11 and Magnolia, 10


Bachelor of science in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, 2002, College of South Dakota.

Volunteer experience 

Chairman of the Small Enterprise Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2020: member of the Compact Company Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce assisted generate and put into action Mission in the Market, a Christian faith neighborhood event that has highlighted former Baylor Bears soccer mentor Grant Teaff and Dallas Cowboys and NFL Corridor of Famer Bob Lilly Oktoberfest committee chairman at Southlake Chamber of Commerce

To start with job 

MacLean worked for a landscaping company in North Texas. 

Tips for anyone understanding to be a leader

“Try to be open up and watchful for in which you are remaining led,” he reported. “God opens doorways sometimes in a location where you don’t necessarily see that coming, and there could be wonderful points down that route.”

Ideal tips you ever obtained?

“I feel some of the greatest guidance I been given was gleaned from modeling that was completed for me,” he mentioned. “My father has a extremely powerful function ethic, and he instilled that in his 4 offspring. And so we noticed his tough get the job done and determination to his operate our full lifetime, and all 4 of us have adopted that in our have way.” 

Highland Landscaping LLC

820 A Enterprise Area
Southlake 76092www.highlandlandscapingllc.com

Bob Francis is company editor for the Fort Truly worth Report. Get in touch with him at [email protected]. At the Fort Well worth Report, news choices are designed independently of our board members and money supporters. Browse much more about our editorial independence policy here. This tale was originally printed by Fort Really worth Report.