Mainscape started as a project on Ball State University’s campus in 1980. Yet it’s managed to maintain a small business feel, even as it’s grown quite large. In 2010, the company had $39.9 million in revenue, according to Lawn & Landscape’s Top 100 list.
Still, the company lives by the motto: Big enough to serve you, yet small enough to know you! And Mainscape works hard at maintaining the philosophy behind that mission. Jeff Snyder, director of irrigation & water management, says that it’s a belief that comes from the top of the chain on down. He recently shared a little bit about how the company strives to uphold that motto.
“Our growth has always come from what the company founders created,” Snyder said. “Therefore the relationships between us and our clients haven’t changed. We may have grown to the point where the company owner isn’t meeting with every client, but we have people assigned to be relationship coordinators between the customer and the company.”
Snyder says that having these sorts of liaisons between the client and Mainscape has been a secret to success. “As a small business owner, you eventually hit a ceiling,” he says. “As an owner, you can only interact with so many people and maintain so many good relationships. Companies that don’t get to the point where they are finding good people and retaining them – and then allowing those people to be the contact between the company and the customer – aren’t going to grow. That’s where the success lies. Growing good people along with the culture of the company so that things can transfer from an owner/operator being the sole stakeholder to having a variety of key stakeholders who continue to grow and empower the company.”
Part of the transfer of that culture is good communication, adds Snyder. Mainscape relies heavily on team members and puts an emphasis on training. Education is a core company belief and Snyder says that the individuals representing the company are all “packed with knowledge” because of the emphasis the company puts on good training programs. “It’s only with good training that a company owner can feel comfortable delegating responsibilities to other key team members and trusting those people with the reputation of the company,” Snyder says. “I’m an Ohio native and we have a famous coach, (former Ohio State football coach) Woody Hayes, who has always said ‘You win with people.’ That’s what we believe here. Our success has been based on each team member and their relationship with our customers.”
This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Water Works e-newsletter. To continue reading:
Rapid response: Mainscape monitors irrigation systems through a central control system, allowing it to immediately catch problems.
Selling upgrades: Educating the client can close the deal when it comes to renovating irrigation systems.