By John Crooks
As I look out the window the weeping cherry is all in bloom with white flowers flowing to the ground where they are met by tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. The sun is shining on such a beautiful spring day — the perfect day to enjoy the landscape.
This time of year things seem to change everyday and there is always something new to enjoy. Spring clean ups are done and mulch is being applied. The mowing crew has been out all week getting the first mowings of the year under their belt.
Larger landscape projects are booked, Digsafe has been called, and the projects begin. So far this year seems to be shaping up to be very busy, and for the most part everyone seems to be optimistic about the upcoming season. For the past few years almost everyone has been busy, but the profit margin has been an issue, so this year my company is going to focus on our profit margin during this busy season.
I have hired a consultant that advertises regularly in our newsletter and is a past president of NHLA to help lead our company into the future. We have only been working together for a few months now, but I am sure we are on our way to reaching the goals I have set. He has a lot of experience in growing a business and doing it profitably.
This will not be an easy thing to accomplish as I have a business motto unlike most business owners. I feel very firmly that my employees need to be employed year around, which is not the easiest thing to do while earning a profit. It creates cash flow issues during the off seasons and challenges to keep my employees working and a paycheck coming in. On the other hand, they are there when they are needed, rather than searching for seasonal employees and training them for the same things that my workers have been doing for years.
It also creates a better relationship with customers when they know my workers by name. I offer my employees opportunities to go to as many educational talks as I can. They are never forced to go to anything but always ready and waiting. This is part of the reasons I can keep them employed year around. It also gives my customers a sense of confidence to know my workers are trained to do the job that I have given them.
I can assure you that I am not the easiest guy to work for at times as I expect things to be done correctly. My guys know what I expect and know I respect them and expect them to give me the same respect. Does this mean my guys know everything or even do everything perfectly? Absolutely not; but they have the tools and knowledge to keep getting better at what they are hired to do.
We must remember to take care of those that actually are out there doing the work. Respect our workers and appreciate them. After all, they are the ones our customers see working in their yards and that creates a sense of professionalism.
With that being said, here’s a big THANK YOU going out to my employees Curtis, Sean, Rick, and Jamie!