Back when my grandfather, B.T. Engledow, started our company in 1932, our country was in the midst of the Great Depression. It was a challenging time to start a business—and with the coming of World War II, the challenges would only increase.
But B.T. was smart, good at his job, and ready to do whatever it took to help support the fledgling company. When the government started issuing rationing stamps during the war, B.T. traded sugar stamps for gasoline stamps to keep the Engledow trucks running. And since most able-bodied young men were off fighting, B.T. would drive down to Monument Circle nearly every day to pick up day laborers to help him fulfill his landscaping contracts.
I think this story is important because it highlights one of the primary reasons Engledow has been so successful for 80-plus years: our ability to adapt to new circumstances and change with the times. We’ve experienced countless ups and downs, but we’ve always done whatever it takes to put our clients first.
While adaptability is important for staying power in just about any business, there’s more to our story of success. Another critical element is trust, which can take years of exceptional work to build with clients. We build trusting relationships in four key ways:
- Performing the contract. It might seem obvious, but you need to do what you say you’re going to do. And you need to do it when you say you’ll do it. Punctuality and consistency go a long way in this business.
- Keeping clients informed. Properties and landscapes change over time. Many of these changes are unwanted (for example, an irrigation leak), can go unnoticed, and can cost you in the long run. But we always take a proactive approach, letting our clients know about these issues, and taking care of them before they become big problems.
- Making suggestions. There are always ways to make a landscape better, such as improving visibility, adding lighting, and building hardscapes. We’ll also make suggestions about reducing cost—another factor in building trust.
- Knowing the client. We genuinely enjoy getting to know our clients and take their preferences and direction seriously. If you don’t want purple and pink flowers together, or you don’t want service on Wednesdays, we know. You only need to tell us once.
By sticking to these four simple tenets, we’ve cultivated trusting relationships that last. And we’ll never compromise when it comes to these principles.
But at the end of the day, the biggest reason we’re here to stay is because of our people. They truly are the best at what they do. In a business that traditionally has high turnover, we’ve been fortunate enough to have many employees stick with us for decades. They’re just as much a part of this family as those of us whose last name is Engledow. We’re truly fortunate to have such a strong team of landscaping professionals that share our values.
Even in these times of uncertainty, don’t expect Engledow to be going anywhere soon. We still run our business with the same entrepreneurial spirit, resourcefulness, and commitment to clients that characterized B.T. Engledow more than 80 years ago. That’s why you’ll be able to count on the Engledow name for years to come.