When Derik Jakusz and his father, Ed, bought their business five years ago, they wanted to do more than just landscape maintenance. With the help of manager Micheal Schutz, Pro Turf has focused on keeping lawns green while educating their customers about grass.
What's the nature of your business?
The main thing is lawn fertilization and weed control so we keep your grass green and we keep it weed-free.
Micheal: We work on both commercial and residential properties concentrating on the quality of grass.
What's the history of your business?
My father started more than 30 years ago just doing people's yards. When I started mowing lawns, I was about 10 years old.
We have always been in the landscape maintenance business and we wanted to take control over our own lawns rather than subbing it out so we bought it five years ago from the previous owner.
We would do mostly shopping centers, office complexes — maintenance-wise — and we wanted to offer our customers the best service which we felt we could do better ourselves than having somebody else do it. We wanted to do both; take care of the maintenance and take care of the quality of grass.
What are your biggest rewards?
Being your own boss, being able to give people jobs and helping them with their families. I have guys that have been with me for so long and seeing that they have a house, cars, the kids go to school; just knowing that I'm able to help in that way is pretty cool. It's enjoying the fact that you're able to build something that helps as many people as possible.
What are your biggest challenges?
With the economy dropping, people found out you can get stuff done cheaper, this causes your profit margin to drop while everything, including gas, is going up. It's been a bit of a struggle.
What is your philosophy on customer service?
Our goal is to give our customers the highest quality of grass, the highest quality of education for their lawn not only with the greening and the nutrients that their lawn needs but also with watering.
What do you mean by education?
When it comes to grass, there's a lot of education that people don't have. For example just because a lawn is green it doesn't mean it's a thriving quality grass — sometimes it's a lawn full of weeds. Some people don't understand the quality of lawn that they could have.
What's one of your fondest memories from your business?
Just this past year, I had a customer that had been told he could never have grass in his front lawn, mostly because of the shade. I was able to recommend a certain type of grass for him, seed the lawn for him and he now has a full lawn of beautiful green grass.
When I'm able to completely turn it around and make their grass into something they never thought it could be — getting thanks for that feels really good.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
We are a superior company because the quality of work we give. We give a personal experience with our customers, we pay attention to the customer's need and we want to make fertilization and quality of grass something that's affordable to a lot more people.
Owners: Derik and Ed Jakusz
Location: 10386 E. Kings Canyon, Sanger
Phone: (559) 469-8886
Annual sales: $250,000
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