What are the most important tips to succeed as the owner of a landscaping business? Blake Albertson of B&B Lawn Care has the answers! Blake not only runs a successful company in Kansas City, Missouri, he also has a mass social media following on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok where he shares his passion for the art of lawn care.
Despite his busy schedule, we were able to sit down with Blake to find out the most important lessons he’s learned throughout his career, his tips on how to best hire and train employees, and more. Read this interview to get Blake’s insights on how to turn your passion for landscaping into a thriving company and brand!
Q: What was your journey into the lawn care/landscape business? How long have you been doing this?
Albertson: “I have been in the business for seven years. I fell in love with Lawn Care sort of by accident. My brother was mowing lawns to save some money while he was in high school. When he got busier he asked me if I wanted to help him out. Shortly after, he realized that I loved it but he didn’t. When he graduated I took over the eight clients we had and, just like that, I had my own business!”
Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life/career?
Albertson: “My dad has been the biggest influence on my career. As a kid, I watched him go to work every day. Even when he wasn’t feeling his best, he still got out of bed and went to work. I think there needs to be more people like this in the world. I saw first-hand how showing up and working hard is how you get to where you want to go. ”
Q: What are some of the biggest business lessons you've learned along the way and why?
Albertson: “1. Never burn bridges, you never know who knows who and when you may need someone's help!”
Albertson: “2. Always admit your mistakes and make it right, take responsibility for you and your company’s actions!”
Q: What is your "go-to" social media platform? How do you best reach your audience and potential customers?
Albertson: “My go-to platforms are Instagram and Facebook (@BBLawnCareKC). That is where my customers’ attention is and where I can build a natural connection with them by showing off the work we do. Just a simple picture with a quick explanation is enough to show what we can do and get a customer excited about our services!"
Q: What is your process for hiring superstar employees?
Albertson: “I start searching for employees the same way I start looking for new clients - who can I hire that knows me or knows someone I know? I start here because it is the easiest way to filter out people that aren't going to be on the same page with how we operate and think. I post on social media and ask if anyone needs a job. My friends will ask around for me so they can help out their friends, it’s a small chain reaction where other people are looking for you! If I have no luck there, I post on Local Facebook swap shops and leave a link to the application. These two strategies have worked great for me!”
Q: What are some tips that work well for you when it comes to staff training?
Albertson: “Before they come to work we talk about the company and how we do things. We explain how we treat clients, damage prevention, and other company policies. Then, on the first day, they are shown how to operate the equipment and the best techniques to make the lawns look beautiful! Within about a week they are rockstars at their job and we “let them loose.” I think it is important to let them know about your company's policies and procedures before they ever touch the equipment.”
Q: How do you keep yourself and your team motivated?
Albertson: “Every day, I think about and write down my goals. I am always listening to positive podcasts and audiobooks and sharing them with my team. I also share with my team where I want to see the company go. One thing I have learned is that people want to rally behind people and companies on a mission, so share that with your team!”
Q: What areas do you outsource for your business?
Albertson: “We outsource commercial snow removal, fertilizing, and hardscaping.”
Q: What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made in growing your business and what did you learn from it?
Albertson: “The “number of accounts” you service does not determine how successful you are. In this business, the first question people ask is how many accounts you have. I felt like all I was trying to do was chase the number of yards we mowed when I should be focusing on the quality of the accounts and the profit we were making from those accounts.”
Q: Do you have a favorite podcast?
Albertson: “I like the JRE and the Green Industry podcast.”
Q: How has LMN helped you in your business so far? What is your biggest takeaway?
Albertson: “LMN has helped reassure my pricing for some of my work and helped expose the services I have been pricing too low. It has helped change my mindset on equipment and overhead. For example, even if I have a machine, that doesn't mean I shouldn’t account for replacing that machine in my budget and estimates. .”
Albertson: “The problem I was facing was wondering what was going to happen the day I would have to buy a machine again. With LMN, I am always accounting for this and recovering my overhead. On larger landscape jobs that I don’t do as often, LMN helps give me confidence in the price I am giving the customer. It also makes sure that we have accounted for everything and we are going to make money on the job.”
Q: What is something people may not know or have a misconception about the landscape/lawn care industry?
Albertson: “I have always run into people asking me what I was going to do next and telling me I would get a “real” job one day. This is crazy to me because I run my business as a professional business and all my peers in the industry also have professional businesses. ”
Albertson: “Landscaping seems to have a low barrier of entry and some people “do this temporarily” so that fuels the “get a real job” concept. It’s crazy though because this can be a lucrative career. Yes, there are lots of people like me that absolutely love mowing yards for a living!”
Follow Blake Albertson, of B&B Lawn Care
Blake is growing his business and freeing up the time he used to spend on job costing, budgeting, scheduling and maintenance by using LMN Business Management Software. Tune in every Tuesday in May to a live webinar with LMN CEO, Mark Bradley and see how it could transform your business!