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Running a business

David Taylor is focused on growth

Name: David Taylor


Location: Sterling Heights, MI


Business: Premier Professional Landscaping

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Tell us a little bit about your business. 


I was really heavily influenced by entrepreneurs at the age of 13 or 14 years old. And I wanted to start something. I wanted to own something, but I didn't have the means. I didn't have any investors. So landscaping was something that I could do based on the skills I was taught from my mom and dad making me cut the grass every Saturday morning. I said, "I can do this for the neighbors. I could do this for other people." And so from there, the business grew and it exceeded my expectations. Because again, I thought this was just a way to make some money and give my friends jobs and say I own something. And so from there, it just continued to grow. And so all these years later, that turned into a business that provides for a lot of other people.


How does running your own business make you feel?


Tired! I think there's a big misconception that when you own something, you can set your own hours and you don't have to work as hard. You can just vacation and do all these things. Totally not the case. I work more hours than I would if I worked for someone else. But in exchange, it's not to do it for as long and to not have to work this hard for as long. So that's what's kept me in it. That's been a driving force.


When you started running your business was there something that you didn't know how to do that you had to teach yourself?


I had to learn along the way to become much more than just a business owner. I've become more of a mentor, more of a coach. So many things along the way. But in terms of things I had to learn…a lot about payroll and how to process the payroll, all the admin things, putting bids together and making sure everything has this professional finish to it. I also learned along the way that I needed help.

With QuickBooks, payroll and bookkeeping work hand-in-hand.

What do you find the most fulfilling or gratifying about running your own business?


Seeing other people happy. Seeing guys work that are highly skilled individuals, it's like they come to work for the company and on payday there's no issues with them receiving their checks. And you watch these guys do things with their families, their kids, and they pay bills. It is very fulfilling to know that something I started years back is now not only paying dividends for me, but for others as well. That's a very rewarding feeling.

What tools help you run your business?


My business manager runs everything by me and she brought QuickBooks to me. And I must admit from the time we did it, it's made life so much easier. It has made everything so much better and more efficient as far as processing invoices and being able to have multitudes of reports to put together to piece together where the financials are. So that has been a very big help. 


I like the professional finish or the professional touch that having QuickBooks adds to our company because it's such a well-respected name and the software alone people are familiar with. So when you're backed by QuickBooks, it kind of removes the doubt of if the company is professional enough, so to speak.

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What is the biggest lesson you learned about entrepreneurship in the first year of running this business?


The biggest thing I've learned is to keep a balance. You have to have balance. Your employees have to have a work-life balance. It’s extremely important. But while running a business, it is really important that you have everything kind of clicking, all components working. And so for everything to work, you have to have your hand or part of yourself in everything because it's your business. So just balance overall, you have to have balance.

How do you manage to wear every hat that your business demands?


There are times that certain parts of your business command more of your time, and you have to give it more time. You have to work at something a little bit longer than you normally would, but when you do that, life tends to provide that balance on the other end. One of the things that I learned — you have to have a team. You have to. I mean, to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to have a team. There's no way you can just do it all yourself or take all the credit. There's no way.

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QuickBooks has really helped us to define how we do business..

What has been your proudest moment?


The community service work that we've done. It's so rewarding.


What advice would you give somebody thinking about starting a business?


Do your research. Research the market that you want to enter and figure out what value you can add to that industry. What additional value can you add to the customer? And I would say when you do that research and you find out what makes your products or services better, or even just to the point where you can compete, I think then you have a value proposition that you can be enrolled with.


What's next for your business?


QuickBooks has really helped us to define how we do business. What we've learned is that now we have a formula. So we've invested in other businesses that we run as well, and they're run with the same professional touch. So when you ask where do we see things from here, it's a matter of just entering into other spaces, be it real estate, tech, what have you. We're expanding. So that's what we're really happy about.


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