We have been the only approved contractor for many of our clients ranging between 5 and 20 years plus. Not bad for a landscape company to brag about in today’s climate, hey!!

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What is the secret formula to our success in our commercial landscape maintenance?

 

We put our success into working with companies down to being an ‘old school’ family run business that still prides itself with customer satisfaction.

 

When we go out on site to meet the clients we are always on time if not a couple of minutes early, but not to early. If we are going to be late because we have been held up by maybe traffic or roadworks, even if it is only five minutes we always ring the client to let them know. There is nothing worse than having people turn up late, we know as this is one of our biggest bug bearers.

 

When you meet the client make sure you confirm their name and yours.

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So it would be something like “John Doe? Hi I am Ted Wosko A-Z Landscapes & Contract Services Ltd, nice to meet you” this is done to start making a connection between yourselves.

 

Once the conversation starts about the project, just listen to what the client is telling you and do not interrupt. If it is several different areas or types work then before you move on to the next one, that is the time to talk, confirming that you know what the client needs and expectations are.

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If at this point you have suggestions because you can see a better or alternative way of doing things this is the time to speak up. Saying something like “Is there any particular reason you would like it carried out like this or may we make a suggestion that we think would be a lot easier and you would end up with a better finished product”

 

Why are we doing this? Some people (and we have dealt with some but not many) do not intend to listen to what you have to say. By saying “May”, you are asking them for their permission to allow you to make suggestions.

 

By doing this we have never been refused the chance to make those suggestions, also you make more of a connection and build trust with that person. When you start making your suggestion you should say “in my experience I would do it like this”. You are confirming to the client that you are the expert and that is why you are there to help them.

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It’s Funny because my very first meeting with Grayson Palmer from Duncan Clark and Beckett nearly resulted with me walking away from this prospective project. He was almost rude and when I did try to speak I was cut short but I thought ‘bite your tongue’.

 

At the end Grayson turned round and said “you have made some good, sound suggestions, I am not used to people I deal with making suggestions, usually they follow my directions. What you have said has made complete sense so before you quote for this work can we go over your ideas and suggestions and I would then like you to quote on all the ones that we agree on”.

 

This took me by surprise, but as you will read we were very successful with our quotation and this lead to us being awarded this very large project. It also led to Grayson and myself becoming very good friends and both respecting each other for our own particular knowledge.

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We also carried out phase two of this project and one other as a nominated subcontractor, this was only because we do not generally do door and threshold alterations. Although I ended up making and helping the carpenter to do these alterations as he had not come up against wheelchair friendly thresholds before. In hindsight I think we would have been better off being the main contractor and getting our own subcontract carpenter.

 

As you have just read, we work well with companies and clients by listening and making suggestions and this is backed up by the amount of testimonials we have from our clients. Go check them out for yourself if you haven’t already by clicking

Testimonials.

 

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Commercial Paving

A Commercial Paving Project

This was a project in Sudbury Park carried out for Suffolk County Council. We had to replace the old crazy paving path that had been patched and repaired just too many times, with a coloured,cobblestone patterned imprinted concrete. This work was spread out and installed over a three year period to allow spare finances to pay for it.

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It was a real pleasure to carry out this work because of the surroundings we were working in. I want you to read the next paragraph and imagine you are standing beside me.

The time of year was the end of April beginning of May, so all the foliage was really blossoming out after their winter retreat. The sun was shinning, birds were singing with butterflies fluttering around. It was like working in our very own little paradise.

As you can see sometimes we are rewarded in different ways.

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Now, better bring you back to the job in hand. After we barricaded the working area off from the general public, we proceeded in taking up and removing all the crazy paving from the section we were going to replace.

The old path varied in width, so in reality wasn’t very practical for use in a public place. We set the edging form work up to a unified width, even when going around corners or mirandering along the route of the path

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After compacting the ground down the concrete was poured, levelled and screeded. The surface had a coloured hardening topping applied and then floated into the surface with a trowel finish. The whole area was then covered in plastic sheeting and then the cobble edging was formed by tapping the G-tool into the concrete. The main cobble pattern was then formed, again by tapping in the cobble moulds. An expansion joint was cut into the surface using a bolster every 10 feet (3mt). The plastic sheeting was then removed in sections and the surface was brushed and trowel finished.

The new path was allowed to dry. The surface then had 2 coats of sealer sprayed over. This was allowed to dry and then the joints were grouted with screed mix.

All form work was then removed and the site left clean and tidy. Last minute checks carried out of site and then re-opened to the public, another great job completed.

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As you can see the end result for this commercial paving speaks for it’s self.

When we first arrived at this house in Colchester we were met by a free for all living nightmare of a front garden. The picture you can see below was taken after a days work clearing the property, I just wished we had taken a picture before we started because you could not even see the house or driveway and that is why we had trouble  finding the property!

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After meeting Peter the owner of this property the first words he uttered after introductions were “what can you do to this tip of a front garden?” Now usually our clients have some idea of what they would like and make suggestions that we can work on, but with Peter he just had no idea what he wanted.

Ok, I can tell you now that I had to put the old thinking cap on to try and come up with some great ideas.

We stood in that front garden talking and then came the break through when Peter said “I want something simple and easy to maintain”. They were the keywords I was looking for and in kicked the old grey cells to work their magic.

I had spotted a cherry tree that had been damaged or cut down at some time to just above ground level that caused several main branches to sprout up instead of having one large trunk. “This was sometimes done deliberately to achieve this effect”.

I said to Peter “how would a Japanese style garden appeal to you?” His reply was “Do you know, that didn’t even cross my mind”.

I then carried on to explain what we could do: by making the drive a kerb edged stone driveway and giving a bold contrast with a  Japanese style garden area and a path going around the cherry tree, would lend itself perfectly to the design we wanted to create. This area would be edged with grass with a larger area in front of the front wall. Also the drive entrance was lacking appeal so we suggested  leading walls with pillars to define it.

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As you can see Peter awarded us the job after we submitted our quotation. He was so delighted after seeing the clearance work as seen on the above photograph that he too could start to imagine what the end result was going to look like.

I will say that although we carried out the usual safety checks of looking for services and cables we were very lucky not to have caused a gas leak or even worse. Why you might ask?

The reason was very simple, due to some irresponsible workmen. They had buried the main gas pipe to the house, a modern polyethylene plastic type which means it was laid recently only three inches (or 75mm for the younger generation) below the soil!!

Yes completely unbelievable in this age of health and safety but that is often what you find these days.

We did have to get that sorted out but lucky enough there was enough slack on the pipe that we could re-bury it to the required depth of eighteen inches (450mm) below ground level with warning marking tape above it after digging a new trench.

Moral of the story “you can never be to careful”.

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The photographs below and above shows you the finished project and what a difference!  We ended up carrying out several different projects over the years for Peter, including re-styling the rear garden, replacing paving, making a new patio area, building a pergola and extending the garage area just to name some of the work we carried out.

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I am sure we would still be carrying out work for Peter today if it had not been for a very unfortunate accident sadly he had while on holiday in Italy, that caused his death a few weeks later.

Peter became a well respected friend of the family and not just a client over the years and we dedicate this page in his memory. 

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