For This Self-Taught Father-Son Team, No Challenge is Too Big
by Melissa LaScaleia
Matt Freedman, the owner of Beach Landscaping in Myrtle Beach, is originally from the Washington, D.C. area. He moved to Myrtle Beach in 1995 to start a commercial cleaning business with his father after the invitation of a family friend.
“A friend of my father’s had a cleaning business down here,” Matt tells the Insider in an interview. “And he had a commercial account which he was on the verge of loosing because he didn’t have any on-site management. So he asked us if we wanted to take it over. We said yes and came down, and after a year or so of working for him, we decided it was time to branch out on our own. That was the start of our own commercial cleaning company, Beach Commercial Cleaning.
“After five years or so, when we had things pretty well structured and my involvement on a day-to-day basis wasn’t essential, I looked for a new challenge.”
Through an acquaintance, Matt found what he was looking for— the opportunity to start and grow another business from their existing client base. It was in landscaping.
“We ended up partnering with someone who had a smaller, semi-established business already,” he says. “And with our contacts, we were able to grow both commercial and residential accounts to a decent size. In 2010, my father and I split off to start our own company, Beach Landscaping, and we’ve been running it ever since.”
“I didn’t have much landscaping experience when I first started,” he continues, “and neither did our partner. I basically learned on the job, through hands-on doing it.
“One of the reasons why we were able to get business from the onset was that we called people back and followed through with what we said we were going to do. It was basically our customer service, and we stick with that to this day. It’s huge for people that we’re here and we’re accountable for what we provide. People continue to be amazed that we actually return their calls.”
Beach Landscaping has since grown from its humble origins, but remains a true family-owned and operated business. Matt and Bob spearhead the operation, and Matt’s wife Tracy manages the accounting and scheduling. Since those early days, Matt has brushed up on his formal education, attending classes and logging hours in the study of plant identification, pesticide application, and weed identification and control. The trio oversees a team of about twenty employees.
“We try to maintain as much communication with our clients as we can,” he says in speaking about what makes his company stand out. “Rich is instrumental to our team— he follows up behind our grounds crew to make sure they’re doing everything according to our standards. We have a lot of old time customers at this point, and we take care of them.
“We have a lot of different avenues and infrastructure in place so that if people call, they can speak to Rich; and Kim answers my phone Monday through Friday. If there’s a conflict, Rich is the one that we send to go talk to the homeowners to make things right.”
Today Beach Landscaping offers numerous landscaping services for both businesses and residences: regular lawn mowing and maintenance services; bed design, planting, and maintenance; bush, perennial, palm and other tree pruning services; full landscape design; and irrigation installation and servicing. They also cover you and your yard for spring and fall cleanup, overturn soil, give recommendations on what plants would thrive in specific areas of your yard, and conduct soil testing and treatment for lawns that need more perk. The only thing they don’t do is take down large trees.
Beach Landscaping also offers design and execution for hardscapes, paver patios and walkways, and retaining walls. These latter skills evolved over time, Matt explains. Along the way, they met and hired individuals who were skilled in these additional areas, learning from them until Matt and his father were able to expand their repertoire of offerings on their own. Their ability to successfully teach themselves new skills, and consistently offer excellent service with great attention to customers is both impressive and inspiring.
Matt’s favorite thing about his job is doing a complete landscape redesign for a customer. “I enjoy having a clean palate to work from, going in and adding everything new from the beginning,” he says.
His penchant for starting from scratch and loving the process shows. From commercial cleaner, to landscaper, to patio construction; where will this father-son team head next? We don’t know but we hope we’re there when it happens. Someone tell us if we’re not.