Although LMN has 85,000 users leveraging our B2B software to manage a landscape business, every customer is unique and important, including Ohio-based Ground Works Land Design.
The LMN marketing crew caught up with Ground Works Land Design Founder Tony Nasrallah to find out his recipe for success. The landscape business owner shares how the commercial landscape and design company survives and thrives during the new normal and into 2021. The company’s massive growth is attributed to a laser focus on customer satisfaction and using technology to scale, including LMN’s CRM.
“We liked LMN so much because it is landscape specific. We’re in the landscape and land design industry; we wanted a CRM that understands what we do,” said Nasrallah.
Tell us a little about Ground Works Land Design, the scope of work you focus on, and how that's evolved over the years?
A: Ground Works Land Design is Northeast Ohio’s premier residential and commercial landscape, and design company focused on customer satisfaction. We’re located in Cleveland, Ohio, and specialize in creating and maintaining unique and unparalleled dramatic outdoor living spaces. From humble beginnings, president and founder, Tony Nasrallah, started the company with only $200 in his pocket, a stack of flyers, a solid work ethic, and a determination to create the number one land design company in Ohio. Customer satisfaction has mainly attributed to the 39% YOY profit growth. Ground Works has evolved from one man and one truck to over 25 employees, 15 trucks, a marketing, HR, and 3D design department, and a new headquarters are breaking ground sometime in 2021.
Current services include landscape design, patio design, concrete projects such as stamped patios and driveways, outdoor lighting, full-service lawn maintenance programs including irrigation systems, and snow & ice management in the colder Cleveland months. Within the past five years, the brand elevated its services by adding dramatic outdoor living spaces to the already extensive list of design offerings. Placing emphasis on technology, dedicated project managers and designers can create outdoor kitchens & bars, seating walls, pergolas, retaining walls, water & fire features, and even swimming pools. Investing in 3D video design technology has given GW an advantage because valued customers can see their future project, built to specific property specs before the work begins.
As the company has grown over the years, what have been some of the biggest roadblocks to overcome, and how have you overcome them in particular?
A: Something that everyone in the industry can relate to is staffing. Not as much a roadblock as a constant uphill battle, but recruiting and maintaining quality crew members can be a struggle. To avoid this, we make a strong effort to create an enjoyable work environment for our employees. Examples being: custom uniforms on their backs (that they get to keep), weekly payouts through incentive programs, Monday morning catered breakfast, regular Friday happy hours, employee appreciation parties (we hosted a pig roast this year) and so much more. If employees feel valued, they will likely want to grow with you. When other applicants see this commitment in current employees, it creates the desired workplace.
Dialing in the many general business functions brings overall success to an aspiring landscape company. Indeed, that doesn't happen overnight for any company and is usually trial by fire, but what would you say the number one contributor to your company's success is and why?
A: Hard work. Period. Ground Works president has had a clear understanding of this from an early age. Carrying an entrepreneurial spirit, Tony insisted on going places others didn’t want to go. Intimidation isn’t in his DNA, and because of that, GroundWorks is what it is today.
Consistency is also part of a hard work approach. Applying an extra amount of effort to everything you do will make the difference.
Creating a network of customers, vendors, and mentors (in and outside of the industry) is also a success driver to the overall business. Surround yourself with this trusted network.
It sounded like Ground Works attempted a few CRM's before landing with LMN. How was LMN different than the others, and why did you end up going with our products?
A: We tried multiple CRM’s and LMN is by far the best product by a long shot. We attribute so much of our success to the platform. For starters, we liked LMN so much because it is landscape specific. We’re in the landscape and land design industry, we wanted a CRM that understands what we do.
We also chose LMN over other CRMs because it provides start to finish support. It’s not just a place that stores client information. With all the features and functions LMN offers, we can run our entire business through it.
Additionally, LMN has superior customer service and training tools. The classes offered through LMN can turn you from amateur to expert quickly, and you can always get someone on the line if you have additional questions.
What has been the most significant business advantage to implementing LMN?
A: The most significant advantage we’ve seen with using LMN is the ability to highlight and understand profitability and jobs within the industry. LMN has taken the guesswork out of bulk supply pricing and services. Our inconsistent project estimating before using LMN is gone. The LMN CRM has allowed us to build an installation key/guide custom to Ground Works. This helps us stay true to our pricing and ensures that we yield our desired margins and increase project profitability.
Where does Ground Works Land Design see themselves ten years from now, and are there any major growth plans in place, or is the company happy where it is?
A: While we’ve experienced year over year growth, we’re not happy. When people or companies get happy, they get complacent. And we all know what happens when we get complacent.
Our foot is on the gas, and we have very lofty goals for the next ten years. We recently made 6ft. wide org. charts to hang in our shop; a current chart and a chart at $5M in revenue. We’re not far from the latter of the two. To reach that $5M goal, we hope to hire an extra crew, sales/project manager, and a CFO.
Aside from the new hires, our next broad company goal is to break ground on our new facilities. We own the 6 acres of land it will be built on, and it’s time to create a facility we can be proud of and grow into for the years to come.
One piece of advice for aspiring landscape companies?
A: There is no shortcut for hard work. It takes money to make money. Believe in your brand.
What are the emerging industry trends that companies need to plan for and begin thinking about now, to be better prepared for in the future?
A: There are so many trends that come and go, and after being in business for 11 years, we’re even seeing some of them repeat themselves. Rather than keeping up with trends, Ground Works Land Design aims to create and maintain timeless, high-quality work that can be appreciated and overcome any trend.
Something that is always evolving, and not going anywhere is technology. We make a very calculated effort to stay up to speed with technology and maintain a strong digital footprint. We feel this is very neglected in the industry, and it shouldn’t be – technology is helping us grow.
Grow your landscape business like Ground Works Land Design. Tro LMN Free today.
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