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Grow with Grunder: Is your business set up to serve your ideal client?

August 9, 2021 -  By

My company, Grunder Landscaping Co., began by serving a specific ideal client: homeowners whose properties were within walking distance of my home. I was 14, and until I got my driver’s license, I was limited to serving the little stretch of Wilmington-Dayton Road I grew up on.

(Photo: Dilok Klaisataporn / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: Dilok Klaisataporn / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Even in those early days, my company was set up to serve our ideal client: We had a tractor mower to quickly manage the large lot sizes on our street, a push mower I bought at a garage sale so my brother and I could work at the same time and a phone answering service (my mom) who knew our clients well and was always neighborly.

As the company grew, and I got my driver’s license, our ideal clients expanded, and our company has greatly adapted to better serve them. I learned how to do this from watching many others in our industry successfully do it, and it’s something I always admire when I see a company that so clearly understands its ideal customer and wraps all its processes, company culture and truck and equipment setups around that.

One company that does this particularly well is Ruppert Landscape. A giant in the commercial space, Ruppert has been successful by being keenly aware of who its ideal clients are and how to best serve them.

In systems

Ruppert does an incredible job of managing large projects, both for construction and maintenance. For years, Ruppert maintained Six Flags America’s 130 acres, which includes an irrigation system with 46 hydrozones, 38 acres of turf and thousands of annuals, perennials, trees and containers. Team members must do maintenance work without causing disruptions for park visitors, and they also go through additional training to work in the dangerous zones under and around rides. To best serve this client, Ruppert needed extensive systems in place to train its team and ensure it is creating beautiful spaces for park guests while also operating safely.

In the people Ruppert hires

The positive company culture at Ruppert is well known in the industry, and the work the company does to create a place where people want to work is impressive. Ruppert understands that its people are its most valuable asset and that the team members doing the work are why clients come back year after year. Ruppert’s leaders make sure to show their appreciation for team members through events, internal advancement opportunities and ongoing training to help team members develop their skills.

In the trucks and equipment used

Ruppert’s trucks and equipment are designed and purchased to make the team’s work easier and to save the team time while on job sites. Ruppert equips team members well so they can be efficient on the job.

All around, it’s clear that Ruppert Landscape greatly values the people who make the business successful: both clients and team members. It’s been a key to its success in growing to a $213 million-plus operation, and it’ll no doubt be key to its future success.

Everything done is intentional, and I’ve found what separates good companies from great companies is exactly the intentionality shown so well. Knowing who your ideal clients and team members are and eliminating distractions are keys to a successful organization.

I’m looking forward to going behind the scenes and learning directly from CEO Craig Ruppert, President Phil Key and the rest of the Ruppert team when we visit for the NALP Field Trip: Frank & Marty’s Excellent Adventure on Sept. 1-2. If you’re interested in joining us, you can sign up online.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 0821, Business, From the Magazine
Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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