Emerald Acres had very humble beginnings. I was fresh out of college and took a summer job working for the now defunct New England Green Co. in Burlington, Ma. Like so many of the larger lawn care companies, N.E. Green was not concerned with quality. After an afternoon of training, I spent the summer spreading granular fertilizer. I had little concern for weeds, insect or anything else that would get in the way of increasing my production and hence my pay. Toward the end of the season, I realized the tremendous opportunity in this industry and took steps to form my own company. I had a great idea, unbounded enthusiasm, and a real commitment to serve, but sadly, no real experience and no funding.
I was able to convince my father, David Boots, to extend the loan of operating capital, all I had to do in return was pay 10% interest and cut his lawn for free all summer long. I guess good business runs in the family. I put down a payment on a truck, rented a tiny office in Framingham, and printed up some promotional material. I was overwhelmed by all the surprise expenses, insurance, phones, advertising, office equipment, etc.. I was wet behind the ears and things were tight, but I was undaunted.
The next step was to develop an effective lawn care program. I wore out my library card on every book available on lawn care and landscaping. My degree in Chemistry helped. Using and mixing chemicals was a peice of cake for me. I kept things together on a shoestring
budget for a couple of years, and made plenty of mistakes.
The thing that made it work was my commitment to customer service. I worked hard to figure out the appropriate solutions to the many problems that I uncovered, and soon began to have a sound understanding of what lawn care was all about.
I was at a loss on how to attract customers as well, until I thumbed through a little idea book that I kept. I stumbled across a letter that I had written to an imaginary potential customer. Bingo!! Emerald Acres was born. I stuffed mailboxes for weeks and personally serviced about 90 customers that first year.
Things have gone well! We've made consistent improvements to our programs over the years, and now service approximately 3,000 lawn, tree and pest control accounts with a 96% retention rate. I've learned a tremendous amount over the years and will never forget what it took to get us where we are at today: dedication to customer service, a loyal and committed staff, and most important of all, great customers like you.