A current project is the design and installation of landscaping and irrigation for a home being built in an upscale housing addition where all proceeds go toward the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation for breast cancer. This “green” home incorporates environmentally friendly products throughout, including the landscape and irrigation system.
TURNING CALORIES INTO MUSCLE
When you’re feeding your business new customers, you also need a plan to feed it more staff. “I’ve always looked for people who share the same vision I do, which is quality before quantity,” Payne says.
As TenderCare grew, Payne says he had to offer prospective employees a better experience in order to attract them. TenderCare began offering a 401k plan, paid vacations and holidays, health/dental insurance and accident insurance. Most importantly, “We worked hard to create a great working environment that offered a high level of job satisfaction,” Payne points out.
A great working environment requires continuous, open communication. Communication meetings are held each Friday with all managers. Pressing issues are discussed in an open forum in an effort to identify the best solutions. Payne creates an agenda the day before, allowing managers time to add any issues they’d like to also discuss.
“One of the strongest systems TenderCare has is daily communication between all employees,” Payne adds. “Designers communicate with field managers to help create more realistic designs. Field managers communicate with field employees to help with job efficiency. The list goes on. Everyone at TenderCare is both a teacher and a student.”
It was Kevin Payne’s dream to own a respected design/build company serving the community he grew up in. As TenderCare Lawn & Landscape grew, it was important for new employees to share that same vision. That’s why Payne decided to hire his own full-time designers.
“When it became evident that we were subcontracting a large amount of money to outside designers, we decided to hire our own full-time designer who could see our vision and work within our deadlines,” Payne says. Now TenderCare has three designers, two of whom are landscape architects.
“They design, meet with clients, sell jobs and make sure all plans and material are given to the landscape coordinator,” Payne explains. “They’re also available to answer questions should changes be needed. Sometimes they’ll even go out to help with certain projects, mainly assisting with things like water features. They want to ensure that their vision is carried out.”
TenderCare Lawn & Landscape
Owner: Kevin Payne
Employees: 23 year round, 50 peak season
Sales Mix: 35% installation, 25% lawn care, 20% maintenance, 10% irrigation, 10% other including snow removal
Customer Mix: 75% residential, 25% commercial