"As a company, we just needed to make sure that Smith knew we had his back when he found a potential opportunity," Daniel says. "Now his sales level is right back to where it was in 2007. It has been a great success story."
Smith's success and expertise selling residential d/b services actually gives him an advantage in commercial maintenance, Daniel points out. "Most maintenance clients, at some point, need some kind of design/build services," Daniel says. "It might be plants that need to be replaced, drainage or an irrigation retrofit, or whatever." When it comes to providing superior service to maintenance clients, the manner in which these types of problems are addressed can make all the difference.
One other thing Greenscape did when shifting business models was downsize some of its crews. "We took several of our four-man design/build crews and created two-man enhancement crews," Daniel tells. This made sense simply due to the smaller-scope projects Greenscape was now doing. "We then outfitted the crews with smaller equipment such as Ditch Witch mini stand-on skid-steers. We also gave crew leaders more responsibility to 'own' each job since these smaller projects didn't allow for as much oversight from a production manager."
Aggressive growth in lawn care
Perhaps more impressive than Greenscape's business-model shift has been its growth in lawn care. The company has been a Weed Man franchisee since 2005. The original location at the company headquarters in Holly Springs has grown 192% since 2008, while the brand-new location in Wilmington is expected to do $850,000 this year. That spells a whopping 300%-plus growth rate over the past five years.
"Our market in general has cut back a bit on lawn care services," Daniel says. "But the market is still very large. Since we're relatively new in it, we have a small piece of the market share. So we see a lot of room to grow, and lawn care has become a growth focus for us."
Daniel points to two things that have helped to acquire market share:
Aggressive goals. Daniel says his team would not accept the effects of the recession. "We set big goals, which we didn’t always hit, but they kept us moving forward," he says.
Aggressive customer acquisition process. Greenscape's design/build model had largely been about word-of-mouth and referrals. "We needed to get more proactive about acquiring new customers in lawn care," Daniel says.
Neighborhood marketing and good old-fashioned door knocking became key. "We were one of the only lawn care companies in our market that was doing this," Daniel says. "It's not glamorous, but it works if managed correctly with a good sales process on the back end to follow up on leads and generate quotes."
Greenscape/Weed Man's new Wilmington branch has also breached the 1,500-customer mark. Daniel expects to topple the million-dollar market in the next couple of years. In the meantime, Holly Springs (Raleigh) continues to grow as well, now eclipsing the 4,000-customer mark.