Founded merely three years ago, Landscape America in Wrentham, MA, has rapidly grown to become an $800,000-plus landscape installation and maintenance company. Even more remarkable than its sales achievements is the young company’s commitment to professionalism and education.
At just 27 and 24 years of age, brothers Doug and Andy McDuff each have associate’s degrees in landscape contracting. Additionally, both are Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professionals (MCLP), licensed pesticide applicators, and are certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). The elder Doug also has a bachelor’s degree in urban forestry and is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist.
The credentials don’t stop with these 20-something owners, either. Construction foremen Mike Dineen and Steve Bach, also in their mid-20s, have associate’s degrees in landscape contracting. Then, Dineen has a bachelor’s in urban forestry while Bach has a bachelor’s in landscape architecture. Dineen is also ICPI-certified.
“We are a company made up of young, eager, educated people who genuinely enjoy this industry and want to succeed in it,” Doug relates. “Our employees are encouraged to continue educating themselves through reading, attending trade shows and basic on-the-job training.”
It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know
Each of Landscape America’s employees are also encouraged to develop relationships with clients to earn their trust and keep communication lines flowing. “Education is important,” Andy relates. “We teach our clients about plant disease, paver installation and late-summer pruning. This is how we differentiate ourselves from the average landscaper.”
Located in the small town of Wrentham—halfway between Boston and Providence with a population of 10,500—Landscape America has quickly learned the virtues of both industry and community involvement. The company is affiliated with the Massachusetts Arborist Association, the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals (MLP), ICPI and the International Society of Arboriculture.
While attending the Louisville GIE+EXPO in late October, Landscape America also became a member of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), a nationwide association of leading landscape contractors.
Additionally, local fairs and community gatherings have proven to be great venues to generate sales leads. Volunteering for the Wrentham Town Common Landscape Committee and MCLP Board has also helped open doors to new clients and vendors, along with ideas for improving and growing a landscaping business.
“Our small town is very tight-nit,” Doug points out. “Being involved with the Landscape Committee has helped our exposure and has led to a lot of work for our company. Plus, it’s just a nice way to give back. As for our involvement with the MLP and MCLP Board, it’s been a great learning tool. Plus, our certifications and involvement with key industry organizations helps with our image. Things like this can be critical when it’s time to present a bid.”
GROWING AGAINST THE GRAIN
The majority of Landscape America’s bids are presented to high-end consumer clientele. In fact, roughly 80% of the company’s total sales come from this market. “We don’t do much with commercial construction,” Doug says. “High-end residential keeps us plenty busy with residual work and new enhancement projects.
“One thing I learned at the previous landscape company I worked for is to focus on what you do well,” Doug continues. “And we do well with pavers, plantings and general landscape construction for residential customers.”
Landscape America’s revenue-service mix is split 60% installation, 25% maintenance and 15% snow removal. Landscape America provides mowing and maintenance, fertilizing, turf renovation, tree care, planting and transplanting, drainage systems, excavation, hardscaping and snowplowing.