Joey Dobbs founded Landscape Workshop in 1984. At that time, he had only four employees and operated out of a small office in Birmingham, Alabama. Fast forward to 2019 – Landscape Workshop has 9 different branch locations throughout the Southeast and over 600 employees. You can find out more about LW’s history here, but read on to hear why Joey started LW those 35 years ago and what he considers to be his greatest lessons learned throughout the process…
What prompted you to start Landscape Workshop?
I saw a need in the market for a well-run landscape company. As the owner of a rental real estate company, I had a few employees who managed the grounds of the rental properties, and from there we started Landscape Workshop.
What was the greatest business obstacle you faced?
There were several along the way, one being embracing technology when everything transitioned to computers in the 1980’s. Then, we needed to keep up with the latest and best systems after that. Another challenge was establishing and training an effective management team that would help grow the business.
What do you consider your greatest success at LW?
Building a large business in the service industry with an excellent reputation from scratch
What is your favorite memory from working at LW?
Working with Children’s Hospital, getting to know the great people there, and learning about their mission
What is the most valuable lesson you learned at LW?
It is extremely important to have strong relationships with the vendors and suppliers who help your company run. I also learned that employees are central to the success of a company.
Which customer or colleague had the greatest impact on you?
Through various associations, I came to know several employees at the former Bright’s Building Company. I learned a good deal from them, and that company greatly influenced the management style and culture of Landscape Workshop.
What is the most notable change you have seen at LW over the years?
The growth has definitely been the most obvious change. I would also say the ongoing technological advancements are a notable change.
What piece of advice would you give business owners in the landscape industry?
Hire the best people, help them become the best employees possible, and provide them with the best resources. Keep your commitments. Communicate! Communicating with customers is key for success.