Do you feel overwhelmed when trying to decide on a lawn care and fertilization company? Are you tired of endless Google searches and really no idea what questions to ask when you finally call a company? In this day and age, everyone is constantly being bombarded with marketing and advertisement, so much so that it’s often hard to pick the right (and reputable) company for you and your home. While we may be biased, we do think that our company is one of the best in terms of lawn care service as well as customer service. We could go on and on about how great our people are and how much they care about the yards they service & clients they serve. We could talk about the processes that we have in place to serve our clients in the best and most efficient manner and how those evolve based on our clients’ feedback. We could also talk about how we LOVE client feedback through every step of the process but we won’t (*wink*). Overall, we really just want to share some unbiased questions and research that you can do when trying to find the Lawn Care Company that is right for you whether that’s us or another company that seems like a good fit.
- Do you have a point of contact within the company?
- This is really important. If you have a question, comment, or concern, who do you go to? Do you have someone’s personal line (be it cell phone or office phone or email) to get in touch with them? Having to jump through the red tape of a corporate company just to get a question answered is something that no one has any time for. That’s one of the many reasons we encourage people to work with a locally owned company and that really isn’t just because we are one. Having one point (or multiple points) of contact within the company that you have a personal relationship with is a lost art in business nowadays but that doesn’t make it any less important! You should be as happy as the lady below when you call your lawn maintenance company!
- How long have they been in business?
- A company that has been in business for several years (5 years plus is a good starting point) typically isn’t going anywhere. When you find the right company, you want to make sure that they’re there to stay and won’t leave you in a lurch right after you get everything going with your lawn. Also, if they have that kind of longevity, they’re doing something right to stay in business since only 15% of small businesses stay in businesses past that 5 year mark.
- Do they have clients you can call for references?
- Whether or not you actually call their references, a reputable company should have clients that you can call to ask about their experience. The right company will have several clients that have willingly said that they’d be a reference and resource for them for any future clients. Businesses that will stand the test of time will count on referral business very heavily and hope that their relationship with their clients and their customer service will allow just that!
- Are their technicians licensed?
- To utilize fertilizer and pesticides on someone else’s property, it is Illinois law that the person applying them must have a license. This requires rigorous studying and passing a test from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. If not mixed and applied properly, they can be dangerous but that is eliminated with the proper training (and license). You wouldn’t want someone on the road without a license, would you? We feel the same way about spray technicians in the field without a valid license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The right company should not only have a licensed Applicator (who oversees all the field technicians) but each field technician should be a licensed Operator.
- Is the company insured?
- Business insurance typically falls into two categories: Liability and Workers Compensation. Liability insurance covers damages caused by the business’s work. Workers Compensation provides injured workers with payment for lost wages and medical services. If a contractor doesn’t have these insurances, any injury or damage could end up coming out of your (the homeowner’s) pocket if an employee of the company gets injured or damages occur. If a company doesn’t care enough to get insurance, then they probably aren’t very into safety training and regulations either. Protect yourself and make sure that you hire insured companies only.
- How well do they maintain their equipment and vehicles?
- Do you hear the truck rattling before you see it? Does the schedule keep getting changed because of broken down equipment? Those are all things that happen when a company doesn’t maintain their equipment well. If the equipment can’t even be maintained, how will they take pride in your yard? We’re not saying that all of their equipment has to be new but is it clean? Does it look well taken care of? You can typically tell just by outward appearances.
- What is the reputation of the company you’re looking at?
- With the Internet nowadays, people can very easily spread news (both good and bad) about a company. You can easily look at places like Google and Facebook to see what their clients think of them. How is their rating? Do they have comments along with the star rating? If they have lower star reviews, how do they respond? How did they handle it? No one is going to be perfect but if a mistake was made, how did they handle it? Do they even allow reviews on their Facebook page? In our opinion, it’s a big red flag if they don’t. Do a quick Google search of the company and check them out.
- What do the employees say about their job, coworkers, and the company?
- This may be hard to find out before you start working with the company but is a good thing to find out if you can. If you have the opportunity to visit the business, are their employees smiling and friendly? If you only speak with someone on the phone, how do they act? Are they courteous and helpful? The employees’ attitude reflects how the company treats them and their expectations as far as hiring goes. If people seem miserable to be at work, the company may be hard to work with. Now, everyone has bad days but if this is a consistent attitude throughout the company then something isn’t right!
We love the lawn care and landscaping industry and want to see it thrive and become the professional industry that we know it can be. That’s why we encourage you to do some research when it comes to who does your lawn fertilization. We hope you found the questions and things to consider in this article helpful. If you’re in the St. Louis metro east, we think the best lawn care company’s name rhymes with Shmenvisioning Dreen but if they check all the boxes on these questions as well, then they’re pretty great!