Rod Burdette didn’t plan on starting his own lawn service and landscaping company.
It was a part-time job for him while taking science courses at the University of Georgia, but business began to pick up for the graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he majored in philosophy.
The Hartwell, Ga., native was on an alternate list for dental school in Augusta and taking more courses and decided to work on cutting grass instead of working on teeth.
“I just decided, you know what?” Burdette said. “I would rather stick with this because the business was doing so well.”
His Rod Burdette Landscaping has been serving Athens for 15 years.
Q: Tell me about the type of services you provide?
A: We do mostly maintenance. We do some installs as well. We maintain irrigation systems. We install mulches and plants, but the focus primarily is maintenance—mowing, trimming shrubs, that type of thing. We do spring cleanups, fall cleanups, a lot of pruning for folks.
Q: You take pride in being a small business that provides personal service. What does that mean to you?
A: On my website (athensoconeelandscape.com), the mission statement is with gratitude for each customer, we strive to envision and maintain every landscape as if it’s our own. That’s the goal. Because it’s a small business, I’m able to oversee the properties and each supervisor; they’re in charge of the properties that they oversee. It has a much more personal feel. We’re able to customize our services for customers.
Q: How many clients do you serve?
A: Some of them use us periodically. Some of them use us on a regular schedule. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 customers in Athens and Oconee.
Q: How competitive is the lawn service business in this market?
A: I think it’s very competitive. There are a lot of people doing it. That’s why we really strive to provide customer service. That’s the reason we are grateful for all of our customers, too. We do recognize that any customer that we have has an option of using a lot of different services. That’s the whole point of personalizing the service, customizing the service and really trying to work with customers to give them what they need on their individual properties.
Q: Any lawn care tips you would give to readers heading into the spring?
A: A this point, the ornamental grasses and crape myrtles should be trimmed up. If you want to downsize any of your shrubs, this is a really good time to do it. Other than that, just time to put some pre-emergence on and the fertilization should come later and just get ready for spring.
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