Our Level Up series shares the strategies that help landscape and lawn care companies get to the next level.
For Pro Cutters Lawnscapes, Inc. based in Conyers, Georgia, their goal is to have a thriving company, rather than one that is “big” on paper.
“While we have always set revenue goals, one thing we have learned is it is best to feel your way to growth,” says Steve Bromell, operations manager for the company. “In other words, make sure you grow your infrastructure to support new business. If you do not, you will be ‘blessed’ with new work that turns out to be a curse because you do not have enough manpower, equipment or whatever.”
Bromell runs the company with his wife, Shawn Bromell, who is the president of the company. They founded the business in 2010 bringing a little over $500,000 in revenue when they started. Now they will make over $15 million in revenue this year.
The company provides commercial lawn maintenance, roadside mowing and vegetation and debris removal for the metro Atlanta area.
“Our business has always focused on commercial and government work,” he says. “However, lately we have seen an opportunity to do creative landscaping projects…so we are excited about our new landscaping division that has just gotten underway!”
Reaching Seven and Eight Figures
Pro Cutters Lawnscapes has experienced two periods of significant growth, first in 2014 when the company hit the seven-figure mark and second in 2016 when they hit the eight-figure mark.
“We had a plan where we believed if we focused on infrastructure and management building, the opportunities to expand would present itself,” Bromell says. “Of course, we had specific areas we were focusing on from a growth model as well.”
In 2012, Bromell says even though it was just two years after starting the business there were several indicators that they felt put them in an ideal position for growth. They hired several managers who took on the commitment of salaried positions and they had strong relationships with their subcontractors who helped them take on the burden of growth.
“Due to the nature of our business, which is constantly bidding on contracts, you never know when that next opportunity will come along.” Bromell says. “However, there are seasons where we are focused on maintaining our current workflow and other seasons where we are postured for growth.”
Keys to Growth
Brumell says the three main factors that have contributed to his company’s growth are a commitment to excellence, being debt-free and giving back.
“Whether it is to business hopefuls, our employees, or other individuals in need – our is always to share our blessings with others.”
One of the ways Shawn and Steve Brumell give back is by mentoring many business hopefuls and giving to many charitable organizations. They are members of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and other small business organizations as well. Bromell says they just joined NALP but are looking forward to learning and being a part of the organization for many years to come.
Early on, the company had 20 to 25 employees and now they have around 75 full-time employees along with several contract partners. Brumell says their company culture centers around doing everything with excellence.
“We use the acronym S.T.E.W.A.R.D.S., which stands for Safety-First, trust, excellence, wisdom, accountability, respect, diversity (discipline) and serving,” Brumell says. “Once workers get this, they not only expect these things from others, they also begin to expect them from themselves.”
He says that by investing in their workers, they get a better product in return. While they are not perfect, they still strive for perfection.
“The result of this is nearly 10 major awards through the years,” he says. “In fact, our company is now sought after from people who see our work for others. We believe they recognize there is something very ‘different’ about Pro Cutters.”
Sustaining Growth with Subcontractors
Bromell says the main element that has allowed them to sustain their growth is by utilizing subcontractors.
“Getting work done through others is not new, but what we try to do differently is to make sure we keep a good relationship with our subs,” he says. “Making sure they get paid on time, even if we don’t.”
He says most subcontractors aren’t accustomed to this treatment and they’ve found it makes a huge difference with their performance.
“In any business, there will always be challenges and each business has the decision on how they will handle it,” Brumell says. “Every area of complication has yielded a compelling reason for us to learn more and work towards overcoming the challenges.”
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