In this series we share a little about some of our favorite TKO Graphix customers; who they are, what they do, and how they do it. We follow that by asking them six questions we hope will help other entrepreneurs and small business owners with the challenges they face.

Who is Berger Hargis Landscape Management?

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Berger Hargis Landscape Management was formed in 1994. Bryan Berger and Chris Hargis culminated a lifelong dream of owning their own businesses. Both Bryan and Chris have lived in the Indianapolis area and worked in the Green Care industry throughout their entire adult lives. Collectively, they hold license and/or certifications in ornamental tree and shrub care, lawn care, aquatic maintenance, and Bryan is a certified arborist.” – Berger Hargis Company Page

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[content_box title=”Type of Business” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”fa-building” icon_circle_size=”{{icon_circle_size}}” icon_align=”left” iconcolor=”#00a7e0″ circlecolor=”#ffffff” circlebordercolor=”#00a7e0″ iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” linktext=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″]S Corp.[/content_box]
[content_box title=”Year Opened” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”fa-calendar” icon_circle_size=”{{icon_circle_size}}” icon_align=”left” iconcolor=”#00a7e0″ circlecolor=”#ffffff” circlebordercolor=”#00a7e0″ iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” linktext=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″]1994[/content_box]
[content_box title=”Volume” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”fa-area-chart” icon_circle_size=”{{icon_circle_size}}” icon_align=”left” iconcolor=”#00a7e0″ circlecolor=”#ffffff” circlebordercolor=”#00a7e0″ iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” linktext=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″]4.2 million annual[/content_box]
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[content_box title=”Product or Service” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”fa-shopping-cart” icon_circle_size=”{{icon_circle_size}}” icon_align=”left” iconcolor=”#00a7e0″ circlecolor=”#ffffff” circlebordercolor=”#00a7e0″ iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” linktext=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″] Lawn care, Landscaping, Aquatic, Tree and Shrub Care, Outdoor Living, Hardscapes, and Maintenance, which includes: Brush clearing, Gutter cleaning, Party tent rental, and Snow & Ice removal.[/content_box]
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What was your biggest challenge starting the business?

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[testimonial name=”Chris Hargis, Co-owner” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]

The biggest challenge was procuring financing, getting banking institutions to believe in us. Brian put together a business plan, and that was the key.

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After you opened your doors what surprised you, what was unexpected?

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[testimonial name=”Chris Hargis, Co-owner ” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]

I used to think I’d seen it all, but I learned that’s not true. You can’t teach people everything, so the best thing to do is hire smart people.

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What was your biggest turn-around?

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[testimonial name=” ” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]

In 2000-2001, there was a drought coupled with an economic downturn. It hit us pretty hard. We lost money in 2001, but we learned from the experience. We learned that even during a drought maintenance needs to be done. We focused on maintenance, and it continues to be a big part of what we do.

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Was there an Aha moment? What was it?

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[testimonial name=”Chris Hargis, Co-owner” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]
It was this January at a business marketing meeting in Florida. If you coach you also need to be coached. If you expect your people to improve then you need to seek improvement as well. We all need to be recharged.

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What’s next, where do you go from here?

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[testimonial name=”Chris Hargis, Co-owner” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]

We keep growing. The overhead at 6 million is nearly the same as 4 million, but the profit margin improves.

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What advice would you offer budding entrepreneurs?

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[testimonial name=”Chris Hargis, Co-owner” avatar=”male” image=”” company=”” link=”” target=”_self”]

Don’t get in the service business unless you’re prepared to grow—the profit is in growth. Hire the best and smartest people you can then delegate and verify—I think Ronald Reagan said that. Get a college education. Understand that as an entrepreneur you stand out—most people aren’t as driven as you are. Don’t get me wrong everyone has their own normal it’s just not the same as yours. Never give up, lead by example, and it’s important to realize you’re not always the smartest person in the room.

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Share Your Success with us

If you’re a TKO Customer and would like to share your success story, contact me, Randy Clark rclark@tkographix.com. If you’d like to learn more about what TKO can do to help you achieve success, we’d be happy to share our story with you. Contact us.