For 21 years, Bob Vickery, owner of The Planter’s Touch in Easley, South Carolina, put on a suit and tie in the morning and went to work at a bank. That began to change the moment he handed in his notice on October 1998 and two months later walked out the door for the last time.
I heard a saying recently that I liked very much: “Love people, use money instead of love money, use people”*. The first way speaks to the way I have been taught by my parents and the way my brother, Dean, and I have tried to operate Walker Manufacturing. To us, loving people means taking care of people. “Using money” means money is a tool to be used; taking money that has been made and accumulated in business and using it as a tool to bless people and multiply opportunities for people.
Les Coates, owner of Lawns by Les, has been in business 24 years. He has a beautiful family, nice home, and operates a successful landscape maintenance business in the Phoenix suburb of Litchfield Park. Yet, he’s not bashful about saying success didn’t come easily, nor was it originally built on the right predication.
In the northeast corner of Oklahoma lies the small community of Miami. Next door, in Commerce, Oklahoma, visitors can see the boyhood home of Mickey Mantle, or double back through town and enjoy a little nostalgia along Rt. 66. Indeed, Miami has a lot of history, and with a population of 13,000, it is a bit rustic and quiet – hardly the place, one would guess, where some of the most luxurious motor homes in the country are manufactured. But that is the case, because Miami is also the home of motor home manufacturer Newell Coach.
Jane Lowe needed a new mower, and not just any brand would do. She lived on a 23-acre homestead in Wittman on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and mowed 3-1/2 acres of lawn every week from the end of April through October. To get the right mower for her application, she turned to a former fourth grade student of hers, Skip Marvel, who owned a power equipment dealership in nearby Easton.
Do you know how much it costs you to operate your business? If so, what is the relationship between how much you charge for your services and the cost associated with providing them? If your pricing doesn’t cover all costs of doing business, including those directly and indirectly related to performing a service, a lawn maintenance company, any lawn maintenance company, will eventually face adverse financial consequences.