It was December of 1987, 25 years ago, and I was in Boston teaching a landscape and irrigation estimating class to 25 strangers. These attendees were contractors from the New England area. I vividly remember that group even though I haven’t seen many of its members since.
Some of my best clients, landscape and irrigation contractors that I still see on a regular basis, were in that class. One in particular comes to mind: S. Michael Flowers.
Economic downturns breed opportunity. During the latter 1980s, Flowers’s company grew and he developed an excellent reputation for quality landscape installations and maintenance services.
Flowers developed strong relationships with some large commercial builders who gave him lots of work. Unfortunately, the recession of the late 1980s hit New England very hard and Flowers saw his sales plummet.
That was the bad news. The good news was that the recession gave Flowers an opportunity to rethink the mix of products and services that he provided for his clients. He had a chance to reinvent himself and pursue his new passion: turf management.
A cursory look at Championship Turf Service’s website (www.turfchamps.com), and the viewer immediately senses that much thought, planning and execution lies behind not only the website, but also the enterprise represented on the screen.
First, it’s not about Flowers. He’s not even mentioned on his own website. It’s about the team of professionals at Championship Turf Services and the quality of the product and services that it provides. It’s not about egos trying to get face time.
The team at Championship Turf Services has six to seven full-time employees with more than 70 years of combined experience in the sports turf and golf industries. Its team of agronomists and turf managers brings field-tested expertise and a passion for quality to every project.
A few years ago, he lost one of his maintenance accounts to a company with a substantially lower bid. The low bid was accompanied with low quality. Due to the poor performance, three years later, Flowers won back the job at his price, not the low bidder’s one.
His passion for and knowledge of athletic field management has set him apart as an example for others to emulate.
His hard work over many years has paid big dividends. Flowers can’t guarantee that the teams that play on the fields that he builds and maintains always have a winning season; however, he can guarantee the perennial success of the turf that’s under their feet.
JIM HUSTON runs J.R. Huston Consulting, a green industry consulting firm. See www.jrhuston.biz; mail email@example.com.