Facility Maintenance Group Takes Full-Service to a New Level
If they don't do what a client needs done, they'll find someone who does!
by Ranger Kidwell-Ross
Jacob Rogers, FMG's founder, grew up in his Dad's landscaping business. When his Dad retired in 1999, Rogers says he spent a couple of years working for others, doing landscape estimating and other landscape-related tasks. One thing he realized was that he didn't want to stay in the landscaping business -- or work for someone else.
Rogers got into sweeping via an almost chance coincidence: One day when he was at his uncle's he noticed a beat-up 80's Supervac sweeper parked there. His uncle had bought it but never followed through with getting into sweeping. Arrangements were made to buy the machine and, voila, Jacob found himself a sweeping contractor.
"Looking back," Jacob says, "times were tough in the beginning." However, like every sharp entrepreneur, Rogers persevered and built a business around his sweeper. Instead of getting further and further into sweeping, though, his business model was to go horizontal instead of vertical. Using the sweeping accounts as his ties to his customers, Rogers decided to "just say Yes" to whatever his customers' needs might be.
Even today, as head of a company that handles several dozen types of tasks inhouse, FMG advertises to its customers that if they don't handle any particular job they'll find someone who does. That commitment--combined with having the phone answered by a real person 24/7/365 and promising a maximum four-hour turnaround in emergency situations--has turned Rogers' Facility Maintenance Group into a top choice in its market area.
Besides sweeping, the company now handles jobs as diverse as carpentry, holiday banner installation and removal, tenant cleanouts, sealcoating, locksmith services, drywall, painting and floor care. Plus much more.
"What we did initially was to contract out whatever services we weren't prepared to do inhouse. There are a number of advantages to doing that. We would go find someone in our area who was doing a good job, which we'd confirm via checking both their work and their references. Then, we'd put one of our personnel on to oversee quality the first few times working with a company.
"That helped us learn how to do a good job, what type of equipment worked best and, ultimately, how to bid in that industry. Eventually, once we build our expertise and see where the demand is, we then take over doing the work inhouse. And, although it took a few years to get back into it, today we even do landscaping.
Facility Maintenance Group was chosen as Featured Contractor of the Month by design: In these times of shrinking margins and, in some areas, the market for sweeping services, FMG's model provides a good example of ways to capitalize on the steady relationship that sweeping provides with its customer base. If you want to know more, be sure to listen to the audio interview with Jacob Rogers using the player you'll see below. It's time well invested.
Note: The following audio interview with Jacob Rogers is approximately 26-minutes in length, and will play without downloading any files onto your computer. If you hear the interview at 'chipmunk speed,' you will need to download the latest version of Adobe's free Flash player.
If you have questions or comments about this interview, please, let us know and we can add it in as an addendum to this article.
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