green industry

Green Industry Profile: Joe Holland

May 08, 2018

Green Industry Profile - Joe Holland

About
Joe Holland
Owner
Majestic Lawn Care and Landscapes
www.majesticlawnandlandscape.com

Majestic Lawn Care & Landscape is a full service lawn, tree and landscape company serving New City, Nyack, Stony Point, Montebello and Park Ridge. They provide lawn maintenance, conventional and organic lawn care, mosquito and tick control, complete tree care services, landscape and hardscape design and installation, fence installation and snow & ice management. 

Majestic Lawn Care and Landscape in New City, New York, traces its roots back to 1993, when owner Joe Holland decided it was time to add a day job to his night job as a drummer. So Holland added green industry business owner to his credits as a drummer in various hard rock bands, from AC/DC to Black Sabbath tribute bands, as well as original bands like Majesty.

“I started out by buying a company from a family friend in my neighborhood, he had 25 accounts. We have since grown to about 375 regular customers and we make about $1.7 million annually.”

In addition to building a large customer base over the years, Majestic has expanded the services offered. “We’re a full-service lawn care company. We do lawn maintenance, lawn care, tree removal, landscape design and installation, irrigation, lighting. We pretty much can cover all the bases for customers.”

Up until recently, Holland juggled owning his business with continuing to drum in bands as well as starting a family. “I had no time to myself. Right now I’m not in any band at all. It’s a little refreshing. Basically up till the time I left the last band in August I had been in a band for 25 years non-stop, usually more than one band at a time.”

But just because he’s taken a time-out from drumming doesn’t mean Holland doesn’t have a full day. “Usually I come into the office at about 6:30 or 7:00 and get my head around what’s going on for the day. I review my schedule, have a game plan and get down to the shop at about 7:45. All my guys show up at 8:00 and I send out three lawn crews and then myself, or one of my employees, takes out the landscaping crews or tree crews. I take them to the job, go over the job with them and then my first appointment is usually at 11 o’clock. I have anywhere from three to five appointments a day spaced at least an hour apart and then periodically check back in on the job. At the end of the day the paperwork is delivered back here to the office and I usually do some input at night. I eat, and then, because my office is on my property, finish up for the day and then go home, go to sleep and start all over again.”

One of my crew chiefs has worked with me for 25 years and I’ve got three others that came on board about 20 years ago, and a few more that came on about 16 years ago. So all my crew chiefs have been with me almost two decades or more.

Because labor can be so difficult to find, Holland stresses making his culture a real family atmosphere. Everything from Sunday barbecues to paying for literacy classes for employees and their families has helped with employee retention. “One of my crew chiefs has worked with me for 25 years and I’ve got three others that came on board
about 20 years ago, and a few more that came on about 16 years ago. So all my crew chiefs have been with me almost two decades or more.”

Holland wants to hit the $2 million mark next season. To get there, he’s looking to grow his lawncare and landscape install business. “I’m trying to grow my lawncare division. We’re trying to get them up into the half-million dollar mark. That’s a really good profit margin in that area. We’re also trying to grow our landscape installs. We brought on another landscape designer/project manager last year, so he’s helping us do that.”

Long-term, Holland hopes to turn the business over to his kids. “I don’t really have any
far-out projections. My goal is to make the company last long enough for my kids to take over. My oldest is 7 years old.”

To get there, he continues to invest in digital marketing opportunities in addition to well-branded trucks. “We have a large presence on Facebook. We post at least three times a week. It’s keeping our name out there. We also do a blog twice a month. We send an e-newsletter, so we’re doing stuff to keep our SEO high. We’re right on the first page every time you Google our company from any angle, like ‘lawncare, new city’, ‘landscape in Rockland County’. We always keep our website updated. “

Holland also learns a lot from a Harvesters peer group he’s in with other business owners. “There’s five guys in our group and two of them have bigger businesses than me and two are smaller. But we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all learn from each other and I especially like picking the brains of the guys. Fred Haskett runs the group and we meet face-to-face twice a year. And then we meet every two weeks on the phone. That really helps.”

Having been in business for over 25 years, Holland has noticed some changes in the industry since he started. “Competition is just incredible. I remember when I first started I went around to a couple other landscapers and asked for some advice and they were all very gracious and they all said the same thing: ‘You don’t need to be a low baller. You don’t need to step on other
people’s toes, there’s plenty of work out there.’ There are a lot of guys out there today who do low-ball and a lot of startup companies who have a lawn mower and call themselves a landscaper. They are cutting lawns for half the price that we are.”

Customers now are way more intelligent. They can go on Google and learn, which helps me because a lot of guys out there just making it up as they go.  So customers can educate themselves before I show up and then when I tell them what my thoughts are they know that I’m being honest with them.

Customers are also more knowledgeable. “Customers now are way more intelligent. They can go on Google and learn, which helps me because a lot of guys out there just making it up as they go. So customers can educate themselves before I show up and then when I tell them what my thoughts are they know that I’m being honest with them.”

As for the future of the industry, Holland does sense that robotic lawn mowers may disrupt the industry to some degree. “It’s doing well in some other countries. We would supply the lawnmower and install it and then we would just monitor it. We wouldn’t need as many guys to do that. Who knows? This is kind of a business where you need to be there on the lawn if you want quality.” 

This profile appeared in the 2018 Green Industry Benchmark Report. Download it today to see how your business compares to that of your peers.

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