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Lawncare Pro: Matt Noon

July 8, 2012 -  By
Matt Noon

Matt Noon

“You don’t want to offer too many services and turn into this big Chinese menu, you know?” says Matt Noon, 32, president of Boston-based Noon Turf Care. “Really, the core of our business is lawn, tree and shrub care.”

Noon, a Boston College graduate, runs Noon Turf Care with his brother, Chris, 35. He talks about how he and Chris spun a burgeoning summer job into a $5 million business and switched their focus from landscaping to lawn care.

How did your business get started? I started the business when I was 17, my senior year in high school, for just some side income. I started it just as a maintenance service. It grew pretty fast, and by my third year in college I was doing about $400,000 a year in revenue. It was big. I contacted my brother and asked him to take it over while I finished school. Little did I know we’d turn this into a career.

How has your business evolved? In ’02, when I graduated from college, we did mowing, blowing, all the maintenance services. In ’05 we added the fertilizing segment, and in 2008 we sold the landscaping side of the business. That was a tough decision, because we were essentially starting over. We went from $2.5 million in revenue to $500,000. And at that point we really started to grow.

What’s been challenging? When you’re growing that fast you’ve got be careful with a lot of things. But the biggest thing is quality and being able to quickly standardize things within your business to attract experienced employees. A lot of things we weren’t used to doing. We really had to get focused and start treating it more like a business.

How do you attract quality employees? We need good people, and we pay more for them. I try to recruit people. There’s usually three interviews, and we have a personality profile. It’s important, because at the end of the day, if you don’t have the right people it’s going to become a generic product. You need to have that personal touch.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned? The thing I wish someone had told me years ago is, find a mentor that you want to emulate. That’s been a huge part of our success. We did not have a mentor until we got into the lawn care business. Paul Wagner of Fit Turf in Denver really gave us a lot of that industry benchmarking. I read about him years ago and I just reached out to him. I called him. A lot of people never make that call.

Where is Noon Turf Care’s focus today? We’re focusing now on fertilization and trees and shrubs. That segment of our business is growing. And insect control is a big service for us right now. Applying more of a business approach to our company has given us a clearer vision. We have goals now. And those goals don’t go away like a New Year’s resolution or something.

What does tomorrow hold? The last four years have been spent perfecting our formulas. The next three or four will be focused on expanding our markets — and always, always perfecting all the processes we have and staying focused on service.

At a Glance

Name: Matt Noon

Company: Noon Turf Care

Year Incorporated: 2002

Industry Involvement: Massachusetts Association of Lawn Care Professionals (MALCP)

Business Philosophy: Think of yourself as a customer.

Family: I’m a bachelor. I like spending time with my nieces, whom I spoil.

Dream Vacation: I’m living it every day. I’ve been around the world. If I want to get away, I go to Aruba.

 

About the Author:

Geraci is a freelance writer based in Cleveland. She has worked as a professional journalist for more than 15 years, including six years as a writer for the Chicago Tribune. A graduate of Allegheny College and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Geraci began her career as an editor at a newswire service in Washington, D.C., where she edited and distributed press releases from the White House and congressional leaders. She went on to become the community news reporter at the Jackson Hole Guide newspaper, winning two national feature writing awards. Her other experience includes working as a book editor in Chicago and as a professor of business communications at Cleveland State University.

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