5 questions with Adam Callison

(Photo courtesy of Done Right Landscapes)
(Photo courtesy of Done Right Landscapes)

Adam Callison

President and CEO, Done Right Landscapes, St. Louis, Mo.

1. What can you tell me about Done Right Landscapes?

It started with my dad’s push mower, pushing it up the street and I grew it from there. When I was 20, I found out my daughter was about to be born, so I bought a business that was for sale and started building it from there. Today we have about 40 employees. We do a lot of installs — retaining walls, pavers, drainage, irrigation. We do snow control and ice removal in the winter. We had a maintenance division and we sold it about 10 years ago, but now we’re getting back into it. We’re deeply invested in transforming outdoor spaces into stunning landscapes that blend both form and function.

2. How big is your family now?

I have a wife and a daughter who is 18. She plays soccer and got a full ride to the University of Missouri — St. Louis, so I’m definitely proud of her. We also have two-year-old identical boy twins. They’re cool because out of nowhere they started loving trucks and excavators and Bobcats. So we like to go to the shop, it’s a memory I think they’ll always hang on to, jumping into those machines. They’re just watching me now, but eventually, they’ll know how to use them.

3. Do you see any trends in the industry or trends with your customers?

I think it’s harder to get that final payment on the install side. We struggle to get the final payment in a timely manner. We try to communicate with them throughout the job. At the start of the job they know, at the end, when they’re happy, it’s time to pay. We send constant reminders throughout the job. We try to set a date the day before, a date and a time. We say, ‘We know we’re going to be done tomorrow at 3:00, are you available for a final walkthrough?’ It takes great communication — if there’s great communication it goes through seamlessly.

4. This isn’t your first interview; you’re used to being interviewed — except it’s normally on TV. What can you tell me about the local TV segment you do in St. Louis?

We do something on Channel 4, it’s three minutes, once a month. We pick a topic, we pick three questions and they ask me the three questions and it’s live. It creates brand recognition. We did it 10 times in 2023 and we already signed up for 2024. It’s good. I don’t always like going on TV and being in the spotlight, but I’ll do it for the company. It’s all about getting our brand out there. Our phone does start ringing because of it.

5. Do you have a most memorable day at work?

For everybody out there growing your business, there are times when you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. I remember I once felt hopeless in someone’s front yard. I started tearing up. I had a young kid at home and a wife. You feel like there is no end, no light at the end of the tunnel. Where does this business go? But you just keep pumping forward. Thinking back on that and how far we’ve come, it’s inspirational.

Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Seth Jones is is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. A graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Seth was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories.

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