Based in North Carolina, Yard Nique Serves a Niche HOA Market in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas
It’s a quintessential American success story. Brian DuMont grew up helping his dad in the yard and dreaming of becoming a professional baseball player. But then reality set in, and he decided to go to school for landscape horticulture. Right out of college, he launched his own company and today, 24 years later, he’s overseeing 450 employees and projects in four states.
DuMont came up with the idea for Yard Nique while dealing with a difficult boss one summer after his junior year in college. So that fall he submitted a business plan to his horticulture professor at NC State. His mission was simple: Start a landscaping company that treats others the way you’d want to be treated.
Not only has this mantra been good for business, it’s been good for employee retention. DuMont has watched employees marry and raise a family, then have their own children come to work for Yard Nique.
Today, Yard Nique specializes in landscaping for property management firms and Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs). But, DuMont had to work his share of small jobs to get to where he is today.
“Back in 1997 I would do anything to earn a paycheck,” says DuMont. “I’d clean gutters, rake leaves, install fences, do plumbing, cut grass, making my way to doing landscape design and install.”
Then one day, DuMont was doing a yard for a homeowner in a neighborhood where she happened to be on the HOA board of directors. She recommended him for work on the community entranceway.
“I’m sure I had the lowest bid by more than half,” laughs DuMont. “But it was just me back then, and I was willing to do anything.”
His work impressed the association, and soon he got another job from the neighborhood across the street. Business has grown from there.
“HOAs are a different world,” he says. “It might just be one contract, but you’re really answering to 500 clients—or how many homeowners happen to be in the neighborhood.”
DuMont is proud of his team of skilled designers, knowledgable horticulturists and managers, but he reminds them the key to retaining clients is communicating effectively, providing excellent customer service and delivering a great product.
“We are in the customer service business,” he says. “We just happen to do landscaping.”