Andrew Pisher had been working for years to help people market their business, set up administrative systems, build customer relationship strategies and do whatever he could to help someone else see their dreams through. After helping several local businesses in the Phoenix area and finally realizing that he wasn't helping himself in anyway, Andrew was in a bad spot with bills piling up, no money coming in and the feeling of having the weight of the world on his shoulders.
With just $900 left in his bank account and no vehicle, Andrew decided to do something that most people in his situation would think was impossible, he started a business. Andrew thought very long and hard about what type of product or service he could provide and how he could end up finally working for the most reliable person he knows, himself. He looked back at all of his experience and saw that he had always had a knack for working with his hands. He started to remember things that he had forgotten, like how great he is at doing tile work, his ability to hang drywall, do light electrical work, simple plumbing and painting interior and exterior parts of peoples homes. All of these things would require a lot of expensive tools and a way to get these tools to the job. How could he pull this off?
|Other Talent's our founder has :)|
Suddenly Andrew had a flashback to his childhood and teenage years. He remembered that he had always worked at his neighbors homes to help clean up their yards, mow their lawns, shovel snow off of driveways and trim or remove trees. Then it hit him, tree trimming requires a very little amount of tools! With just a few easy to find tools he could offer a service that he is very good at and would be able to save lots of people so much headache and money. But he had no truck or trailer so how would he haul away all of the branches and such? Certainly nobody would want to just have him make a pile in their yard and leave it all.
Next Andrew started looking for someone with a truck that could come and take away the piles, but they wanted so much money that is would put the service price too far out of reach for most homeowners. Suddenly there was a loud noise outside, the sound of loud screeching brakes, then huge thuds over and over again and finally a loud engine roaring high and taking off down the street. The trash pick up! Andrew immediately went onto Google and looked for the city of Phoenix bulk trash schedule. This was the answer, Andrew could provide tree trimming services and schedule the jobs in conjunction with the areas bulk trash pick up.
Now Andrew was very excited and started shopping with the little money he had. Everything he needed was so expensive if he bought it brand new so he went to the next available resource that has become so popular today, Craigslist! Now Andrew could buy almost everything he needed for a fraction of what it would cost brand new, but it was the most sustainable and 'Green' answer. Yes it took a lot of running around, searching and checking prospective equipment, but at this point all Andrew had was time!
|Treelation's primary set of tools|
One day while working diligently to get all of the things he needed together, Andrew received an email from a new educational start up called www.udacity.com. They had just started offering a new free online course called: How to Build a Startup with world renowned business genius from Berkeley University, Steve Blank. What perfect timing! Although Andrew had a lot of experience with startups, he knew that this class was exactly what he needed to kick himself into high gear and to start his new business off right! What he started to learn was so revolutionary he quickly became addicted to the lectures and spent hours of his time taking the courses and doing the homework. Clearly he had started on the right path and this was his sign.
Since there were so many things Andrew would have to buy in order to work on all types of trees he decided to turn his focus to working on the trees that required the least amount of tools and equipment. He laser focused the business model around palm trees only. Having trimmed over 50 palm trees in his past, he was very confident that he could offer high quality service and get the jobs done quickly. Something he learned in his courses was you should always start with a specific niche market and put all of your focus there before expanding into other products and services. The next goal was to find a working business model and a big part of that was just finding out how to price his services. And since one of the biggest things the class was teaching Andrew was to get out of the building, he immediately looked for the next area that was getting the bulk trash pick up and he just started walking door to door looking for ugly, overgrown palm trees.
Andrew had no idea how long it would take him to trim a palm tree and some of them were so tall that there was no way he could tell how many fronds would have to be cut off. So of course with the first 10 or so jobs he set up in his first couple days of canvassing he soon came to find out that he was charging way too little! This can be a bad thing because tree trimming is a very dangerous and dirty job that deserves good pay. Just watch this video to see what we mean...
With his partner Micah Tutay, Andrew showed up to his first palm tree job ready and excited to make the first dollar with Treelation. He and Micah decided that Treelation was the best name because it reflected the type of philosophies that Andrew holds dear: honesty, communication, transparency and reliability; all of the things necessary for a strong long lasting relationship.
After getting all strapped in to his new (but used) gear, Andrew quickly started to climb his first palm tree that he had climbed in years! He had Micah video record him while he attempted to quickly climb to the tree top to trim off the fronds! Half way up the tree Andrew needed a break. He was not in the shape he thought he was in. What he thought would only take and hour or so with the help of Micah ended up taking them almost 4 hours! The total amount of money they charged for both trees was $60. You do the math and decide if it was worth it for 4 hours of work for 2 people...
|Treelation's first tree!|
One lesson was that not only was Andrew in poor shape to work on the trees and needed to rest frequently, but the tools he had were not the best for the job he was doing. Being very tenacious, Andrew still worked on all the other jobs that he had charged too little for. Almost all of them he had to do alone because there was nobody to be able to help with such little money so he would have Micah drop him off on the job site while he worked alone and scared until he was done trimming and piling the remains for pick up. Micah would then come and get Andrew and take him home where he would take a hot shower, upload and label his before and after photos and then lay in bed for the rest of the day while his body recuperated!
Andrew played everything smart from the very beginning, he knew that he would have a challenging time with the pricing on each job so he took before and after pictures of every single tree he worked on. When he was placing the fronds and getting them ready for the city to haul away, he would count each frond and shoot that he had cut off the tree so he would know exactly how much work went into finishing the job. After studying each job he found out how much time it took and created a price list that was fair to both him and his clients. Now he was ready to canvass again and this time he would make enough money to get one other person to help as well as buy better equipment to complete his jobs. Better tools meant better efficiency and better efficiency meant growth for Treelation.
At this point the only way Treelation would get clients in by Andrew walking door to door giving quotes and setting up days to do the work for people in his neighborhood. More jobs came in so he hired his sister Allyson and his friend Scotty to assist part time. Things were getting better and better and many clients started asking for other types of trees to be trimmed. That is when Andrew knew it was time to invest the little money he had into getting more tools and a trailer to help haul away huge branches.
After 10 straight weeks of walking door to door almost every day Andrew decided that he had his business model down well enough and had the tools it takes to get any tree service job done, so he started reaching out to his friends for jobs knowing that he would be able to live up to his reputation and provide amazing service with a smile. Plus now his helpers were starting to rely on Treelation as an income that will pay their bills, and so Andrew had to step up his game!
After calling just a few friends Andrew was able to get Treelation a Homeowners Association job that required the trimming of 36 trees! This was a great job and helped pay the helpers good money while at the same time making more money for much needed tools.
Treelation has been insured since May 29th 2013. Andrew is continually reaching out to his friends in the Phoenix area with hopes that they will hire Treelation to trim their trees and to pass the company information along to at least 3 people that own their own homes. Are you willing to help our a company full of people that are honest, hardworking and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed?
Thank you for reading! We trust that you will pass this along to anyone that owns a home in the Phoenix area!