When it comes to customers, Jeremy Chavarria definitely knows his ABC’s: Always Be Communicating (and also closing, of course). The owner of FreshScapes, a landscaping company based in Austin, TX, spent the majority of his career selling for other people, but now that he has his own company, he’s working even harder to close deals and keep customers.
“Basically, my whole life I’ve been trying to sell something to somebody. Now that I’m older, I find myself probably selling more than I was when I was working for someone else selling,” he explains. “I’m trying to sell something to someone right now!”
The always-on-the-go family man had a chance to talk to us about the joys and pains of being a small business owner, and his big plans for the future.
What are some of the biggest rewards of being a small business owner?
Financial independence. Being able to do the things I always dreamed about doing. You work hard, you play hard; that’s my motto, I live by that. I work extremely hard, and we play extremely hard. My thing is being able to pay off debt, being able to give my kids the opportunities that I didn’t have.
Also, being able to work with people like my nephew and cousins who work for me, and friends who work for me. It’s putting as many people as I know close to me who want to work and achieve the same goals as me.
What part of your job gives you satisfaction?
When you work in landscaping, you truly see what you did. It’s kind of like a doctor; somebody’s sick and you go in and treat them, then you see them a week later, out-and-about saying, “thank you so much.” That’s the satisfaction I get out of my landscaping.
You take an area that’s dried out, doesn’t have any water, looks bad, and you give it a shot in the arm, and you see the fruits of your labor and that means a lot to me. People walk by and see it and say “Amazing job, man,” and it’s awesome.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner, and how has FINSYNC helped you with them?
Here’s the thing that really turned me on to FINSYNC. The year before we probably had to write off $45,000 in unpaid invoices. So, definitely on the invoicing side of things, the reoccurring invoices. A lot of my business is reoccurring, so I send out invoices every month, and FINSYNC will generate the invoice and send out an email to the customer. That’s absolutely been the biggest benefit, it’s really helped us.
So, would you say FINSYNC has made your life a little bit easier?
Oh, I would say a lot easier! I would say it’s relieved about 70% of my stress on invoicing alone.
What advice do you have for those who are thinking about owning their own business?
From the very beginning I would say get all your ducks in a row about how you’re going to do your accounting and invoicing. Make sure whatever you do, you get something in place from the very beginning. I feel like the money we spend with FINSYNC per month is a steal. Save yourself a couple of cases a beer a month and get this right now. Get this type of instrument that can help you with your business right now.
What’s next for you?
I have goals and I’ve set my goals very high! I want to grow my business — not too much where I can’t handle it, especially in terms of customer service, I’m very particular about that. But I want to slowly grow my business. My son is fifteen, and I want him to have the option to take it over. I love being a family-owned company … And I think in the next five years, I want to be a $10 million company.