Ep 018 – Cutting to Grow: Tim Trimmer’s Radical Approach to Higher Profits

Home / Episode / Ep 018 – Cutting to Grow: Tim Trimmer’s Radical Approach to Higher Profits

Imagine hacking away a third of your landscape company's revenue stream only to watch its profits soar. This episode of 'Roots of Success' podcast spotlights Tim Trimmer's radical decision that set Professional Grounds on an unprecedented path to growth. Tim's bold moves to ax a major landscaping department, implement rigorous tracking systems, and cultivate a skilled and loyal workforce turned his business around. Discover how Tim and his team built a landscape empire by turning conventional business tactics on their head. You won't want to miss why Tim's 'savage mode' is a philosophy worth considering for your landscape business.


Streamlining for Success

Key Moments:

[01:14] Start of Professional Grounds Company

[03:53] Shutting Down a Landscaping Department

[04:44] A Major Turning Point

[12:05] Landscape Org. Chart Management

[13:37] Knowing your Numbers in Landscaping

[17:46] Creating a great place to work

[20:37] Dial in your systems

[24:56] The Importance of Good Training

[27:10] Landscape Property Maps


    1. How can a small landscape business increase profitability?
    2. What are the best practices for efficient use of space in landscaping?
    3. What is the importance of tracking gross margins?
    4. How do you train new landscape employees effectively?
    5. Can technology improve landscaping business operations?
    6. How do you choose the right clients for your landscaping company?
Episode Transcript
Tommy Cole: Welcome back to Roots of Success Podcast. I'm your host, Tommy Cole, and today we have a special guest. It's Tim Trimmer the owner of Professional Grounds in Northern Virginia. It's a full service commercial landscape company that was started in 1974 by his father. He has a lot of great information to share. It's going to be a great conversation. So let's jump right into it. Welcome, Tim. Tim Trimmer: Yeah. Nice to see you, Tommy. Thanks for having me.[00:01:00] Tommy Cole: Absolutely. So let's, let's get right into it. We have a lot to go over, but so take me back, your dad was running this landscape company and all of a sudden, young boy, Tim comes in and joins in and tell me how that all got started. Start of Professional Grounds Tim Trimmer: Well, I'd even go back before that from when my, when my father started the business, he was gonna go to Northern Virginia to start landscaping companies focused on HOAs. 'cause they were new at the time in 1974. And everyone thought he was crazy, like, you're gonna go mow lawn. Like, how do you expect to make money? That seems insane. He did pretty well though. But he started in 1974. he had an incredible business. It was very different back then. Obviously, it was all paper. I worked there since I was 14 years old, graduated in 2003, you know, graduated Saturday, started working Monday. in 1990, he started the residential design build department. So we're doing commercial maintenance and resident design build. Tommy Cole: Okay. Tim Trimmer: Everything was going really well until 2008. [00:02:00] 2008, he got some really bad news from three doctors that said, Like, you've got about two years to live. And it was just prostate cancer, but it was extremely aggressive prostate cancer. That, like, the Gleason scale was like 9. 8 or whatever. Tommy Cole: Wow. Tim Trimmer: Anyways, He would show up to the office some days, but he was not mentally here. You know, he was down in Florida seeing specialist and he his full time job was getting healthy. I was too young to really run a business. We weren't that big of a business compared to now, but now they're probably 40 or 50 employees. And I was actually running the residential design build department and it was going pretty well. It was just seem to be. A third of our revenue and 90 percent of our headaches. So when he left, we just kind of floated around for a 8 years. And things were. We were never making much money. We didn't grow that much without his leadership. And then in 2017, I just changed my title on my email to. [00:03:00] President and I Tommy Cole: I'm now the president. Tim Trimmer: was like, it was like, it was like a, it was like a dictator. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Tim Trimmer: I didn't think I didn't think anyone would notice. And then, like, within 5 minutes, he was like, are you the president now? I was like, I think so. I think I am. And my just mentioned my dad. My dad is doing fine to this day. He never really came back to work in the same capacity and was able to retire. so I took over in 2017 as president. I made a decision very quickly with the guidance of Jim Cali. We had a lot of conversations about this. He thought it was pretty gutsy that I was gonna shut down the residential design build department. Again, it was 1/3 of our revenue and all of our headaches. Tommy Cole: Okay. So hold, hold out there, Tim. so the story goes, you're going to shut down an entire portion of the company because you thought that was the right thing to do as now president. Right. And that was in. 2017. Shutting Down a Department Tim Trimmer: correct and it was, it was shutting down a huge department , cutting our revenue by a third. [00:04:00] And it was scary, but I just knew we could not. Manage our core business with the headache of residential design build. So we shut it down cold turkey. It was an extremely difficult day. we had 5 install crews. I went and met with all them individually, some of them repurposed and then we had like, 5 or 6 managers and I, you know, I spoke with them all in order. I tried to keep it private until I spoke with everyone, but it was. An emotionally exhausting day. I remember going home that night and just being wiped out. It was just tough. So, I ran the numbers all which ways and we didn't know how it was going to work, but I knew it had to work. I knew we had to work on the business as opposed to me being in the business dealing, putting all my time into residential design build. So we shut it down Turning Point Tommy Cole: So,what was the trigger point to go from dropping residential? you figured out something was not working for your ideal client, your ideal business, right? What works for you is different than what works for everybody. But there was a light bulb [00:05:00] that's turned on and said, we can't do this anymore. Was it because of the headaches? And the lack of profit and the operations of the way it was set up. Tim Trimmer: I would say it was just taking all of our time up. Like, I didn't, we didn't have time to work on our core business. We were not improving our core business because. Residential design build is taking all of our time. And really, if you think about it, there's an amazing companies in Northern Virginia residential design build. It was 1 3rd of our revenue. Are we going to be able to track the best people if it's a small portion of our revenue or the best people want to go to the companies that that's all they do? And they're incredible at it. We had some great employees still, there was no way We were going to be really, really good at both things. And I felt like to be successful, we need to try to do one thing and do it better than anyone else. And that, that was our whole focus from once I shut it down. Tommy Cole: Got it. I think early in our careers as business owners, we do everything, right? We're the yes people all the time. And I think the light bulb was the actually using the word no, [00:06:00] like we are not going to be successful at that. And we're going to hone in our craft in one section. And do it really, really, really, really well over and over and over every single day, right? Tim Trimmer: Yeah, to me, it felt like a weight. Like, I just had to cut that weight and go. It was just dragging me down. And I think everybody down, so it ended up being the best decision I ever made. 2018. Like I said, the numbers didn't work. We made an incredible profit that year. It was beyond what we ever could imagine. And we grew our commercial department to make up that revenue. Pretty quickly and our systems got, they have been getting better and better and better. And we've had record profits in 18, 19, 20, but from where we came from in 2018, where we are now is, is unbelievable from the culture standpoint, from our systems profitability, and we've gone from about 45 employees to about 130 or 140 now, so we've Tommy Cole: Wow. Tim Trimmer: as well with margin going up. Tommy Cole: That's great. That's great. So take me [00:07:00] to 2018 and what you call Savage Mode. Tim Trimmer: credit to James Terry, we were in a, in 1 of our meetings, he goes, Tim's got savage mode. He can just go savage and I take that as a compliment. I definitely went savage for a bit. When, when I took over and we shut down the landscape department, it was a race against the clock to fix our systems and become streamline and incredibly profitable and improve our culture. And I started waking up at, like, 1 or 2 am, or 3 am, and I would just lay in bed till 6 because that's what I'm supposed to get up and go to work. I did that for about a week and I was like, man, I'm waking up because I'm stressed and laying in bed for three or four hours every morning is making it worse because I'm not at work. And when I go to work, I'm tired. So then I started, I just started going to work. I remember driving to work one morning at like 12:30 or one o'clock. and I would work, work, work. And I've got an incredible wife that supported me everything I was doing. And I would get home late, 78 o'clock. And it was really hard because, you know, we [00:08:00] had young kids but it had to be done. And I knew it was going to be short term pain, but long term gain. Tommy Cole: Love it. So a few of those things that you have identified between the 2 in the morning to 8 p. m. at night, that's full Savage Mode. There's a lot of good things that came out of that that you implemented name off some of those things that you had to dial In in your business. Tim Trimmer: Yeah. Great question because we had to dial in a lot, but I would say Some of the most important things were we didn't know our expenses. We didn't know what our profit was on every property. And, and before we kind of looked at man-hour goals, but we didn't know what a true profit was. So, the first thing I did is, created something that we know exactly to the penny what our expenses are at every property. We looked at, you know, our gross margin on the contract work, you know, our gross margin on the enhancement work, our. Blended margin. [00:09:00] And we knew it and it took and we had something pretty good at first. It's we're still even now making it better, but it's really hard. Like, you know, you've got unbillable time. How do you allocate that travel time allocating that? It's really hard to dial and get and get it. Really accurate. And we've really done that. But now we know, like, if you have a conversation at a board meeting and you need to raise your price 10 percent because you're not making money, that's a hard conversation. Yes, but if you know your numbers and, you know, when you, if you're going up 10%, that's going to get you to a 5 percent profit. You're confident in that, like, let him go out to bid. We know our price is very competitive. We know our numbers and it makes that conversation much easier when you have the confidence of your numbers. Tommy Cole: Yeah. No good stuff So you also did quality scores, right? And you all you also did efficiency ratios Estimating Tim Trimmer: all well. Tommy Cole: explain a few of those. Tim Trimmer: Well, we want 2 things we did that made a world of differences. We created 2 incredible [00:10:00] documents that made our sales team sell so much more because it speeded their process up so much. 1 is bidding enhancement work. Which we call sprout, and our PMS, which is estimating new maintenance contracts. We can get a, you know 2 or 300, 000 maintenance contract. We get all the numbers in from our estimator and we can put it all that information and bid that work and send a proposal in 5 minutes. It is so fast, toggling on whether it's optional. All everything changes. There's no human error. Those are 2 huge things that really help. And you mentioned we do. Yeah, we do quality scores and efficiency ratios. So basically, it's just simple Google document that when our account managers are in the field looking at their properties. If they're there, they're going to rate their properties. You know, there's like 5 categories. Trash, the mowing quality weeds on the property, stuff like that. they put the name in, the foreman already pops up through VLOOKUP, you know, the their name pops up as the account manager and they grade it, right? Those grades go to [00:11:00] just a simple pivot table that goes on every one of our branches. And you can see all of our foreman scores from A to D, right? And it's, great competition. You know, if there's a crew that's a C, it lets them know everyone sees their seat. They don't like that. They're going to step up their quality, but also as managers. It's like, Hey, we need to work with this guy. We need to, we need to follow him around. Make sure he's doing a good job. We're his coach, not his boss. Let's make sure we're helping him out. We want to get him to a B and we let them know that we're on the property because we saw your C. We want to help you get to a B. So that's been really helpful in our quality. Tommy Cole: Good. Tim Trimmer: Efficiency ratios. Yeah, we just made our goal divided, you know, compared to actuals and we, we kind of post the same thing up on the same TV Tommy Cole: cool. Good. So scoreboard is good for employees, right? Knowing how they're doing, all that data is goodfor a learning experience, to improve the numbers, improve the profit along the way. Explain the org chart [00:12:00] part. I guess what the puzzle piece was figuring out that putting the right people in the right seat. Org. Chart Management Tommy Cole: I think a lot of small businesses kind of struggle With what to do in that scenario, what's, what's some of your experience that you had to go through getting that dialed in, Tim Trimmer: so we have account managers, Tommy Cole: okay, Tim Trimmer: want our account managers to sell work. We do not want them, Tommy Cole: in Tim Trimmer: special jobs. We do not want them overseeing the crews. So we have account managers that have a portfolio of work, of HOAs. And we've got our field managers. They're the ones that are managing our maintenance crews. So, typically, if you'll manager for us, we'll have 5 to 7 mowing crews. and a pruning crew that they will oversee. And then our account managers have a portfolio of work, but they communicate a lot together. We try to get our account managers. In certain areas, it's kind of hard to do because. They might have a relationship with a property manager, so it kind of gets all messed up. But yeah, account managers and field managers, I think at one point we were, mixing that together and it didn't work out too well, Tommy Cole: it's great because you separate [00:13:00] that out, right? Account managers are, are focused on client facing communication and enhancement sales, right? Quality, all that, while people outside of them are producing the work, they're watching the hours, they're getting the crews out the door. All of that. And that's separate. There's no double dipping in those roles. Tim Trimmer: when you have, when you're wearing two hats, it's really hard to take one hat off and put the other on. And really, I think people that are good, good at production, they're not necessarily good at sales and, you know, or meeting the client and vice versa as well. It's like, it's two totally different brain styles. Knowing your numbers Tommy Cole: Yeah, not many people are able to switch their hats back and forth and be really, really good at it. It's, it's extremely hard. I get it. So some of the things that you guys focused on is knowing your expenses and everything's tracked. and there's, you know, cogs, right? that was probably a big change from your dad, right? how did [00:14:00] everyone adjust to that and did they really understand the meaning behind that? I guess basically what we coach too is, right, managed by the line item, that's what you were doing every single. week and every single month you were managing every single expense coming out. But that prepared your team greatly right when they're out there thinking about making that next purchase. Tim Trimmer: Yeah, so in addition, you know, previously I talked about knowing our gross margin of properties. we did that. That was a huge change, but we also, we used to have staff meetings at the staff means, you know, we would go up for an hour and just talk about our finances and everything. And I just could see people's eyes glazing over Tommy Cole: Yeah, Tim Trimmer: now. We, we have a really good. Way of getting that information to where they understand it, where we have about 30 charts. We go over each department. We look at direct labor for each department monthly year to date. We look at our overhead as a percentage of sales. We've got 30 charts that we go through and we look in those charge. It's got this year and our previous 4 years. So It's [00:15:00] a simple, chart you make that shows, kind of where we are compared to previous years really helps people understand a lot better. So that was something that's very helpful too. And we've got it to the point where I can update the numbers each month in 5 minutes. And all those 30 charts are updated, you know, through Google Sheets. Tommy Cole: that's great. Well, I, I do know from visiting your place back in July of 2019. Not knowing who this guy was. Butthe one thing that stuck out in Tim Timmer was the spreadsheet guru, right? I mean, is that self taught? Because most of your businesses run like that, right? Tim Trimmer: Yeah, so I enjoy puzzles and excel is a big puzzle. Like if I need to know our direct labor and I need to get reports to the managers each week to manage labor. I don't like looking at the GPS and saying, why are they to 7 11? I don't like to make micromanage like that. We give, goals for what they want their direct labor as a [00:16:00] percentage of sales to be for the year. Then they divided it by month. And then every week we go look at a chart that shows this for this week. Your labor should have been 20,000 You're at 21,000 and I'm not doing it. They're giving me the goals. I'm just giving them feedback and it really, really helped. So that's that's like an example of a puzzle. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Tim Trimmer: You love them and I've gotten, I think, pretty good, but it is self taught. I never took any classes or anything. You've got a question. You just Google it. It's it's just, how do I do this? It's really easy. You just got to be disciplined and just grind. Tommy Cole: And grind. that's what we talk about a lot with the people we meet across the country is having the data in order to make informed decisions, right? Most of us are going, Oh man, we don't know if we're profitable. We don't know if they're efficient. We don't know if they're getting the job done. We don't know if they're winning every day. We don't know if they have sales goals. and all of this has to be tracked in order to make good decisions to run your company. It's almost like the blood test. [00:17:00] Right. You can look super healthy from the, from the outside, but all kinds of crazy stuff might be going on in the inside, i. e. not profitable. So, stay, you know, consistent numbers every single day, driving that business to know where you're at is probably key. I get it. Tim Trimmer: Yeah, absolutely. And like with, with direct labor, I think that is by far everyone's biggest expense in the industry. And I think it gets the least amount of attention. You know, we're looking at what are our fuel is a percentage of sales. We can't control that. Like, labor is the biggest thing. And when we started dialing in on that and giving every week, consistent feedback every week, it really, really. Helped our bottom line a lot. Tommy Cole: Yeah, that's great. We sell labor. Tim Trimmer: everything we measure everything. Creating a great place to work Tommy Cole: Great. Great. So let's talk about another topic that you put in bold on her outline. And that is focused on creating a great place to work. does that mean at Professional Grounds? Tim Trimmer: [00:18:00] People are important, good employees are important and we wanted to make sure. That every employee that was valuable to us stayed with us, you know, and enjoy working at professional grounds. Tommy Cole: Mm hmm. Tim Trimmer: From the labor up to, you know business development managers. So we work really hard on that. I think. We had a lot of policies in place from the past and we've updated a lot like. just this year. For example our laborers said we asked people that came in to interview and our existing employees about biweekly pay. Well, they don't like it. And weekly pay is really important. So we changed it. It cost us, I think, $30,000 a year in payroll tax, our payroll expenses. But that's a win for us. We changed that. We give 20 percent of our profits back to our employees every quarter. We do a lot of cookouts. We used to nickel and dime our, our employees over uniforms. Like, okay, you get this shirt, but you pay us 2. We take out your check. Like, what are we doing? We just stopped doing all that. We said, you can have, here's a shirt. You have as many as you want. Just bring back your old one if [00:19:00] it's messed up. We used to clock them out at the job site and say, you have a free, free ride back to work. Do you think they like that? Like, every day they get frustrated by that. It's not worth it. Pay them to go back to the shop and make sure they're happy. A happy employee is going to work harder for you and be a better value for your customers. We've created a lot of systems in the office that are simple and effective. Everyone has an employee at their company that is absolutely incredible. You cannot afford to ever lose that person. And I think your best, you need to pay extremely well, way better than anyone else would ever pay them. It's, it's the best money you can spend. Good employees are hard to find. So we make sure we identify employees and we're constantly doing that. We've got a lot of really good employees now. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Tim Trimmer: Yeah, we really have worked hard and creating a great place to work and someone came office the other day and they said. we've just got a good team in place where everyone's nice, everyone's kind. There's no yelling. it's just a good atmosphere. I think it's a healthy atmosphere and I think that comes from years of, you know, identifying your core values and making sure you're hiring [00:20:00] the people that, fit your core values and fit in your company. Tommy Cole: Yeah. You know, I had some, things here when,you take an account manager that's applying to work there and you're like, Yeah, you want 70, 000. Okay, great. You know, I'm gonna try to get them at 60, 000. You're like, wait a second. What is it? Why and I feel like professional grounds are like sounds great. You want seven we got you for 75 Because we value Tim Trimmer: they're happy. Tommy Cole: And they walk in the door extremely excited, ready to go, right? Tim Trimmer: Yep. Tommy Cole: That's an example of what you guys do at PGI. Tim Trimmer: Yep. And if they keep busting their ass, you keep, you keep helping them out. I mean. Dial in your system Tommy Cole: Yep. Yep. Good. Dial in your systems. One of the systems that I saw there in 2019, and hopefully it's still there, going strong, but the morning rollout is one of the systems that we always talk about. And you've got this circle that's painted. Is the circle still there? Tim Trimmer: The circle is still there. We actually repainted it. [00:21:00] Tommy Cole: Because it got bigger. Tim Trimmer: this year. Well, no, it can't get bigger. It's like we're busting seams here. It's so it's so much tighter than it was when you were here. Tommy, I cannot explain. It's. It's twice as tight. So the circle is there. We can't all stand on it, but we stand in row stack behind it now. But the morning huddle is important. You know, it's like football teams have huddles before their plays. We want to make sure we have a huddle before our before our day. And it's we always talk about safety. We have safety topics once a week. we bring up safety up almost every day, but I think they're very important and it's been a big part of our culture. Tommy Cole: Yeah, it's great. I always use Tim Trimmer's company as an example. He might have one of the smallest square footage lots at any landscape company I probably have ever seen. And oh, by the way, he probably shoves, I don't know, 20 trucks in that and they're packed in like sardines. But he has used a small space, extremely efficient, [00:22:00] when a lot of owners are like, I just need the biggest place. I need room to grow. No. Go see Tim Tremmer's place because... They are super efficient. but by God, the next morning when you're rolling out, and if you're in the front line, you better get on the gas and get out of there, right? Tim Trimmer: Yeah, I mean, it's, it's less than an acre and we've got 100 employees at this location. It's tight. It's really tight. Tommy Cole: That's great. Tim Trimmer: and I think we're going to keep. We bought that we bought a building across the street, but, I still think we'll be here another 4 years. I don't know what we'll do, but it's we're going to make it work 1 way or another may not be pretty. But, well, it'll be tight. Tommy Cole: It'll be great. good conversation, Tim. You got some last minute takeaways, and there's a few good ones. But knowing your numbers again, and all the costs that... Go into the properties and, Why did you think that knowing your numbers was so good? Was it just because you're in peer groups? Or did you hear it from certain people? Or [00:23:00] you just felt like that was the way to go? Did your father know the numbers as well? That kind of helped you leverage into that? Or is that something you grab a hold of? Tim Trimmer: Well, I think it's, it was really hard to do it when it was paper. I mean, Excel wasn't, they weren't using that then, but I knew it's a game. The gross margin is a game for every property, like. You want to try to get every property up to a certain margin, and now we're working really hard on identifying ideal clients, which are willing to pay premium. They do snow. They do enhancements with us, and we'll bid those lower, you know, to try to get more ideal clients, but it's a game. You've got to, when you're doing every year, when you're doing increases on it, you need to look at every property individually. Look at what they're, do they pay on time? Do they do enhancements? Do they do snow? What do we want this property to get to? What are they at now? If you don't know that information, you can't play that game and you're going to lose. You're going to have a lot of properties you're losing money on. You have some properties you're making too much money on and you're going to eventually lose those if you don't, readjusted. So it is a game. It's a game that everyone should be playing. [00:24:00] Yeah, Tommy Cole: get it. You know, I hear a lot of companies that do maintenance or they don't do maintenance.and... The common denominator is like, well, you can't make money in maintenance. And,that's the threshold. They like the, the big installs, the design build or, or the big, the big sexy projects, but, you are a great company to take that advice and go you're wrong because. You need to know if you're making money on each and every single property not Collectively out of all hundred properties are you profitable but every single property should be measured? And I think that's one of the biggest takeaways from you and your business. Tim Trimmer: absolutely. I mean, you look at your profit and if you don't know your numbers, you've got 20 properties pulling you down. If you got rid of those twenty properties or better yet, you gave them a raise and they, they approved it. Like you're in a much better position than you were. Importance of Training Tommy Cole: Yeah, So training You mentioned that [00:25:00] briefly early on but it's one of my things that I stress a lot, too Southwest Airlines and Chick fil A and all those great companies train all the time. And you had mentioned that you've got a weekly trainer, you've got a head of training. Dive into the why there, it's so important to have consistency, I mean, just because you've got crews that have been there for five years or 10 years doesn't mean that you stop, but you keep getting better and better each week and each year. Explain the importance of that. Tim Trimmer: Yeah, so we, we had, I guess we did this wrong for 48 years, but, we had, we would have a new employee that would come to work for us and he had a great attitude and we hired him. We sent him to a big property and it's like, we're like, here's an edger go. And the property is 5 miles of edging, but you'll figure it out. I mean, that's not a good way to go about it. We decided, yeah. Last year that we needed a full time trainer in the field. We hired 88 new people last year. So now when we hire someone new, [00:26:00] there's an onboarding process. We had that before, but the biggest change was, which I think really helped is. We would have a dedicated trainer that would go out and work with that employee for a full one or two days, literally working next to them like he's driving him to the job sites. He's got 10 things he wants to bring up. He's going to walk, teach him how to use the edger, walk with him, show him how to do it, then give it to him, watch him do it and show him the boundaries of the property and be with him. Then at lunch, they're taking lunch, they're covering other topics, they're doing the same thing again on the way back to the shop. I think that really. Set our new employees up, in a. Better place to succeed because we're not always going to be able to hire people that that have 10 years experience and know this stuff inside out, right? We're grabbing people that have great attitudes that we can train. And if we're doing that, yeah, we gotta be able to train them. So I think that was a really big help.we're absolutely going to continue that next year. But we've also hired a head of trainer that's working on training topics, a 52 week training [00:27:00] calendar, going to each branch once a week and doing training topics. So trains really hard, but we've really worked hard at being better at it. And I think we are Property Maps Tommy Cole: Good. Good. I got, I got one more for you. I was looking at some previous notes from 2019. I'm pretty sure you're still doing this. But explain one of the really unique things that you guys do at your company is, and help me out here, this is a specific term where everyone on the crew knows exactly what to do when they pull up to a property. They know where to park the truck, they know where the edger goes, they know where the blower goes, and it's, it's defined route. What do you call that? And give us a little bit of example of why that is so great and what led you to do that. Tim Trimmer: so we went, I went out to Pacific landscaping and I, I wanted there and that must have been 2018 and that was awesome. What an amazing company. Bob Groover has. And his [00:28:00] partner, unbelievable, but one thing they had was process maps and they showed us a process map on a piece of paper and I saw it. I'm like, that's great. And it showed exactly where the crew should walk to edge and all this stuff. And I was like, but it's on paper. That's not going to work. Like, they can't. take that to the job site and look at it. So I was like, there's gotta be a better way. And we, like, interviewed companies and nothing fit. And then we went to Google and we're like, ah, we got it. And it's free. Tommy Cole: there's Google again. Saves a day. Tim Trimmer: So we, we have, we'll have the boundary of a property, different layers . We have where you park, we have where your attention to weeds are, like, it shows exactly which direction you should. Edge it'll take, if, you know, some properties of ours are, we mow all day and they're, it's five miles of edging. We have a line of two different edgers and it, it's got two and a half mile loops of how they edge in the most efficient way to edge those properties. The best thing about that is when you go to the property the first day, you already have a plan in place. You're not gonna miss any areas [00:29:00] and you can show the crew the right way to do it the first time. 'cause if they do it wrong the first time, and you try to show 'em the second time you go to the job, say like, oh, no, no, no, I already, I already got it. So they want help the 1st time they don't want to help the 2nd time. So that's been really helpful. It's, you know, it doesn't work for really small properties and maybe not need it as much, but for big properties, it is absolutely necessary. And, you know, it's funny going back 1, 1 reason I know we needed it is because I went to a job site. We sold a new property. I said, I'm just going to go. Look, this is the 1st day of new properties. I don't know what we do now. I'm just going to observe. I'm not going to say anything. I went out there. There was 3 crews that met at the property. And the manager was like, we're going to start here and everyone just move that way. It's like, I'm like, that's probably, you know, good for him. He's trying to do something, but we need, we need to get the office app needs to get better support to help in this. So, we came up process maps and thanks to Bob Grover Pacific, but thanks to Google as well, because they're awesome. Tommy Cole: that's that's great. It helps new employees [00:30:00] at least the first several times to get an acquaintance to what's going on. And, you know, everyone has a job and man, when you go the wrong way or you forget what you've mowed or not mowed or edged or not edged, and you got to go back or you got to go fuel up your small tank. Tim Trimmer: the property manager get complaints. And with like, with filling up, you get two and a half miles or we have belts with a fuel tank. With the blades on the edge of blade, so they can change it there versus walking back to the truck. Because how many times did I see a crew before with it over their shoulder, walking back to their truck? Like, where's your truck? And they're like, what are you over there? Tommy Cole: Yeah, Tim Trimmer: my God, Tommy Cole: yeah, yeah, yeah. Super efficient in your route. I, I love it. You know, Tim, it's been a great pleasure. Good friend of ours, and it's good to see you. Grow and develop from, from the days of taking the business from your father into what it is today. So any, last minute advice to any of [00:31:00] the listeners out there from your experience? In the savage mode days, I, I believe that was savage mode back in 2018. But I think you're pretty much savage all the time. I don't know if you're very like off mode or kind of chill mode. You are like dialed in hardcore, all business all the time. I'm looking for ways to improve and you know, always learning all the time. Any, any last minute advice. Tim Trimmer: I appreciate those compliments. Yeah, well, 1st of all, I'd like to say, thank you. McFarlin Stanford. You know, I was in the 1st, Discovery Group. And I was in the first peer group. And, you know, everyone at McFarlin Stanford, you know, Jason, Jim, Marty they've helped me immensely. The amount I've learned through these groups have been awesome. And I'm very thankful that I was able to make those connections with you all because you guys have helped our business a lot. So thank you. Last minute takeaway, I say would be key employees. Like I [00:32:00] said earlier, you definitely don't want to lose your key employees. But can you imagine if you're, whoever you're thinking is your best key employee, if you're able to find another key employee, I think I just feel like most owners, presidents, you know, people high up in the don't spend as much time as they could recruiting. I think. you just get to know everyone in your industry in your area. I just think. just think there's a lot of good people out there, but. And everyone needs a good employee, but we're not spending enough time trying to find those great employees because they make a huge difference. When you get them on your team, Tommy Cole: Yep. Totally agree. And constantly develop them and coach them and mentor all along the way, right? We got in this business because we, we just love landscape. Honestly I think you enjoy being outdoors and the Tetris game that you get to play every single day in the business. As I compare it to my operation that I love so much, but we're, we're very fortunate and blessed to be. And it takes the, it takes an [00:33:00] army of great people in order to do this. So that's great. You know, if I had a name like Tim trimmer I want to be very successful. I might change my name to Tommy shrub or something like that. And we'll, we'll go, we'll go tackle the world. Tim Trimmer: and I think my dad's mom's last name was sprinkle. Tommy Cole: Are you serious? Tim Trimmer: make it up. You can't make it up. Yes. Tommy Cole: it up. Someone told me last week when we were all together, he's like, man, Tim Trimmer, that is just a fa I'm like, man, if you only knew who he was, he's just a good, fun around guy. Tim Trimmer: I appreciate Tommy Cole: time in, in Italy last year, which was a great experience, and thanks Tim for all your time, and, and we gotta do this again at some point. Tim Trimmer: absolutely. Thank you. Tommy.