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Professionalism, where do we begin...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Triple L, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Triple L

    Triple L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    Alright boys and girls, over past few months iv been noticing that on just about every thread I read there is something mentioned about professionalism and I think this "professionalism" thing is getting wayyyy out of hand. For example, my truck has a nice exhaust note.... thats not professional, its got a bit of chrome.... naa, not professional at all, way too flashy, a truck with a 3-4" lift, he goes muddin with that, not professional attall, its got cb antennas, look, its hillbilly delux! not professonal at all.... My equipment has a bit of grass on it, not professonal, its more then 1 year old, thats not professional, my employees have a bit of dirt on thier t-shits, first of all t-shirts are not professional, and a bit of dirt... who is this guy... thats not professional one bit.... We use pens and pencils instead of computers and printers, wow, this guy is old school, not professional, his truck is not lettered all up, not professional, but buddys truck is lettered with a great big magnet, aww, thats not cool, thats unprofessional... my employee hasnt shaved in 4 days... thats not professional, he the best worker around but he smokes, totally unprofessional.... who gives a crap.... these are just a few examples of what I have heard... Like come on guys, were all businessmen in the landscape industry... This is a service industry, my guys actually work for me, they dont stand there in suits and ties and support the shovells and rakes... My view on professional is how you talk to customers, your education, the way you run your business... not what you have, or how you look..... im 3/4's the way a CLT (certified landscape technician), becoming a proud member of landscape ontario, becoming a member of SIMA, getting my certified snow professional certificate and also getting a business degree also, to me, once I have all this, thats professional at its best! and just because next year I'll be rolling around in a nicely done up truck, now im unprofessional???? What are your views on professionalism?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I do agree I think the term just gets thrown around, here is how I see it...

    If you think the below currently applies to you, then it is possible you are, indeed, a professional:

    Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

    The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation's mission is to serve and protect the public through (1) licensure of qualified individuals and businesses in professions that, if not regulated, may harm the public's health, safety, and welfare and (2) enforcement of laws that demand professional conduct.

    A Commerce and Trade secretariat agency, DPOR regulates more than 30 occupations and professions through 19 boards composed of practitioners and citizens appointed by the Governor. DPOR licenses or certifies over 300,000 individuals and businesses ranging from architects and contractors to cosmetologists and professional wrestlers.

    If the above does not apply, then likely you're not.

    Other notes: A certified landscape technician MIGHT be a profession, but don't quote me on it, I'm pretty sure a horticulturist is.
    But I wouldn't go get a degree in horticulture myself if it were just because I can't help but to want to call myself that.
    And no, it's not any contractor, only certain kinds.
    So who gives a rat.
  3. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    if you show up to a customers house on time, are polite, do a good job, do what they ask then what more can they want?

    people dont usually hire companies on the flash or lack of flash on their trucks, and they arn't expecting people that cut their grass and dig holes to be the most clean cut people so whats it matter
  4. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    We could go somewhere with this..Instead of you might be a redneck if....We can write a book called you might be an unprofessional landscaper if....

    Yea it's an issue that is really more a matter of opinion. Some things are obviously unprofessional...You don't want your employees to look like they live on the street, or look like a mass murderer, or wear obscene slogans on shirts etc...But like dirt digger said, show up on time, do a great job, show respect, and the rest is mony in the bank....(For You).
  5. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    I know people that are high school drop outs, not certified in anything, are not a member of LO or SIMA and they are very much a professional. :)

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    I'm glad to see that the word "professional" is not being used in the egotistical sense of the word. Cert's and edumuhcatin are nice, but being able to answer questions and properly advice customers is what defines you as a professional contractor. In other words, knowing what you're talking about and not just a salesman.
  7. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    Finally, someone said it! This is getting so far out of control. My trucks are loud, my mowers are old, my clothes are dirty, I wear a greasy hat, I use a pen and paper, but still somehow my lawns turn out perfect IMO as well as my customers. Professionalism to me is making a lawn or any other job perfect. It's not how you do it, but what the finished product looks like. I've yet to have a complaint (that was warranted).
  8. Creative Group Ltd.

    Creative Group Ltd. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Like Chad said, Ya don't need to be anal about every detail, BUT I believe Image is everything.

    For example; In my equipment fleet all the Trucks, Trailers, Tractors & machine tools are Rust Free. This is because I maintain everything to a tee. All trucks are soap washed weekly, lubed & greased weekly, Interior cabs cleaned weekly from dust/grime/ & frames/door panels injected with FF undercoat yearly ect. Most importantly is that we check the oil everyday in our Diesels Trucks & Tractors! The list goes on & on with things to replace & keep maintained, but riding in RustFree trucks is a bonus. The last embarassment one would need is a rust bucket showing up to quote a $30K interlock job, lol.

    -As far as the T-Shirt thing goes, we wear'em to work, & in backyards some workers take them off when its blistering Hot. No biggie there...? But all my crew are required to wear steel toe BOOTS. When they use the diamond blade saws they wear ear & eye protection. Dust masks are optional....

    - Appearance on shaving? WTF LOL Men grow beards....its what we do! I've got one (very short tho) lol, who cares.....:laugh:

    - When I do sales & quotes I wear a company logo'd Golf Shirt. Yes the expensive ones cuz they look more presentable than work shirts with sweat stains & PCL Premium glue smeared all over it...LOL

    - I've invested $4K in Dynascape computer landscape design software. Now I can be better than all you guys that draw designs on school paper! LMAO...

    - And whats wrong with magnetic signs on ur trucks? I bought them for my subcontractor's truck when he preforms jobs for Us. When the jobs done, he takes'em off. No BIG deal at all IMO.


  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    you all make very valid points. but looks are very important. that has been proven time and time again over way longer than any of us have been alive. so , basically as long as your physical appearance is neat and clean, what you wearing is not as important(we do wear uniforms) and the trucks not all beat up and rusted out and muddy as hell, then it is ok with me to be professional. you get the point.

    when what YOU have is cared for and maintained from trucks to mowers to yourself. then you look professional. after that to be a true pro, i feel you need industry and state certifications to prove yourself through knowledge and continued education. that is very important for everyone's sake, you and your customer.
  10. GreenmanCT

    GreenmanCT LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 557

    Professionalism is making your customers feel like they called the right person.

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