Kirk's Lawn care
Kirk Brown of Kirk’s Lawn Care has an exceptional story of starting a lawn care business at a young age, and has gotten lots of experience in running a business over the years.
To be able to run a lawn care business while working a part time job all before you turn 18 takes an incredible amount of organization. Read on to see how Kirk was able to grow his business while being incredibly busy.
What is your name and your business name? Where do you do business?
My name is Kirk Brown and my business name is Kirk’s Lawn Care. My job title is president. We are based in Spring City, PA. We service Pottstown, Royersford and Phoenixville as well as Spring City. Our website is: kirkslawncare.com
What kind of services do you provide?
Services we provide include: lawn mowing, lawn aeration, overseeding, lawn renovations, spring & fall landscape clean-ups, shrub trimming, mulching, mulch re-coloring and snowplowing.
What year did you start your business? Did you start it with anyone else? Anything special to note about how it all began?
I started the business in 2003 when I was 12 years old. I started by riding my parents lawn tractor, pulling a cart to hold my string trimmer and blower around the neighbourhood.
I was very dedicated to it my first year with business cards and a website I built for Kirk’s Lawn Care. My business grew very rapidly to the point I purchased a residential zero-turn mower two years in.
I then sold that one and got my first commercial zero-turn mower a year later at around age 15. I had enough jobs to consider it full-time by around age 17 when I could drive. The business has grown tremendously in size since it’s humble beginnings.
What was the biggest challenge in starting your business?
My biggest challenge in starting Kirk’s Lawn Care was trying to convince my parents to roll with the idea of me starting a business at 12 years old.
How were you managing customer and business information when you first started out?
When I first started my business, I was using invoicing software called Gopher. It was installed on your computer and you could not access it from the internet or from out in the field. I had some issue with losing data and the software was never updated nor had much customer support.
I then used a web-based software called Landscape Billing. Although it was web-based, it was not mobile-friendly, it was almost never updated and there was no customer support.
What would be your top suggestions or pieces of advice to a young person wanting to start their own business in your field?
My biggest piece of advice I can give to others who want to start a landscaping business is to find a way to stand out. This industry is a very competitive one and it doesn’t always have to be that way.
If you can find a niche in the industry or a way to stand out, you are harder to compare to other landscapers which in chance may help you land jobs. Strongly advertise why you are different than other landscapers and sell potential customers on your values and positive differences rather than your price.
On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the hardest), how hard would you say it would be start and build your business to where it is today?
I would rate it a solid 7. I had and continue to have to be very persistent, dedicated and driven towards building and growing the business.
What is your biggest challenge currently, or in general on an ongoing basis?
My biggest challenge on an ongoing basis is to make sure I am on top of all aspects of my business at all times.
Last year, I had close to 40 lawn maintenance accounts all mowed and maintained by myself. I had to service those accounts as well as the business management side including the billing, marketing, etc.
I also work a part-time job on top of my business. I have to avoid over-scheduling myself so I can give my properties the consistent and quality workmanship they deserve.
How are you different from your competition? What do you feel sets you apart?
My business uses many various advances in technology to tailor our services to the middle-aged and first-time homebuyers. All of the technology we employ allows our business and services to easily fit into their current fast-paced and technological lifestyles.
Through the use our mobile app, online bill-pay, live website chats, e-newsletters, social media posts & contests and other tech-savy features, it is easy for our target customer-base to communicate and purchase services from us.
What are your goals for growth in the future?
Besides from the standard of adding more employees and crews, I would like my business to branch out into new services, new fields and new service areas. I would like to add additional services like lawn and landscape fertilization and hardscaping among others.
I would also like to branch out into different fields like tree care, pest control, pressure washing, pool maintenance and paving just to name a few. It adds a lot of value to our business if you can handle most of your existing customer’s needs.
I would also like to expand the business’s service area as we grow to be able to reach new towns and markets with our services.
How did you find out about Jobber and how long have you been using it?
I found out about Jobber from a website called LawnSite, which is a online forum for landscaping professionals. I have been using Jobber since early 2012.
What were the biggest problems that Jobber helped you solve?
Jobber has been the smoking gun to all my previous scheduling & invoicing software woes. It is web-based so all of my data is secure and backed-up to the cloud.
Jobber is accessible from virtually anywhere with their desktop and mobile site version which is very important for a field-service company. It is always being updated and new features are being added. They have excellent customer support and fix bugs and glitches very quick.
Kirk's Lawn care
Spring City, PA
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