In the Fall of 2000, I was laid off from Hayes-Dana. In that Winter I did a few driveways of friends with a snow blower in the back of my truck.
I was lucky enough to get into the Self Employment Assistance (SEA) Program. In April 2001, I started a small lawn mowing business with a pickup, my parents’ lawnmower and a home-made trailer.
In the Spring of 2005, we hired our first employee and that Fall we bought the first plow for our pickup truck. In the Spring of 2006, we got our first few commercial properties for grass cutting which turned into commercial properties for snow removal. Over the next nine years we added more properties, more services, more equipment. We stayed reasonably small with one crew in the Summer and two employees plus me, two trucks and one tractor in the Winter.
Fast forward to 2015 we got a large Winter contract that changed the course of Sybran. Over the next six years we expanded our Winter service so that currently we have five tractors, six trucks and employ nine people.
After being asked by many customers we started offering gardening services, run by my lovely wife Amy. In 2014 this side of the business really took off. We now have a dedicated truck and crew of 2-3 employees.
I am still very much an Owner/Operator and very hands on. To date I still plow snow and cut grass everyday and I have built many important relationships over the years. I have always kept the small start up business in mind. I have some of the same customers from April 1st, 2001 until now.
One of the biggest things I have learned over the years is do what you say you are going to do and treat every customer as your most important customer.