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Lawncare pro: Steve Pattie

August 10, 2012By

At The Pattie Group, based in Novelty, Ohio, the focus not only is on customer service, but on mentoring and training employees. “We have very good coaching, very good mentoring, very good structuring,” says The Pattie Group President Steve Pattie. About $150,000 of the full-service company’s $7.5 million revenue is attributed to lawn care. The company trains its staff continuously... read more

The Benchmark: Considering an exit?

August 9, 2012By

Building profits and increasing the value of your company in the current environment is a challenge. Does it seem like today’s economic climate and political agenda are working against you? Health care mandates, expiring tax cuts, immigration reform, high fuel costs and little change in the housing market—shall I go on? If you’re considering an exit in the next six... read more

Companies join to give one school a gift for the ages

August 9, 2012By

Palomar Elementary School in Chula Vista, Calif., is in a rough part of town. Its 350 students have seen a lot, probably more than they should have at their young ages. As far as California public schools go, it’s small—but mighty. In the seven years Mary Anne Arabia has taught at Palomar, she’s always been bothered by the lack of... read more

Obamacare’s tax hikes

August 9, 2012By

By Mark E. Battersby Businesses await rising taxes as a result of the Affordable Care Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled as constitutional in June. Like it or not, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now the law of the land and the tax code. By ruling that the ACA is constitutional,... read more

Changing your company name might be a hassle, but it could pay off

August 9, 2012By

When D.J. Vander Slik was mowing lawns in Grand Rapids, Mich., at age 12, a customer asked him for a receipt. He didn’t have any, so the homeowner helped him write something up, jotting down D.J.’s Lawn Service on the slip. “I thought, ‘Sure, that sounds good,’” Vander Slik says of his 12-year-old self. The name stuck, and when he... read more

Time to rock and roll for a Cleveland contractor

August 9, 2012By

A contractor recounts working on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame grounds and tells what life holds now. It’s a sunny summer morning in downtown Cleveland. Phil Cavotta, clad in a hard hat, construction vest and jeans, is overseeing a landscaping project at the Cleveland Clinic. The $500,000 job involves planting 150 maple and pear trees and laying nearly... read more