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Are we really Professionals?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Grass Kickin, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I'm curious. I operate a full time landscaping business with about 70 accounts. I put in more than 40 hrs a week. I carry one full time employee besides myself. I have two part timers who work with me on a very large account once a week. I also operate another unrelated business. I am retired from a law enforcement career. Even when I was called a law enforcement professional, I felt that there was nothing professional about it.

    I mean, I set out to always do the right thing and perform and complete my jobs as high quality as possible. I don't necessarily think this constitutes professionalism....moreso it is good business sense and gets you return business.

    I've seen a couple of people post on this site like they are doing people a favor....working for them and I think that is a horrible attitude to have. I've seen my share of fly by night operations that certainly are not professional. I'm usually called in to clean up their mess.

    I'm not knocking what we do but I kind of envision a Professional as someone in a suit who goes to boord meetings or follows the stocks diligently. Let's face it, I've seen people in that walk of life who I would hardly consider professional. Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I guess I would like to see what most of you think about this.
  2. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    So you know what professional isn't. I'd say its a state of mind...if ya feel like a schlep, act like a schlep, you'll be treated like a schlep.

    From wikipedia:
    A professional provides a service in exchange for payment in accordance with established protocols for licensing, ethics, procedures, standards of service and training/certification. A professional is a member of a licensing body which is legally established within the laws of a given state, county, province or nation.

    The term "professional" is widely used to refer to individuals with recognized expertise within a field of endeavor even though they are not a member of a licensing body or legal entity. The distinction between professional sports and amateur sports simply refers to how the athlete is funded. Similarly the distinction within creative pursuits between professional and amateur becomes somewhat grey.

    Historically, behaving professionally would indicate that the person's actions remain in accordance with specific rules, written or unwritten, pertaining to behavior, dress, speech, etc. By extension, the adjective professional identified somebody recognized for expertise or skill in a craft or activity.

    In narrow usage, not all expertise is considered a profession. Although sometimes referred to as professions, such occupations as skilled construction work are more generally thought of as trades or crafts. The completion of an apprenticeship is generally associated with skilled labor or trades such as carpenter, electrician, plumber, and other similar occupations.

    In cases lacking a licensing body, the opposite of a professional is an amateur or, disparagingly, "rank amateur." Sometimes an amateur can perform as well or better than a professional. Therefore, in many fields a person must overcome a barrier before gaining recognition as a professional. Such barriers include academic degrees, certification, or licenses. Professions with such legal barriers include those of accountancy, architecture, medicine, engineering, intelligence, law, clergy and teaching. In the strictest sense, a profession is created by legislation and is self-regulating, e.g. through a Code of ethics.
  3. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    grass cutting, cleanup stuff, mulching, stupid crap like that should never be considered "professional" in my opinion either. However doing specialty work such as pesticides, fertilizing, or hardscaping (with a high degree of accuracy) would be deemed "professional" in my eyes.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    owning and operating a business takes a certain amount of professionalism, no matter what the core jobs is, shoveling chit or smelling roses....

    If you carry yoruself well and act like a proffessional, Iwould hope your clients would treat you as such...
  5. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    Try doing tree work; thats a real professional job.
  6. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    i know plenty of used car salesman that put on a suit everyday, i wouldn't call them professional. As far as what we do, marc smith is right on the money. Act professionally and be treated like one.
    as far as everything else goes, not everyone can diagnose turf diseases, provide insect control, maintian a balanced fertility and generally produce a quality turf. Guys who install and maintain irrigation, landscaping and tree care are all professionals because they provide a specific job that requires an amount of skill and knowledge.
  7. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    Lawyers, Doctors, Brokers, Persidents & VPs of Corporations & any other profession out here very ralely ever wear a suit. Blue Jeans are the attire out here for work, weddings & funerals. Clothing don't mean chit, it is all how you present yourself.

  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Well lets see here, let's play a little game of who am I...

    I am the President of a constantly growing Corporation. I own stock, trucks, equipment, and have both full time and part time employees. I have certifications, licenses, and over 12 years experience in my "profession". I pay taxes, charge sales tax, and have a Federal sales tax number. My employees all wear uniforms and are trained in their line of work. Our company vehicles are lettered and are cleaned on a daily to weekly basis. I carry a laptop as well as a company phone and radio. I arrange and attend both company and client meetings, as well as sales, marketing, and management courses and meetings. We provide superior service and surpass industry standards with the latest in technology, techniques and equipment. We are looked upon and respected locally as a professional in our line of work.

    I am a professional in my field...

    ...I am a landscape contractor. :clapping:

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    Professional post.
  10. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,072

    Great question to kick around GK.

    Shakespear said: "Would not a rose by any other name smell just as sweet?"

    Some may call me a professional, some may call me a craftsman or a small business owner, I think some call me a lowlife with a lawn mower, but I call myself an artist with a shovel.

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