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My Biggest Mistake: Franz Witte

July 8, 2012By

A landscape business owner says he should have embraced taking risks. Risk taking often is a necessity when business owners want to get ahead. But for Franz Witte, owner of Franz Witte Landscape Contracting Inc., a rocky market in 1980 and 1981 paralyzed his business. He was afraid to take a risk, and that cost him. “I was struggling to... read more

A Cut Above: Steve Rak II

July 8, 2012By

Want to know the focus of Southwest Landscape Management, a 22-year-old firm based in Columbia Station, OH? A line in President Steve Rak II’s email signature sums it up: “We put maintenance first.” The company, which Rak runs with his father, Steve Rak Sr., specializes in commercial maintenance (and snow removal), although it has been increasing its enhancements business over... read more

Add-on Biz: A business with bite

July 8, 2012By

Jim Agabedis offers an organic solution to tick and mosquito control. When Jim Agabedis moved to a home in the suburbs, he soon discovered he had a tick and mosquito problem. An organic gardener and landscaper, Agabedis researched his options and decided this sort of bug control would be a useful add-on service for his Massachusetts-based organic lawn care company.... read more

Livescapes: Trials by Fire

July 8, 2012By

By Jamie J. Gooch Producing profits through bedding plants, ornamentals & trees. Proving plants can take the heat. Just like the top auto manufacturers test their cars in extreme conditions to see how much heat they can take, so too do plant breeders. If you want to know how much sun a plant can stand, you have to head South.... read more

Best Practices: It’s good if your head’s in the clouds

July 8, 2012By

You cannot do today’s business with yesterday’s tools or yesterday’s thinking. If the last few years have not convinced you that landscape maintenance services are a commodity and differentiated primarily by price, you are in the minority. If, in that same period of time, you have not reconsidered the tools you use to do business, you also are in the... read more

Lawncare Pro: Matt Noon

July 8, 2012By

“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... read more