At a glance: A residential and commercial landscaper
Employees: Three (seasonal)
Annual revenue: $30,000 to $50,000
When was the company founded: 2007
Biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Growing the heavy mulch and river rock installation side of the business, as well as more customers desiring custom gardening beds. “People want the outside of their homes to look clean and fresh,” said owner George Bourounis. “It gives their home value.” Bourounis also is proud that in addition to adding new customers he still has clients that have been with him since his operation began.
What was your biggest mistake in operating this business: “Trying to do it all myself,” Bourounis said. “I'd come home super tired, and with a family it wasn't a good thing. I had to realize the need to hire a couple of guys, whether I liked it or not. It's tough, though, because your business is your baby.”
What are the key challenges facing your business or industry: Unpredictable weather. “You don't know what it's going to be like from one day to the next,” Bourounis said. The businessman said the long winter resulted in him starting lawn jobs a month later than usual this year. During the winter months, he works as a line cook at his family's restaurant, Cosmos, which was founded by his father, Petros.
What is your strategy for staying ahead of your competition: Offering gift certificates for customers who sign season-mowing contracts. The company also offers discounts to senior citizens, police and firefighters. “We keep our prices reasonable,” Bourounis said. “We don't want to be the high bid or the low bid, but somewhere in the middle. When people see that, they see we're offering fair and honest pricing.” A typical residential lawn job costs $35 to $50.
What resources have you found most helpful in running a business: Learning from your own mistakes and learning from other successful companies. “Most of our jobs come from word of mouth and repeat business,” Bourounis said.
What are your growth projections for the next five years: 25 percent each year
What is one thing about your business that people might not be aware of: The company does custom lawn designing, including tree and bush planting, flower beds and other landscaping. Tree trimming, edging, fertilizing, seeding, sod work and gutter cleaning are among the services. “I've always liked the outdoors,” Bourounis said. “I wanted to show my two young daughters the (benefits) of working hard.”
If you weren't running this business, what would you be doing: A swimming instructor
Source: George Bourounis, owner
Compiled by Paul Wyche of The Journal Gazette