Who is the landscaping industry? I don't mean, what companies make up the landscaping and lawn services industry. What I mean is, who are the people behind the industry? Who are they and how do they live? Most have not considered this. I'll be honest: Until I entered the landscaping industry myself, and began to spend time with the wonderful people who make it happen, I did not consider this either.
Men like Raul and Marcos and Richard and Jose and Miguel. Thousands of others who work extremely hard, sacrifice, spend hours upon hours of time in the extremely hot sun, push their endurance to the limit, working 10-12 hour days, even on the weekends ... and are paid little. What's little? How about, on average, $125-150 per day before taxes?
I will say this with good confidence: These men (and women in many cases) work harder and longer than almost anyone else in any other industry. And they are paid in a way that makes it extremely hard to pay even meager bills, and put food on the table. Many work paycheck to paycheck, not because they are wasteful or bad at budgeting and prioritizing, but because there is simply not enough.
Why is this? Are landscaping companies taking advantage of them? Are they pocketing the profits at the cost of their peoples' livelihoods? No... margins in the industry are very small. It is a hard industry in which to operate as a business owner. Equipment and fuel and supplies are very costly.
Counter that with a customer-base who tends to go with the lowest bidder, thinking they are making a profit and not simply "desperate" and low-balling as a result. Please hear me: This is not because customers are somehow evil or anything of the sort. They are simply unaware. I am confident that - if they knew - many would want to counter this issue by paying a little more.
This is one of our main purposes at YardaBella - one of the key reasons we entered this industry:
To do our part toward righting this issue which has too long persisted.
So what are we to do? Great question. I'm glad you asked.
I'll add this note: If you must go with the lowest bidder (which will not be YardaBella), please tip them well. IF it's a $40 lawn, give them a $5-10 tip. If a $500 tree trimming, give them an extra $50-100. I know you likely believe you don't have enough to be so generous, but they have even less. Just a thought to ponder.
A YardaBella endeavors on this crusade, it means we are risking a lot.
With this information, we must act. "All it takes for evil to persist is for good men to do nothing." (MLK Jr.)
I'm prayerful that you'll join us in this mission - to right a wrong that's been overlooked for quite a while.
Greg Dean, Founder, YardaBella
Follower of Christ, husband, father of 3, business owner.