One Green Industry CEO’s Secret to Success
May 20, 2019 · 3 min read
“We sell them on the career, we don’t hire for jobs. I let them know, ‘You have a long-time career here and as you grow with us, we’ll grow with you and always find a position that fits you.’” says David Raines, founder and CEO of Raines Tree Care.
“We currently have three ISA certified arborists, and are the only company in our county that even has certified arborists on staff.”
“So in 2010 I started our company, Raines Tree Care. We’ve seen an amazing amount of growth since then. We currently have three ISA certified arborists, and are the only company in our county that even has certified arborists on staff.” Becoming an ISA certified arborist is no small feat. In order to attain the certification, one must complete 6,240 hours of work in an arboriculture related field.
David believes that the secret to great tree work, is a great team that’s passionate and empowered. He has taken a long-term, strategic approach to building his company, investing heavily in his closely-knit team, which includes three ISA certified arborists, each of whom joined the company with no prior industry experience and were trained by David himself.
It is extremely important for David to make sure his team knows that they are appreciated. As David and his company grow, he wants his team to grow and succeed with him as they are the foundation of his business. And David doesn’t take the easy way out when it comes to hiring his employees. In fact, to date he has only hired new team members that have no prior industry experience.
“I look for qualities in people and not really their current skill set.”
“Our crew leader, Jimmy King, he just celebrated his six-year anniversary with us. I knew him for a few years before, we went to church together, and he was a 20-something young man, tired of doing what he was doing. He had been at McDonald’s for six years, was managing a store but he loved adventure and he told me one day, ‘I’m sick of doing this,’ and I said, ‘Let’s go have lunch.’”
No prior experience, no prior knowledge about arboriculture what-so-ever, and now Jimmy is an ISA certified arborist. David explained, “I look for qualities in people and not really their current skill set.”
A few years ago, when Raines Tree Care first started taking off, David was finding it hard to keep up with all of the office work while also running a company. He was spending hours and hours outside the normal work day invoicing, filing, and scheduling so that his business would run smoothly and continue to grow.
“Lory was taking a lot of the pressure off me so I would no longer have to answer every call, return every call, and schedule the work.”
David started looking for solutions to his problem and found two answers. The first was hiring an office manager named Lory Gutierrez. Lory didn’t have any experience before David hired her, but he felt like she would be a good fit for the role, so he took a chance. The second answer was implementing SingleOps into his business to help with business management on the back end.
“Lory was taking a lot of the pressure off me so I would no longer have to answer every call, return every call, and schedule the work. So day one, I hired her and she and I sat down at the table and I said, ‘Let’s learn this (SingleOps) together, I don’t know what to do with this,’ but the support was really good that was offered through SingleOps.”
You might call Lory David’s saving grace, and along with the implementation of SingleOps has aided David in freeing up time to focus on other parts of the business, something that David is extremely grateful for. “Without Lory, this would not work because I would smash the computer. She makes it happen, she knows to get on the phone with SingleOps or send an email and y’all have always been good about responding and helping to troubleshoot those problems.”
At its core, Raines Tree Care is about meaningful relationships built around a tree care business that’s truly more than just a business, it’s a family. That’s what separates Raines Tree Care from the competition. In an industry that frequently experiences high employee turnover, David has been able to hire people who don’t want to stop working for him. From day one he empowers his employees to be the best they can be, encouraging them to push themselves.
“Our crew and our company are an extension of our family.”
This tactic has created a lot of value for his employees, his customers, and even himself. His employees feel like David has given them a second chance at a career that they really enjoy. His customers get to form relationships with employees that they see as familiar faces. David and his wife would have it no other way. He explains, “Our crew and our company are an extension of our family. We just celebrated 30 years of marriage, we don’t have children and these people are our family.”
In combination with his incredible team, hiring Lory, and integrating SingleOps into his operation, David has laid the foundation to focus on growth and advancement. In the future, David plans on expanding into other sectors of the green industry, “We’re considering bringing on another person, we’re looking at implementing a plant healthcare program which will bring up a lot of numbers, and a lot of opportunities.”