In February, we opened Rondo Landscape Concepts. We’re trying to be more of a full-service outdoor contractor. We have all the tools we need to take advantage of this market opportunity. When people walk through your door and have a need that you can fill, it’s kind of bad business to send them to somebody else.

We partnered with a local landscape architect and designer whom we had been working with for years. The landscape company will do anything from simple landscape jobs to working around pools and waterfeatures.

It’s an independent company: We’re in the same office, but people sign two separate agreements. Right now, Rondo Pools is its main lead source, but for the company to be a long-term success, it has to stand on its own, not rely on the pool company for leads.

One of the failures of this model in the past has been that, because the market is so price competitive, companies were using their in-house landscaping divisions basically as subcontractors to secure business for the pool company. The landscape divisions were bleeding money, working at cost to help the pool company be successful. They could not stand on their own merit and failed. I’ve seen this happen time and time again.

In order to get the best out of your people, I think they need to have a vested interest in the success or failure in the company. So I want Rondo Landscape Concepts to stand on its own two feet, not be an arm of Rondo Pools.