If you’re like the rest of us, I’m sure you breathed a sigh of relief when the clock rolled over to January 1st, 2021. The past twelve months have been a year unlike any other. From the pandemic to cultural unrest to abnormal weather patterns, there was a lot to process last year. In our Sun Power Lawn Care 2020 Year in Review, I’ll walk you through how we responded to the challenges we faced, the changes we made, and our expectations for 2021.
The Elephant in the Room: Covid-19
I’m going to start with the big one. No 2020 Year in Review would be complete without mentioning Covid-19. Like so many other small businesses across the country, the pandemic had a significant impact on our operations. I think we realized how closely connected we all are to each other as shutdowns in other regions affected economies hundreds of miles away. Job losses from all segments of our economy directly impacted consumer spending.
When money is tight, people look for ways to cut costs. Professional lawn care is one of the spending categories where households cut, and as a result, we lost about 12% of our customers. While that number seems significant, and it is, it also means that we were able to maintain 88% of our client base!
So despite the challenges Covid-19 brought, we remained busy. Our full-time staff members stayed on full time and internally we prepared for a post-lockdown reopening. When employees thought they had the virus or were exposed, we were able to give them paid time off so that their personal livelihood wasn’t negatively impacted.
Our preparations paid off. We were able to regain our market share so that we ended 2020 with the same volume of clients as we had at the start of the year. Interestingly enough, most of what we gained was new business, not customers who stopped our services and later restarted. This is a result of the referral program we developed including gift cards and coupons for other services. In addition, it also means that there is still room for growth this year as we continue to expand and look to regain those customers we lost.
Although not all Covid related, we focused on improving efficiency using the lessons we learned during the lockdown. As an example, we replaced our backup equipment with fully electric options. This serves multiple purposes:
- It makes a Sun Power Lawn Care maintained neighborhood the quietest one in your community. We reduce noise pollution as well as reducing our carbon footprint.
- We purchased a new electric mower with a 33-inch deck to optimize our time spent at each client’s home.
In addition, we developed new safety precautions including providing each employee with a thermometer. While this seems like a small step, the reality is that most people don’t think about owning one or where they last stored their thermometer until they need it. Now, all employees can take their temperature as needed.
We try to minimize exposure while driving from site to site, keeping the same two employees in the same van for the duration of the job. And just in general, we’re more cautious about person-to-person contact than ever before.
This is a great moment to announce that we promoted Kyle, our longest serving team leader, to field supervisor. Thank you, Kyle, for your years of service and for helping to make our company the best it can be!
We hired additional team members. First, welcome Amanda to the Sun Power Lawn Care team! Amanda spends much of her time back at the office and has become a major asset to us.
Plus, our 2020 Year in Review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Tyler. Tyler has helped to transform our services in a unique way. Back at the warehouse, Tyler spends most of his time in prep. This allows our van operators to stay in the field as long as possible, negating the need for return trips for missing tools, dull blades, or other maintenance issues. Tyler keeps our team focused on serving our clients.
Expectations for 2021
First and foremost, we want to keep rolling with the success we have had despite the challenges we faced. As I mentioned, one of our goals was to reduce neighborhood noise and sound pollution. We want to continue to grow within the neighborhoods we currently service to make them as pollution-free as possible. If we can turn your street into a quiet neighborhood by the end of 2021, then we’ll have met our goal.
We also want to increase our efficiency even more by reducing the time between jobs. This, of course, comes through continuing to refine our warehouse prep work as well as client growth. The denser we are in an area, the faster we can service our clients through smart route planning.
Next, we want to capitalize on our growing team and leverage their skills to improve customer service. We want to be known as a company that communicates and keeps its customers in the loop as much as possible.
Finally, I just want to say thank you to everyone who stuck with us, came on board, and helped to make our 2020 a success in spite of everything going on in the world. I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for our company.
Here are some great resources to help your lawn looks its best: