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Design/Installation

A big change to his business model helped Mark Mazzurco through the economic downturn.

Kristen Hampshire | April 17, 2013

It is the little things that make a big difference. That’s what Mark Mazzurco discovered in the few years following 2009 when H&M Landscaping lost about one-third of its business.

“We are an affordable luxury,” Mazzurco says of design/build services. “People pulled back from spending,” he says.

Before that time, people who called H&M for landscaping services were prequalified. Smaller jobs that cost less than $5,000 or so were generally turned away. The company focused on larger-cap projects, six-figure landscapes and bigger impact, showy designs.

Then Mazzurco learned that the smaller projects are enough to sustain a landscape firm in tough times, and he grew to appreciate the simple but elegant, and lower priced projects that were still coming in the doors.

“When the bottom dropped out (of the economy) in 2009, I loved the $5,000 and $10,000 jobs – those kept us in business,” says Mazzurco, who founded H&M Landscaping in Newbury 25 years ago and runs it with his two brothers. “I swore to myself that when we got back to the items, when we were doing well and the big jobs were back, we’d still work on those jobs.”

It’s common for H&M Landscaping to take on a “small job,” and the firm does a fair share of six-figure jobs, too – and everything in between. Diversification has been crucial the last several years, and will continue to be important moving forward.

Mazzurco also learned to focus on existing clients rather than chasing down the next client. About 80 to 90 percent of H&M’s business comes from clients the firm haw worked with before. And, by trimming fat from operating expenses, the company is running leaner and stronger than ever before. And a big part of that is because the same core people are manning the decks.

“We decided to keep the team together – good people are hard to find,” he says. “In my opinion, the economy is back and we have retained our people. And we have gotten our market share back plus captured more.”

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