Running a small business can be a challenging job. Not only do you have to be an expert in your chosen field, but you have to wear many other hats. At CLC Tree Services, our main role is to provide tree services to the Forest city and areas around London, Ontario, but there is so much more to it than that.
For starters, we are an employer. While Curt McCallum started the business almost 30 years ago, the crew has grown extensively since then (and we could still use a few more able-bodied arborists to join us, if you are looking for work!). Our crew need training and have to have their certifications maintained and upgraded over time. Schedules need to be made for them and they like regular paychecks to be delivered as well. Plus, we have meetings to touch base with the crew and discuss any issues that arise over the course of the week. We can only be as strong a company as we are, with the help of the hard workers who make up our team.
That being said, our employees are only as valuable as the equipment they use. Aside from personal items, like their uniforms and safety gear (check out the new helmets on the guys above!), there are chainsaws, climbing ropes, carabiners, rakes, and an endless number of other items we need to make sure are available and in good working order.
Small equipment can be replaced or repaired in quick order, but larger equipment is a different matter. Maintaining the chippers, bucket trucks, pickups and other larger equipment requires the help of outside companies. It can be costly, but is a part of doing business. Without these items, we wouldn’t get far. And that doesn’t even begin to factor in when we need to call in outside help for more extensive jobs.
Once you get away from what the crew actually does on a daily basis, there is the behind the scenes jobs that need taking care of. Phones need answering. When our Office Manager doesn’t get to the phone, a personalized answering service steps in and answers your calls (rarely will you get a machine—we know you prefer talking to real live people). Estimates need writing. Supplies need ordering. Bills need paying. Invoices need collecting. And all that accounting needs to be calculated to make sure money coming in covers money going out.
Other items which many small businesses need to take into consideration are websites, advertising, networking, memberships, and even where to spend money or time on donations and other goodwill efforts (like our participation in OCAA Days of Service). Don’t forget about online sociability too. Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest or wherever else might fill your need takes time and effort too. And if you don’t think they are important, you are missing out on huge markets to network, find new clients, show your expertise in your field, and interact with existing clients. That is almost a full-time job in and of itself! You need to be a writer/photographer/PR person/tech savvy/researcher savant almost.
So while one person may have started CLC Tree Services, today it takes a team to keep it running, flourishing, and expanding. We know we can’t do it alone. And without our clients, it wouldn’t happen at all. We tip our hats to Curt for starting the business, Calvin for growing and running it so successfully now, our employees, the people who spread the good word about us in person and online, and everyone who helps to keep a small business afloat. We do our best and try to make everyone proud of our efforts.
The best thing you could do for us is to spread the good word. We know word of mouth is the best friend of any small business. So tell your friends. Vote in the LFP Best of London contest. Write a review. Like us on Google+, Facebook or Twitter and share the content we put out there. Every little bit helps. Plus, you can feel good knowing that your support betters our whole community. And we appreciate it.