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Advise from a million dollar lco

General Business Discussions

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Old 04-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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Now here is some interesting advise from a lco who takes in over 1 million dollars a year.

He always answers the phone, he never is the lowest bid.

Great thoughts from Melo.

How many lcos in your area take in more than a million dollars a year?

Landscaping can be a year-round, profitable venture if you like physical work - Melo runs the company with his wife, Dina, and, over the years, it's grown into a full-fledged landscape design company that raked in an estimated $1.2 million in 2006, he said. He also insists on answering all incoming calls so he can consult personally with potential clients to find out if they have a "green" or "black" thumb, which helps him understand how much maintenance the client can handle.

Other important factors when designing a landscape are the client's plans for the yard, their lifestyle and their personal taste, Melo said.

For instance, a client whose dog spends the majority of its time in the yard shouldn't get grass, because it won't grow properly, he said. And a business person who travels a lot shouldn't get plant life that's high-maintenance, he said.

Knowledge, professionalism and talent are key to making it all work, but first a landscaper has to win the bid. And with rising material costs, it presents another challenge.

Melo handles this by offering high-quality design and work, which don't necessarily go hand-in-hand with the lowest bid, he said.

"We are usually never the lowest bidder, and that's fine," Melo said. "A rule of thumb (when selecting a bid) is to take out the highest and lowest and pick the middle. That's where we stand."

He charges $500 for a design and requires a 50 percent deposit before work begins.

Melo guarantees his company's workmanship and even the quality of the plant life, provided it's been maintained as instructed, he said.

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