SBA award winners: Four Seasons Lawn Care
When Charles Fuqua borrowed his mother’s lawn mower in 2005 to earn extra money by mowing lawns, he had little idea that his company would one day be heralded as model of a successful small business.
Today, Fuqua’s Four Seasons Lawn Care is a full-service landscaping firm with 20 employees providing lawn care, landscaping, hardscaping and irrigation services for residential and commercial properties along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, as well as an independent retail garden center in Pascagoula, Miss.
Despite the growth of his business over the last seven years, Fuqua says he remains very hands-on, working as many as 85 hours a week assisting all portions of the business, from office work to mowing crews. “I love it,” he says. “This is what I like to do.”
Fuqua’s stewardship of his small but successful – and growing – business helped earn him the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2012 Small Business Person of the Year award for the state of Mississippi. He’s also a contender for the SBA’s National Small Business Person of the Year Award, which will be presented at the National Small Business Week conference in Washington, D.C. on May 20-22.
The spirit of the small business owner, he says, is in his blood. “I grew up in a self-employed home, so I knew what it was like growing up – eight hours a day isn’t going to cut it when you’re self-employed.”
But being self-employed doesn’t mean Fuqua doesn’t have a boss. “Our customers are our bosses, he says. “The customer is always right and we try to go above and beyond.”
It’s that attitude, that’s helped Four Seasons Lawn Care earn an A rating on Angie’s List. Members of Angie’s List who have reviewed the company frequently mention the company’s excellent responsiveness, thorough work and willingness to make extra effort to get the job done right.
Fuqua credits his company’s success in part to the business education assistance he received from the SBA’s Small Business Development Center at the University of Mississippi in Moss Point, Miss., as well as the Jackson County Small Business Incubator in Jackson, Miss. “You don’t have to pay a lot of money to know all that stuff, just do the leg work it takes,” Fuqua says.
Asked what advice he would give to other future small business owners, Fuqua says a “Know as much as possible about your business and get as much information and business support from your community,” he says.
Since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration has used the National Small Business Week to recognize small business owners and entrepreneurs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The majority of businesses on Angie’s List are small businesses and, as a former small business itself, Angie’s List is happy to join with the SBA to celebrate these companies and highlight the importance they play in each of their communities.