Bala, Ontario, population 500, is home to 39-year-old Pratt’s Lawn Care and Landscapes. “The Hamptons” of the North sees a surge in visitors when warm weather hits. Multi-million-dollar cabins are filled with vacationers, some staying just two weeks out of the entire year. For Pratt’s owners Jennifer Davies and Bob Naylor, the high-end residents of Bala help bolster their bottom line.
“Our clients look for the best of the best,” Davies says. “And we try to provide that.”
However, it’s not all glitz and glamor for the husband and wife duo. The full-service landscaping business, originally owned by Davies’s step-father, was turned over to Davies in 2007. The company is bringing in roughly $1.1 million in revenue, but the owners know they have the potential to reach $2 million.
Davies comes from a background in finance and Naylor is a licensed contractor. Together, they run the business out of their home, but they struggle to form a united front when it comes to leading their team.
“Working as spouses is always a challenge,” Davies says. “We both have held leadership roles in our previous work, so coming in and having a bunch of teammates under us – we both want to be in control,” Davies says
Both Davies and Naylor admit they tend to step on each other’s toes when it comes to the business. Currently, Davies handles all of the administrative work on her own. Billing, payroll, scheduling and all HR work run through her tiny basement office. She also oversees landscaping and gardening jobs. Naylor spends most of his time in the field working and checking on jobs and tends to manage more of the installation projects.
With her plate full, Davies says the office work has piled up and some clients are getting their bills late.
The couple is also concerned that the team doesn’t have a sense of consistency when it comes to bringing up problems or issues.