2021 was, in many ways, an extension of the changes we all faced in the previous year. For those of us in the lawn care business, there were unique challenges due to everything from the worldwide supply shortage to unexpected mishaps on the road. Still, serving our customers brings us immeasurable satisfaction even in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. So, we thought we’d take some time today to go over our 2021 Sun Power Lawn Care Year in Review.
Continued to focus on providing superior customer service
And as we just mentioned, giving our customers a pleasant lawn care experience is one of our top priorities. This extended beyond our typical week-to-week lawn care contracts as we expanded to include clean-up services this year. We received many calls for help with such requests and responded to each in a timely manner.
Of course, our mowing service continued to be one of our primary service offerings. With that came a bit of creative thinking. For example, as everyone knows, there’s a worldwide parts and supply shortage. This meant that we were unable to purchase replacement equipment for some of our older units. Undeterred, we found ways to refurbish them so that we could continue to serve our customers seamlessly.
Equipment purchases and refurbishes
Nevertheless, we still made equipment upgrades where necessary. One of our biggest purchases this year was a larger, 60-inch electric mower. For comparison, it’s over three times as big as the standard home push mower. That’s huge — effectively, the size of a middle schooler!
In fact, a mower deck this large, allows us to reduce the time we spend at properties with expansive lawns. And, because it’s electric, you wouldn’t even know we were there. The neighborhood is quiet, so whether you’re sleeping because you work the third shift or you’re having a Zoom call in the middle of the day, we can mow your grass quickly yet quietly.
Of course, we’ve already mentioned the need to refurbish some existing equipment. Electric handheld equipment is one of the hardest to get right now, though we hope to make those purchases in 2022 while supply chains stabilize.
2021 year in review: An unfortunate vehicle incident
Refurbishing requirements are also extended to our vehicles. Over the summer, one of our trucks ended up in an unfortunate accident with a semi. It was a hit and run, which meant that we were left to figure out how to keep working with significant damage to the vehicle without the aid of the other driver’s insurance. Note that one of our top priorities for 2022 is investing in dash cams for all of our company vehicles to prevent such incidents going forward.
Oh, and by the way, we also had a new trailer arriving the next week, and would need this vehicle to tow it. Without a direct means of replacing it, we effectively used a sledgehammer to get it back in a tow-worthy condition. We got by with this until we eventually started using Tom’s truck for the business. Meanwhile, Tom switched to using his bike for his daily commute, which is not only more efficient but gives him some daily exercise from his home to the office each day.
Efficiency often means killing two birds with one stone. In our case, the switch to using Tom’s truck meant he was able to fit in cardio each morning. Of course, our efficiency improvements didn’t stop there.
We identified key areas in our workforce for improvement and worked to optimize our productivity through systematic changes. This resulted in some turnover, as some employees chose to seek other employment. However, we were able to hire individuals to replace them who were not only better aligned with our company values but were more effective in their job performance.
In addition, we responded to challenges within the labor market by raising wages. The fact is, happier employees are more productive, stay with you longer, and serve your customers more effectively.
As we developed our staff, we also ended up promoting several team members to higher positions. So publicly, congratulations Sam and Amanda!
First, let’s talk about Sam. He joined our team and quickly proved himself as capable and reliable. Eventually, he earned his promotion to Team Lead and has really come into his own with his new role. He has helped us improve the accuracy of our customer quotes, particularly for large jobs, and has handled all aspects of the field operation particularly well.
Next up is Amanda. For quite some time now, she’s worked as a part of our office staff. Today, she now serves as our Office Manager, helping to field customer calls. It’s a great fit, and we’re excited to see her continue to thrive in her new role.
Reiterating our commitment to renewable energy
Thriving is something we all aim to do with our jobs. But, we also recognize that collectively it’s our job to take care of the planet. That’s a huge part of why we’re so committed to renewable energy equipment. There are no fumes, so our employees are happier. It’s quieter, so your neighborhood is quieter. And it’s also better for the planet long-term, reducing our collective dependence on energy supplies that will eventually run out.
Plans for 2022
This year, we kept our fridge full of Gatorade and snacks so that our employees never felt hungry or dehydrated while on a job. Next year, we’ll do the same while also looking for ways to continue growing. As one of the few electric-only companies in our region, we’re hoping to see more lawn care companies make the change — and that’s a path we’re willing to take the lead on. It’s our mission to make Gainesville and the surrounding communities a healthier place to live and work!
We’re also working to improve accountability within our team operations, gaining new accounts while maintaining existing ones. We’re developing a backup system in case of any unforeseen power outages so that we can continue to take care of our customers regardless of Mother Nature’s efforts to stop us. And finally, we’ll be upgrading our vehicle tracking systems so that incidents such as the hit-and-run from earlier are less impactful to our business.
The biggest takeaway from our Sun Power Lawn Care 2021 Year in Review
In the 2021 year in review, there was an overarching theme: continuous improvement and adaptation. We responded to uncertainties in the labor market with proactive measures. Supply shortages mean that we were forced to work smarter, finding creative ways to continue serving our clients.
As we look ahead to 2022, we plan to continue our commitment to providing quiet, low-pollution lawn care service for Gainesville, Jacksonville, and the surrounding communities. Our goal is to make our region not only one of the best looking but one of the healthiest too. To all of those who supported us this year, we say thank you! And to those incoming clients who will be joining the Sun Power Lawn Care family this spring, we can’t wait to get to know you!
Here are some great resources to help your lawn looks its best: