Once upon a time, Carolina Creation Landscapes was a successful company with $1 million in sales. “We wanted to grow, but we didn’t want to spend our time figuring out how to do it ourselves, “ said Jonathan Thrift, general manager of the Shallotte, North Carolina, firm. “We came together with LandOpt at the perfect time, and it was the perfect fit.”
That was in 2007. In 2016, the company, which serves North and South Carolinas, closed the year with $6 million in sales, Thrift said. “We are using the good business practices that LandOpt taught us,” he said. “We always knew we had a good product. LandOpt showed us how to get that in front of the right people, and then how to maintain those business relationships.”
LandOpt partners with qualified, independently owned landscape contractors who want to transform their organizations. It provides a proven business operating system, including sales and marketing, human resources, operations management and business management.
But the partnership between LandOpt and Carolina Creations, which began nine years ago, wasn’t a “happily ever after” ending at first.
“With any change, your natural reaction is to fear and push back,” Thrift said. “It’s easy to revert back to what you know. So it took a couple of years of struggling before we began to make progress.”
Carolina Creations, was founded by Art Miller in 1996 and restructured with co-owner Pleas Webster in 2005. Thrift joined the team in 2002, after Miller noticed him studying while working at a gas station.
“It was winter, so we were slow and I had a chance to study for a class for my horticulture program,” Thrift recalled. “Carolina Creations had a gas account with us, so after he (Miller) noticed I was studying plants we would always talk, and later he offered me a job.”
Thrift has “done a little bit of everything” with the company, and now as general manager leads the team. He explained that LandOpt helped the company become proactive in its approach. “We had to make that mentality change to going after customers,” Thrift said. “But when we did, it made a big impact. If you’re not changing, you’re not growing. Each year we are getting stronger.”
The company has added maintenance and swimming pool installation to its services, both of which have increased profits.
The landscaping company today boasts of customercentered solutions and building strong, long-lasting relationships with clients. LandOpt pointed Carolina Creations in the right direction through success coaching and education. The unlimited personalized coaching includes face-to -face meetings between a business professional and employees as well as regular communication reminding managers to stay on track.
“Sometimes people can take advice a little easier if it’s someone coming from the outside,” Thrift added, noting being held accountable is key to success.
The education includes boot camps for managers at all levels, skills-based trainings, role-based webinars and educational webcasts.
“If you’re not learning, you’re going backward. We try to participate in as many of the classes as possible,” Thrift said, calling the content “detailed” and “outstanding.” Another great benefit of the training LandOpt provides is the opportunity to network with the other participating LandOpt licensees, he added.
Carolina Creations Landscapes’ story is one repeated by other landscape companies who have joined the LandOpt network. With LandOpt’s help, they are creating their own happy endings.
Taking the journey with LandOpt starts with a single step. Contact LandOpt at www.landopt.com for more information.