Crowley says that 300,000-sq.-ft. to 400,000-sq.-ft. mobile home parks are not uncommon, and the work on them is done in 75,000-sq.-ft. to 100,000-sq.-ft. increments.
"Often the work is completed in phases, depending on what's needed at the moment," Crowley says.
J.B. Bostick has been successful in mobile home parks simply because they take care of each of the individual residents. "The owner of a mobile home is very meticulous," Hamlin says. "We took that as a challenge and our business has grown accordingly."
Crowley says each individual owner has his own concerns and needs, "just as we all do with our own homes, so the blow-and-go mentality is not going to work on this type of job."
He says J.B. Bostick succeeds in the mobile home pavement maintenance market because the crews pay special attention to whatever idiosyncrasies an individual mobile home owner might have, whether it's cleanliness, detail, landscaping, or noise.
"We believe in a neat, clean job and when we leave a job it looks like we weren't even there," Hamlin says.
Crowley says much of their success is related to scheduling as well.
"We address it well in advance, and help the manager notify the residents," he says. "A key to working on that type of property where there are so many people who will be directly affected is simply to make everyone feel comfortable with what's going to happen. Scheduling and paying attention to detail really helps."
In addition to scheduling and planning, the work is done cleanly.
"It takes more time to do it cleanly, so we take more time," Bostick says. "We make sure to edge by hand, for example. But this is all something our employees know to do."
Employees drive marketing
Finding and keeping employees is part of J.B. Bostick's approach to the business – and is the basis for their effective word-of-mouth advertising.
"We find the right people, train them how we need the work done, and then we keep them," Bostick says. "Keeping them with the company helps keep the quality up."
Bostick says the company works hard at presenting a distinctive, professional image, so all crew members wear uniforms. Equipment is well-maintained and is painted a striking bright black with yellow lettering, trimmed in charcoal grey, with chrome wheels, stacks, and bumpers.
"We have this image and the employees feel it and take pride in it," he says. "We look great on the street and get a lot of calls because of it."
Bostick says "appearance is important," retaining employees drives their success. He says they are able to retain employees because the employees are well paid, Bostick employs them through down months, having them maintain and repair equipment, and because they have a bonus program.
"We just don't believe in turnover," Bostick says. "A lot of companies panic at the end of a season and let people go because they don't have the work, but then they have difficulty rehiring those same quality people or quality people to replace them in the spring. We try to keep a good, tight unit year to year and our guys know what has to be done on a job and how it's supposed to be done and we don't even have to tell them."
Most employees have been with the company for more than 18 years, and to assist in retention the company started a profit-sharing bonus program in the early 1980s. The bonus is based on the company's profit and the length of service time of the employee.
"So it's an incentive for them to not only help the company profit but to perform well individually," Bostick says. "Attention to detail is critical. Our employees know that. They know what it takes to retain a customer and they realize how that can affect the company and their bonus."