In each issue of URBANwell Magazine we spotlight a local business owned by urban folk. As owners of a local lawn care business they have an eye for perfection, unparalleled energy and a passion for customer service. It’s how they live urban well. Keep reading to hear their story in their own words.
How did you get into the lawn mowing business? Stephen used to make a long commute to work at a warehouse. We were grateful for the work but we struggled to make ends meet. After moving to Midlothian he started mowing lawns on the side. He had one lawn mower, one edger and one blower – and all of them were electric! Within the first year Stephen was able to focus on Beaty Family Lawn Care full time.
How did you get the word out about your business? At first our family, especially my mom, helped us get going and then word of mouth. I used to drive to Burleson and Dallas and my mom would show up to fill up the gas tank to keep us going. Eventually the route focused in on Midlothian, South Arlington, Venus, Waxahachie, and Cedar Hill.
What do you enjoy most about your work? The people we meet make it worth it. It’s not just about mowing yards, it’s about connecting with our customers. Most lawn companies and their employees don’t have the time to visit with their customers. Sometimes you don’t even know who’s mowing your lawn. That’s what’s different about us.
Stephen just loves to arrive at a home with an overgrown lawn and say to himself, “Okay, I’m going to turn this around.” He loves that transformation.
He never tires and works hard for everything we have. He works hard because he loves people. He loves hearing their stories and our customers have become family.
Do you have any favorite customers? Jeff Taylor from KCBI. We love him. I used to listen to KISS FM on the way to work every morning. My sister told me about listening to Chris Tomlin on a Christian Radio Station called 90.9 KCBI. Everytime I tuned in, I didn’t know any of the songs. So, I switched back to KISS FM. I prayed about it on the way to work for like a month, asking God, “Please let me start liking this music.”
He did so much more than that, and that’s how God works. He doesn’t just answer your prayer, he answers above and beyond. Now we are monthly supporters of KCBI. One day, Jeff messaged me on Facebook. He said, “Is that your husband I see out there in the Family Beaty Lawn Care truck? I’m gonna use y’all.”
It was so cool, and it’s awesome to hear him on the radio and know we’re mowing his yard. Jeff always greets Stephen when he is out mowing his yard. That’s an example of the kind of customers we have.
What’s the best part about being a small business owner? In one word: Independence! Now Stephen gets to have lunch with the kids at school and go on their field trips. He wanted to be able to spend more time with family while supporting the family. Before we were just working, working, working. It just felt like we were constantly spinning our wheels but not getting anywhere. We never saw each other and now it’s totally different.
During the summer you arrived to mow our lawn with a pack of young men in tow. What’s that about? Those young men are all of my son’s friends. They have no idea that’s what we are doing! They don’t know we are able to keep tabs on them while they are mowing lawns with us. They love to get out there and make money. At the same time, they are developing good character and work ethic. They’re not getting in trouble during the summer. They are safe – they’re with Stephen –and not out roaming the streets doing stupid things and ending up on Midlothian Talk.
How has God been involved in your business plans? We started from the bottom. God had to grow us before he could grow our business. He had to grow our faith, and our finances. We’ve been together since I was 14 and Stephen was 17. We grew up together. We were kids together. We didn’t know how to manage our money. All we knew how to do was work hard. So, that’s what we did. Constantly working but never really getting ahead.
God had to teach us how to manage our money. In the Bible, it says, “Unless God can trust you with a little bit, He’s not going to trust you with a lot.” I firmly believe that. If we had started this 10 years ago, we would have failed. We had no idea what we were doing. Looking back, now I can see that God led me to my job in quality management. Over the past 10 years, I’ve learned how to operate a successful business by putting customers first. God set us up for success and we had no idea. He was leading us this whole time.
We used to think God, where are you? Why are we here? Then God showed up in a huge way. He just showed us abundance and we discovered how much He loves us. God had to grow our faith.
What lessons have you learned along the way? We’ve learned to put systems into place and that’s helped us grow. We wanted to be able to respond immediately. We also wanted to be able to make commitments and keep them. At first it involved a lot of trial and error. I’ll never forget the time we mowed the wrong yard! The house was in a new subdivision and the addresses were all messed up. The home owner said, “Sir, I think you have the wrong house.” Oh my, we were embarrassed, and she still paid! Paid in quarters. You live and learn!
What kind of support do you have? I belong to a women’s ministry called She Works His Way. It’s teaches business owners how to put God first. Every Friday they post prayer requests online. They offer live classes and conferences. They’ve even taught us how to use paid ads on Facebook.
What’s next for your business? We are preparing to scale up and branch out. There’s no doubt that Beaty Family Lawn Care is going to do well, because we work so well together. The goal is to get better and more efficient each year. To run a business well, you have to grow and keep learning.
Our BizSpot is selected by the editorial team and provided free of charge to urban folks like Stephen and Kasey Beaty. It’s an act of ministry that you can support through our publisher, Q Ministry Project.