40-year-old Jaime Caballero has always been a growth minded individual. Six years ago, he left his successful banking career to go into business for himself. He and his wife Irene went on to build an inflatable rental business from scratch. The venture proved to be lucrative and the pair grew their business to more than a dozen employees.
For Caballero, one the most fulfilling aspects of entrepreneurism is providing opportunities for his employees, something he takes very seriously. “Every year, prior to the pandemic, my family and I would rent several cabins by a lake and invite all of our employees to bring their families and spend the weekend together, having fun. I make it a point to remind my kids that we have a responsibility to all these people and their families,” recalls Caballero.
It is this sense of responsibility that lead the Caballeros to take proactive steps to diversify their revenue stream once the pandemic slowed their inflatable business. “Even before COVID, we reached a ceiling in our business. It is not a very scalable business model. There are a lot of logistics involved that demand a lot of my attention, in addition to a great deal of liability,” Caballero adds, “Not to mention the physical toll it takes to be moving 400 pound inflatables around.”
With the economic shutdown and health and safety guidelines prohibiting gatherings, the inflatable business drastically cut his business, Caballero found himself with more time to focus on a building a new business. “I had always wanted to get into commercial landscaping. The pandemic made it clear that it was time to take the next steps. The ideal of investing in a business deemed essential was very appealing.”
Landscaping fit well with Caballero’s existing business. “Both involve working outdoors. I already have trailers for equipment. Three of my guys have landscaping experience,” he explains, “Customer service and being dependable are key in both businesses.”
Instead of starting from scratch as they did with the inflatable business, the Caballeros wanted to go with a proven business model with systems already in place this time around. The expertise and experience of an established brand was important to Caballero. “Having the support of a franchise would help shorten the inevitable learning curve in the start up phase of the business. Franchising takes out a lot of the guesswork,” he says.
U.S. Lawns became the standout choice to Caballero, explaining, “The brand’s system has been proven. It has been fine-tuned, the attention to detail is tremendous. Through my research I could see that focusing solely on commercial clients makes the business more scalable and creates unlimited earning potential. With U.S. Lawns I could grow at the pace I wanted and I have set big goals for our business.”
He goes on to say, “Creating a good work culture with opportunities for growth for employees, is central to our businesses. We found the U.S. Lawns’ Brand DNA to be in very much in alignment with this.”
Finding the brand to be a good fit for his long term personal and financial goals, the Caballeros purchased the U.S. Lawns territory in College Station, Texas. “I am 110% a better person because of my businesses. It is very important to me to set a strong example for my six children. I want to show them that with a solid work ethic and hard work, anything is possible. You have to always be growing. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. Irene and I are excited to take on this new challenge and grow personally and professionally.”