Teddy Mathis is new to Graham, joining our sales division in 2017, but he has plenty of history in the lawn care industry and offers a unique perspective incorporating both sides of the spray business.
Why Lawn Care?
Teddy got into the lawn care industry by happenstance when he was laid off from being an insurance agent. His neighbor happened to own a small chemical company, and Teddy jumped at the opportunity for employment. He couldn’t be happier that he did. “I went to help him while I was out of work and fell in love with the business. It was great to be able to work outdoors, and the lack of pressure it involved was refreshing compared to where I had been,” says Mathis. He never would have guessed that he’d end up in the industry for the long haul, including running his own lawn care business for 17 years.
Reflections on the Spray Business
Entering a new line of work, Teddy was unsure what to expect and a bit apprehensive about how lucrative the business would be. Now, when asked what surprised him most, he admits, “The amount of money that can be made in the industry. If you work hard, it can really pay off.”
Advice from Someone Who’s Been There
Hindsight is 20/20, and Mathis has learned a few things over his 20+ years in the industry that he wishes he’d known when he started. The biggest one? “The cost of inefficiency,” Teddy says. “It’s just so important to invest in top-quality stuff — down time and not being efficient really kills your bottom line.” In addition to quality equipment, hiring quality employees who have a strong work ethic and training them properly to do the best job possible is key. He adds, “organizing the business to generate the ideal profit margin” is also critical for success.
Why the Switch to Manufacturing?
It wasn’t a change he had planned for, but everything fell into place in the end. Life circumstances forced him to sell his business, and that’s when Teddy saw an opportunity with Graham, manufacturer of his spray rigs. He’d relied heavily on Graham for reliable, high-quality custom spray equipment during his time as a business owner and had built a strong relationship with the people at Graham in the process. “They are good, salt-of-the-earth people” he says. That, combined with his observation that we’re continuing to grow, helped him to feel like “it may be a great long-term fit.” We couldn’t agree more.
Teddy’s distinctive background, with employment on both sides of the lawn spraying equation, makes him a great addition to our sales force. He uses his experience and expertise to help set customers up with the perfect rig for their business needs.