“This is an extreme example,” Schlossberg relates, “but we had an equipment issue on a customer’s lawn earlier this spring, and ended up burning around 2,000 square feet of turf. I hired a watering truck to go out and water it. When the drought hit in June, other areas of his lawn went dead. But I made the decision to re-seed his entire lawn, not just the 2,000 square feet we were responsible for. This is a good customer we want to take care of and keep for a long time.”
Customers are given cell phone numbers for Schlossberg and his managers. “We’re available any time, and we actually answer our phones,” Schlossberg says with a chuckle. “When a customer can call with a problem on a Saturday, and we can be there right away on Monday, it makes a big difference.”
Making the Case for the Lawn Care Industry
Schlossberg is also trying to make a difference when it comes to promoting the virtues of the lawn care industry. “As current president of the Maryland Association of Green Industries, I spend a lot of my time on government relations,” he says. “I attend fundraisers for key committee members, and overall work to promote the professionalism of the lawn care industry. I make the case for the responsible use of pesticides in creating healthy turf that’s useful for the environment.
“It’s also important to promote the fact that lawn care companies are small businesses that create jobs and are good for the local economy,” Schlossberg continues. “Government relations takes persistence and time, but it’s so important these days. If the country continues to move left, a pesticide ban like we’ve seen in Canada could happen here. It’s our job to make sure the public and government officials are informed.”
In the meantime, Pro-Lawn-Plus is viewing the next few years as a learning period. “We don’t offer an organic program, but are experimenting with certain organic products,” Schlossberg says. “For instance, Nitrozyme is a seaweed extract we’re using as a root stimulant. We’ve had good success selling these treatments and they’ve worked quite well. We want to start working with products like this now in case something does happen to greatly limit our use of pesticides down the road.”