November 2016

Making the most of direct mail campaigns

December 9, 2016By
The owner of DC Freeman got the jobs he wanted by targeting high-end clients with a new marketing piece.

How one business owner landed larger, higher profile jobs with direct mail. After 30 years of serving the same client demographic—upper-middle-class residential—Dave Freeman, owner of DC Freeman, based in Millburn, N.J., says he felt “stuck” in a certain niche. With referrals being what he calls his “bread and butter,” Freeman was challenged to find a way to climb into a... read more

From disaster to triumph

December 7, 2016By
Photos: Scott’s Landscaping

Scott’s Landscaping recovered—and grew—after a fire three years ago. Could you? You are sitting at a Sunday dinner with your wife and friends when you get a notification from your security provider. The smoke detectors at the headquarters of your landscape business are ringing. You think it’s probably a false alarm, so you don’t worry. This wouldn’t be the first... read more

Buy wisely: The importance of vendor relationships

December 5, 2016By
Pinnacle Irrigation & Nightlighting

When it comes to sourcing irrigation and lighting products, contractors say it’s all about the vendor relationships. Like so many other things in life, smart lighting and irrigation product purchases all come back to who you know. Or, more specifically, which local distributors and vendors you’ve built relationships with. We spoke to three different businesses that all echoed similar sentiments—it’s... read more

Does your company name match your focus?

December 2, 2016By
Photos: Hinkle Hardscapes

It’s been one year since Zach Hinkle changed the name of his company, formerly K.C. Lawn & Landscaping, to Hinkle Hardscapes. Since rebranding, refocusing and implementing new processes and procedures, business has never been better. Revenue is up; his designers, crews and account representatives are happier and more efficient; and the company is attracting the right customers. For Hinkle, changing... read more

Efficiency Tip: Flat-free tires

December 2, 2016By
Photo: Camso

Waiting four hours for a service technician to change a flat skid-steer tire costs Oakridge Landscape Contractors more than $600 when you factor in a crew’s wages at $150 per hour and equipment time. That’s simply unacceptable, says Herman Ciardullo, president of the Hamilton, Ontario-based company. “We can’t afford flats—that’s the bottom line,” Ciardullo says. “With wages for four or... read more

Beyond ‘what the market will bear’

November 30, 2016By
Photo: ©

A landscape company exec takes us back to the basics of cost-based estimating. In my two decades in the green industry, I’ve worked within local landscape companies of various sizes and national operations with multiple locations. I’ve made a living working in the field; I’ve done sales and account management; I’ve been a manager and an owner. I’ve seen success,... read more