Why are we changing our name? For many reasons, not least of which is just because we can! It’s been 17 years and a change, a fresh start if you will, seems due. When my wife, Julie, and I started this business in 2001, we called it Fresh Start Enterprises to signify the dramatic change starting a business meant for us at the time and to represent what we were offering our customers: a dramatic “fresh start” change in their landscaping!
While “fresh start” easily communicates half the idea, what’s not so obvious at first glance is the landscaping. Fresh Start Enterprises has been mistaken for other organizations such as marriage counseling, debt consolidation, and addiction support/recovery. Though we anticipated some misinterpretation from the beginning due to the vagueness of “enterprises,” we went with it anyway for two reasons.
For one, Fresh Start Landscaping was already claimed – someone beat us to it! We also liked the open-ended possibilities it presented in that we didn’t feel restricted to landscaping. Interestingly, the fanciful idea of expanding into other services or other businesses has given way to the opposite philosophy of narrowing our focus in search of our perfect niche in the landscaping industry. We’ll talk more about that in future posts, but as far as the name change goes, “outdoors” is a better description of where we are, who we are, and where we want to be!
Another good reason to change a name is to mark other significant changes, and many are happening in our business right now! The biggest change, the first domino, is a determination we came to in late 2017 to (finally) follow through on what we started in September 2001, “finishing” our business. Finishing our business means transforming it from an owner-centric operation in which all the activity revolves around, depends on, and involves the owner (me), into what we call a "real" business.
There's nothing wrong with the business model we’ve successfully employed for all these years, except that one person can only do so much for so long. After 17 years, we’ve decided to reach for something bigger and better. “Bigger” meaning staffing the right people so we are adequately equipped to meet the demand for our services, and “better” being consistently exceptional, timely, and efficient service. The trouble with doing a great job for people time and again is that word gets around and soon you’re overwhelmed with wonderful customers and more work than you can handle! Our intention is to restructure our business in such a way that we can answer the phone again with confidence and joy, and without trepidation at the prospect of more work, knowing we can respond quickly, execute projects promptly, and provide service beyond anything I could ever offer on my own.
The trouble with doing a great job for people time and again is that word gets around and soon you’re overwhelmed with wonderful customers and more work than you can handle!
The “finish-the-business domino” triggered a tremendous amount of activity, movement, and creative energy -- all of which is both invigorating and challenging. Every aspect of our daily operation has been affected and will continue to change for some time as we work toward this new goal. We intend to document much of this journey on our new website, including updates on our team, the milestones we reach, and news or developments that affect our customers.
This website will be a hub of activity with up-to-date resources to enhance the enjoyment and longevity of everyone’s landscaping, as well as an efficient way to contact us for service or appointment scheduling. (To get a monthly digest delivered to your inbox, sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our home page.) Everything from personnel to internal systems, to training of our staff and educating our customers, to how we dress, to what we drive, and even down to details like how we dig holes, is moving in this new direction. We are working hard to build a competent team, capable of delivering what we’re calling “right way, right away landscaping, by design.”
Progress toward our goal is already obvious. We already recruited an amazing landscape designer whose plant knowledge and design creativity are surpassed only by his personal integrity. We’ve recruited a tremendous labor crew, every member of which is dedicated to learning, working hard day in and out, to personal growth and team success, and to delivering excellent service to our customers. We’ve recruited for the first time ever an individual (our talented daughter, Kath) to spearhead our marketing, re-branding, and social media campaigns. Julie continues to manage our accounting and payroll with penny-picking perfection as we grow. You can read more about our team here.
We’ve also acquired better equipment (amen!), a new look, the new website, and of course, the new name. Hopefully, Fresh Start Outdoors, Landscape + Lifestyle, says it all. What do you think? We’d like to hear from you and we’re trying to provide many avenues for that communication to happen! Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.