Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. What kind of training do you and your staff have? Are any of your employees or the ownership certified in the landscape trade? If so, what are the certifications and how long have you had them? Some contractors are certified, but stopped acquiring CEUís (continuing education credits) and are not longer certified. This is important because in order to keep the certification, contractors need to continue their education.
We, at Custom Lawns and Landscape LLC, are continually educating ourselves through training, safety meetings, and new equipment seminars. This helps us in developing new strategies and processes based on the knowledge we attain each year through our efforts in continuous education.
Do not forget the most basic and important questions. With so many new members in our industry, make sure to check for the proper licensing, insurance and citizenship status. I have re-bid many chemical misapplications, poor landscape installations, and very unsafe work sites this year. Insurance, citizenship, and licensing are in place for our protection as contractors as well as for the consumer. Please take it seriously, we do.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Simply stated . . . because I am certified, licensed and have 20 years of industry educational knowledge and experience. My business is based on honest, reasonable, professional, and meticulous work completed at a price that provides value for my clients. At Custom Lawns & Landscape, our highest priority is service after the sale!
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I enjoy producing and maintaining landscapes where customers are passionate about their turf and plants. I really enjoy knowing that my work has helped to keep a plant, perennial, tree, or turf in such a healthy state that it is able to defend themselves against natural enemies. This, in reality, limits the use of chemicals or harsh curative actions.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish customers knew just how passionate I am about this profession. I have been active in the landscape industry for 20 years and there are many clients and other landscape companies who think it involves just cutting grass, weeding, or fertilizing. I do not. I perform services for a reason. I care about landscapes and nothing saddens me more than homeowners who neglect their trees, shrubs, and turf. If they care for their homes on the inside, they should also care how the outward landscape appearance of their homes reflects them.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Yes, I have completed my Bachelors degree in Business Administration to be that professional business person, manager, and strategist. I attend seminars, classes, and workshops to attain CEU's (continuing education credits). This enables me to keep my double certification in landscape management and installation. I continually study and review the latest information on insect damage, diseases, plants, and time saving procedures to provide my services at reasonable prices.