Former HR exec finds new career outdoors
by Bea Quirk, Contributing writer, Charlotte Business Journal
After more than 20 years working in human resources, Phil Haynes thought it was time to move from behind a desk and “do something more meaningful.” After about 18 months of research, he plunked down $25,000 last year to purchase a Clean Air Lawn Care franchise.
The company provides sustainable lawn-care services.
As someone who eats organically grown food and is deeply concerned about the impact of chemicals and pollutants on people’s health, Haynes says it was a perfect fit.
He uses only organic fertilizers and weed control to prevent chemical runoff. All his equipment runs on batteries powered by solar panels on his company truck. Such equipment is quieter than devices powered by gasoline engines, which also emit noxious fumes into the air.
But for Haynes, 48, the decision to buy the franchise also made good business sense. “Ten years ago, when I came to Charlotte, it was behind the West Coast when it came to environmental awareness,” he says. “But people are moving here from all over, and they have higher expectations. Awareness is rising. I’m responding to that trend.”
Haynes focuses primarily on the residential market. The biggest challenge is getting the word out about his services — and letting prospects know Clean Air Lawn Care achieves the same look and costs about the same as traditional lawn services. Haynes advertises in local specialty publications, writes a blog and uses social media. He also meets potential customers by attending green events and operating a booth at the Atherton Mill Farmers Market.
With just one other employee involved in the business, Haynes spends time in the field almost every day. He acknowledges that can hamper his marketing. “I can’t spend eight hours a day at the computer — I’m out mowing lawns.” He hopes to add more workers soon.
Are you in Charlotte and interested in organic lawn care?
Contact Phil at: www.cleanairlawncarecharlotte.com
Original Story: Clean Air franchise takes organic approach to lawn care
Source: Charlotte Business Journal, Friday, August 3, 2012