The old saying about giving a man a fish holds meaning for the Ackerman family in Wichita, Kansas. When 10-year-old son, Michael, asked his mom for an expensive pair of boots, she suggested he could mow the neighbors’ lawns to help pay for them. Acquiring his first customer, Michael was hooked, knowing exactly what he wanted to do the rest of his life. Today Mom and Dad work with Michael at Michael’s Complete Lawn Care, Inc.
After the passing of my Dad in September, there were lots of handwritten notes in the cards received, face-to-face visits, and also many phone calls and e-mails. It warmed my heart to know that Dad had touched so many lives in a positive way, and that the stories told and remembered showed how one life, well-lived, can make a difference.
A well-maintained landscape lends more than dollar value to a property. In Ocean County, New Jersey, for example, beautiful shade trees, attractive gardens and manicured turf create an inviting environment for both county office workers and visitors. Nowhere is that more evident than in the county seat of Toms River.
Six years ago, Chuck Knuppel and Lisa Engle worked highway construction, but both wanted to be their own boss. So they quit and started a lawn maintenance company. Since then, their revenue stream has doubled annually, and neither has any regret about their decision.
It helps that they look like the boys next door for brothers, Tobin and Dana George, to give their customers that personal touch. Yet, with 500 lawns to mow a week, that’s not easy.
Never before has it been more important to retain your current customers. It has always been costly to replace customers. There’s lost revenue to consider, along with the costs associated with finding new customers. Then there’s the disappearance of efficiencies that crews may have realized while maintaining the now wayward property, not to mention the fact that current customers also provide an excellent opportunity to sell more services.