Bobby and Lauren White
Bobby and Lauren White
Photo by Jon Arman

Bobby and Lauren White

These longtime business owners are looking to take their company to the next level.

January 17, 2019

When Bobby White was mowing lawns in high school, it was a good way to pay for his extracurricular activities, and later, college tuition. He continued growing the business while earning his degree in Sports Management, and when he and his wife Lauren got married, they realized the business had real potential. So they decided to run with it.

“I like the outdoors; I like being outside, getting my hands dirty,” Bobby says. “I would say the industry grew on me over time, but I certainly didn’t have any schooling and no family upbringing in it.”

When Lauren quit her job in the medical field to stay home with their kids (ages 6, 4 and 3, plus a 6-month-old), she took over the marketing and office side of the company. Over the last 10 years, the business has grown exponentially. Up until a couple of years ago, the couple was running the business from their home, but they’ve purchased a shop and a 2-acre lot about half an hour away.

Now based in Accokeek, Maryland, Maple Hill Lawn & Gardens serves a mix of residential and commercial clients, offering lawn maintenance, minor landscaping and snow removal when the opportunity arises.

The Whites have a great reputation, good employee morale and happy customers, but they’re struggling to get a handle on the gross margins, their daily schedules and general workflow. Both Bobby and Lauren are so busy handling the day-to-day of the business that they don’t have time to assess what’s working and what isn’t.

“We just feel like we’re flailing every day,” Lauren says.

To combat that, Bobby wants to hire a right-hand man to help take the pressure off. “I really want to be involved with the business, but I don’t want to be as involved,” he says. “I want to be an advisor to someone who’s running the day-to-day.”

That would also free up Bobby to focus more on sales and scheduling. “No one really does sales,” Lauren says. “How much bigger could we be if we had someone out there selling?”

Currently, Bobby is setting up the schedule by hand every week, and while revenues are increasing the company’s profits aren’t. This is likely due to lost hours, so Maple Hill plans to install GPS on all of their trucks to see where they can trim the fat.

"I'm scheduling guys for eight days a week right now," Bobby says. “I don’t want to just blanket raise everyone’s prices. That doesn’t do a darn thing. I want to figure out where we’re hemorrhaging first.”