It’s never too soon to reinvent yourself… Or the wheel for that matter, but we will get to that.
I should probably start with an introduction of myself first. My name is Dave Brown, and I’m “V.P. of Operations” for Green Impact Commercial Landscape. I’ve been with Green Impact for 3 years now. For the first two of those years I was our “New Business Development Manager”. I preformed several other landscape production tasks, that helped me to gain more working knowledge in landscaping and a better understanding of horticulture, but “business development” was my job title.
Prior to this accepting this new opportunity I was in another sales/service industry and had logged 13 years building long-term relationships and satisfying new clients. I think my sales experience and passion for customer service, is what made me a desirable candidate to fill the newly opened business development manager position. I was a longtime friend of the owner of Green Impact and knew several employees that had working there for a couple of years each. He took me out for drinks, told me that his plan was to “build the regions go to landscape management company”, he explained his expectations of me, and broke down the 3 most important building blocks that would help us build this new company:
- Create a great team that clients are excited to work with
- Do EXACTLY what we say we are going to do
- Never sacrifice quality
..I never told him, but I had decided I was going to come on board before we ever met for drinks. I had been watching from afar, and was impressed with my friend’s focus on using the landscapes industries best business practices and his determination to build company that would look at landscape management from the client’s point of view.
Jordan Belfort, the actual person behind, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” has always said in sales seminars, “People are hungry for a vision, not a product.” I have to say, regardless of your opinions on the man (Jordan Belfort); there is a lot of truth in this statement.
The owner of Green Impact Landscape told me that he had been plugging away at the landscape management side of the green industry for several years in the area and achieved great success in such a small amount of time. The only thing was: he noticed a “huge” deficiency in the regions choices when it came to purchasing from landscape management service providers. He told me that there was an extreme saturation in the market with landscape service providers in the upstate, but there wasn’t a company that stuck out in anybody’s mind as “The Landscape Company.”
“There is no one company in our region that everybody knows will give you great work, build long term relationships, and give peace of mind when it comes to their property’s landscape management. I feel this is an embarrassment to our industry and I believe that the upstate of South Carolina deserves better. We will become the go to Landscape Company!”
We talked for a while longer, but I committed right there in then. I believed so strongly that I enrolled myself in a self-study course through the University of Georgia. One that involved me reading a 1000-page text book about horticulture I might add, and leaving a field I had put 13 years into. I reinvented myself and career because I had faith in the people and principles involved in this company.
In the first two years of my employment, we had grown the company from 6 employees and $547,000 roughly, in yearly reoccurring contracts, to 30 employees and 1.7 million dollars in yearly reoccurring contracts. I guess that new business development manager we hired worked out pretty well…
In all seriousness, several things happened to make this possible. The owner of Green Impact Commercial Landscapes put a lot of effort into every aspect of the product we put out.
From the look of our business cards, to our detailed training programs for new hires to ensure that they know more about the horticulture standards we hold ourselves accountable for and not just how to “cut grass.”
Along the way, several new hires have come aboard and have bought into our vision and unique approach to the Green Industry. We are landscape management service provider, but all of our landscape maintenance crew members were challenged to learn more than the maintenance aspect alone. We want all of our crew members to look for unique ways to save our properties money, and recognize potential problems before they become an unexpected expense.
Our management staff held responsible for establishing open and comfortable communications with all property representatives, so that a representative never thinks twice about conveying a need or want. All of this is in pursuit of providing a client with an exceptional landscape service that they will not just be satisfied with, but impressed with. The kind of impressed that causes them to lean back in their chair and say, “I never had another landscaping company do that.”
We asked our employees to reinvent themselves in the way they approached a job they already were competent and experienced in. To take the initiatives to not only grow their knowledge and love of landscaping, but to also become passionate about customer service.
So here we are a few more years, a lot more people, and a lot more valuable client relationships. My boss, the owner, came to me a few weeks ago and asked me, “So what are we doing this year to improve ourselves?” I replied to him, “What are you talking about? We’re in a good place. We’ve made a ton of progress, our employees love working here, and clients only have good things to say about our company. Why do you want to reinvent the wheel so soon?” He looked at me calmly and said:
“We have become great at in the areas that we had tasked ourselves on improving 2 years ago, but what is the next step? How do we continue to improve our company, grow our employees, and build better relationships with current and future clients? It’s never too soon to reinvent ourselves, create new challenges and set new goals. You can’t reinvent the wheel, but you can reinvent the mode of transportation. If everybody was happy with the wheel, nobody would have ever invented the plane…”
There is a lot of truth in that… While other companies get lost in telling you why their wheel is better than the next, we want you to know, there is a company out there trying to get you plane tickets.