Beginning almost 23 years ago with a single mower and a snow shovel, Wanda Magana worked her way up in the landscape and snow removal industry in Bordentown, New Jersey. “We had to use two boards to get the mower up into the back of the truck!” From those humble beginnings, Wanda and her husband now own a substantial residential landscape business. Their book of business includes 200 accounts and has contracting accounts with several national commercial landscape companies. Wanting to take her business to the next level, Wanda recognized the need for some support. She turned to U.S. Lawns for assistance, converting her established business to a U.S. Lawns franchise.
“It’s hard to do things all on your own, especially in an industry where there are so many smaller companies willing to undercut you,” says Wanda. Now with U.S. Lawns, Wanda can take advantage of U.S. Lawns’ negotiated partner programs and other cost-saving measures that would not be available to her as an independent operator. She will also be able to leverage a wealth of resources, including a comprehensive system for managing her business, training and support from industry experts, and a network of fellow franchisees who can offer advice and guidance, helping her scale her business. All while operating her business more effectively and offering competitive pricing to her customers.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Wanda, a mother of six daughters, is a strong role model. “This industry is very competitive and often I find I am underestimated because I am a woman,” she says. However, she has been able to win over many of these skeptics by conducting her business with integrity and approaching conflicts in a constructive way. As she notes, “You can’t take anything personally in this business. You also can’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. But you don’t need to change yourself or ‘become more masculine’. There is a place for women in this industry.”
Wanda has found that knowledge and hard work can go a long way in overcoming some of the challenges she faces as a woman in the industry. She notes that while she may not have the physical strength of some of her male competitors, she can hire the muscle she needs to get the job done. More importantly, she recognized the power of knowledge in the landscape industry. “I am not afraid of hard work but there is also power in knowledge. I am always trying to gain more knowledge. I take any class I can find on plants, ways to promote growth, and anything else I can do to provide my clients with the best possible service. Then will take the time to educate my clients on how to get the most out of their investment. The appreciate it and this level of care differentiates me from the other companies.”
Going above and beyond to provide customers with exceptional service is something that attracted her to U.S. Lawns. Over the years, Wanda has built strong relationships with her clients to retain their business year after year. She says, “If a customer isn’t happy, we figure out how to fix it. U.S. Lawns’ brand promise of 100% customer satisfaction is very much in alignment with how we have always done business.”
Something else Wanda liked about the U.S. Lawns brand was their commitment to improving the communities they service. “It is so important to give back. We are looking for ways to help our local girl scout troop build a community garden. We have long been involved in our community, sponsoring youth sports leagues, and local church organizations.” And with U.S. Lawns structure and defined career path, Wanda’s business is providing quality employment opportunities within her community.
With her husband, stepson and two oldest daughters also working in the business, the Magana family is building a legacy of business ownership. “The years go by, and you can’t get those back. It’s important for me to build a business that gives me the flexibility to be there for my younger kids, and that I can include my older ones in, while also building a sustainable business. U.S. Lawns has what we need to scale our business to the next level.”
When asked why she chose to go into landscaping, Wanda has this to say, “I love the green industry. It is always in demand. During the pandemic we were as busy as ever. We never stopped working. There is always a need when it comes to lawns and snow.”
The landscape industry has traditionally been a male dominated industry, which may seem daunting to some women entrepreneurs. However, Wanda, and others like her, are proving that women can make their mark in the industry and build sustainable businesses while still being authentic and not changing themselves. In fact, U.S. Lawns looks forward to helping more women enter the industry by providing a comprehensive system with support, strong buying power, and a well-known and respected brand name.
“U.S. Lawns is excited for what is in store for Wanda and the Magana family. They are a great addition to our network.” says U.S. Lawns vice president, Dave Wells.
To learn more about U.S. Lawns can help you scale your existing landscape business or how you can start your own commercial landscape business, click here.