Wearing more than one hat
Office work counts as landscaping too
DETROIT, MI — Birds chirping. Bright clouds drifting in the sunny blue sky.
It can be serene working a green-collar job. Pruning scented hydrangeas and manicuring lush grass lawns. I only wish the same could be said of the day-in and day-out office work that keeps it all moving along as a business.
Accounting, marketing, job canvassing, estimating projects, customer service needs. All of these can be tense burdens to bear for green entrepreneurs mainly accustomed to using their hands with gardening tools.
If I had it my way I'd hire a brilliant, team-oriented employee to tackle all of these administrative needs. And I then could focus on the variety of hosta to suggest to a client planning their first garden.
But hiring brilliant staff is easier said than done. The COVID-19 pandemic not only forever impacted our nation’s health but also our labor force. It made more sense for non first-responders to stay at home rather than risk their lives or that of their families. So for most industries, including landscaping, the cost of labor hit an all-time high. And it has yet to go down.
Aside from the Covid crisis, generally speaking, landscaping has never been viewed as an attractive occupation. Performing physical work outdoors in the hot sun, even if earning six figures, is not a lot of people’s dream job. Many job seekers in fact shy away from dirty and sweaty work, rather you are a successful landscaping professional or not.
My advice, instead of trying to win over a potential hire with an inflated wage, promote your company culture and then seek people who fit that. Do prospects have the right stuff to be an asset to your team? We at ABC Co. Landscaping seek those that are enthusiastic, reliable, ethical, and have good customer service skills. And too we spell out in our recruitment tools the kind of work ethic and character traits that we like.
We also express how we diligently work at fostering a healthy work environment to promote professional development opportunities and scheduling flexibility. Opportunities can range from learning to install paver walkways, training to become a foreman or crew leader, or starting your own landscaping business.
Below are some helpful tips for small landscaping businesses hiring for the first-time. These suggestions may not save you from the impending stress in getting just the right hire for your company but in all my years of business experience, these tips are a great guide for any novice.
FIVE HIRING TIPS
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Why chainsaws rock
DETROIT, MICH — Chainsaws are an indispensable tool when it comes to tackling neglected landscapes. Pruning overreaching tree limbs or cutting down trees altogether is sad but necessary if we want to prevent safety hazards in our yards. And safety. of course, is always the top priority for us, our family, friends, and service people who access our outdoor living space.
Tree limbs left unchecked can pose a grave danger. Limbs can tangle or disrupt both power and cable lines spanning from the utility pole to your house. A serious issue when harsh rains, winds, and snowstorms occur, resulting in severed power lines as well as exterior property damage. Also, in many cases when there are storms, trees, and their limbs will cause the not-always-small inconvenience of your home’s loss of power.
Tree limbs too will butt up against your home’s aluminum or vinyl siding, not only causing superficial damage but also creating bridges for invasive critters, particularly but not exclusive to squirrels.
And with each passing season, tree limbs and their trunks increase in diameter. This process of nature will of course damage your home’s fencing, foundations, roof, and sewer lines, thanks to far-stretching underground tree roots.
So in all these cases, there are a variety of tools used to solve these problems. But the most dandy of all will certainly be the corded, battery, or gas-powered chainsaw. In the video above I showcase a gas-powered one although I honestly have no preference for a fuel-powered tool over a corded or battery powered. And as much as I love eco-friendly alternatives, the most important thing to consider here is how involved is the tree-felling job. You may need to consider if your chainsaw is either portable enough, has enough batteries to complete the job, or is it a plain old safety hazard because of the cord.
ABC’s video gives a breakdown of how to get started using a chainsaw. Remember safety first, wear gloves, eye, and head protection. Be purposeful when operating chainsaws. Walk carefully. Remove debris as you go along so as not to trip over limbs. And I always recommend having a friend or assistant present to help out. Good luck with tackling your landscape and making your community better for it. #ilovetolandscape Feel free to join our new landscape enthusiasts group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/ilovetolandscape
Creative Director/Fine Artist/Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Visual Journalist/Landscape Designer/Executive Director/Active Father