By Deb DiBiasie on March 8, 2021
Ponderosa Landscaping, a full-service, longstanding company, has enjoyed serving clients in the Ft Lauderdale area for over 15 years. It begins with the love of delivering professional, quality services as they personally care for their clients’ landscaping needs.
Carlos Martin is the proud owner of Ponderosa Landscaping. His partner and dad, Carl Martin, started the business and turned it over to Carlos about six years ago. Dad ran it for about 7 years, however, is not actively involved with the day-to-day activities, yet he still remains a significant influence when it comes to certain things.
How he arrived at the name Ponderosa is still a mystery, Carlos said with a laugh. When Carlos’s dad ran the company, all he basically did was lawn maintenance. When Carlos took over, he saw lawn trucks everywhere, so he decided to learn what customers’ needs were, other than lawn maintenance.
Knowing the competition would be steep, he decided to become more diversified and increased his service offerings. He became proficient in many different areas, like irrigation, artificial turf installation, hard-scapes, back yard patios, driveways, tree trimming, stump grinding, or landscape designs which are design on the computer. Ponderosa Landscaping will do it all, pretty much. It’s all about the client’s needs, wants, and desires. Ponderosa offers a full arrangement of exterior landscaping services.
Carlos makes sure the customer gets exactly what they want, and there’s no misunderstanding. Right now, his goal is focused on leadership. He believes that a business owner must understand an employee’s skill level and know where they like to shine, and raise them up to be the best at that skill. Once he masters that, then he will develop full-service teams where he can organize that team according to each individuals’ strengths. If they want to learn another skill, we show them how things are done.
From being in this business as long as he has, he finds that the customers really appreciate the reliable, efficient, courteous, and polite staff. His staff is friendly, and it shows that they care and take pride in what they do.
Sadly, in South Florida, there are a lot of landscaping companies that don’t take pride in their work. “Ponderosa stands on its reputation, we live with a strong moral compass, and we want our customers to feel like we are a part of their ‘home’ team, we take care of their valuable assets like they are our own, and it shows.” “We are the go-to landscaping company for a lot of loyal customers that we gratefully service every day. At the end of the day, you just can’t be working for money. If I don’t see a smile at the end of the job, I’m not satisfied. I want people to be happy with the end result, or I have not done my job well.”
At one time, BC, Ponderosa gainfully employed 17 landscaping experts, however, now has 12 of the best guys he could ever have.
Carlos expressed how blessed he has been to have experienced the ins and outs of managing and developing a reputable company, learning valuable lessons about scaling that don’t come from a book. Expansion plans are in the making, however, he realizes growth requires a well-informed, calculated plan. Each decision presents a risk for his employees, his valued customers, his family, and himself, so expansion must be done strategically. “It is a must to always be focusing on the satisfaction of the customer. If you grow too fast and get too many customers and can’t deliver quality on time, that’s not good.
“I stand on my word. If a job was rushed and done incorrectly, it’s my dime that has to pay to re-do the job so that it meets with my high standards and, of course, the client’s satisfaction.” Maintaining a good reputation is everything to any business that wants to remain operational and profitable.
Like many, the course of study that Carlos went to college to earn a degree is not how he earns his living today. At that time, the school was about science while he worked with his dad in the business and realized how much he loved working outside, with the earth and nature. He does utilize science on some level, however not like he once imagined.
What sets Ponderosa apart from its competitors is Carlos’s dedication to leadership and professionalism. His employees understand that he will not tolerate anything less than proficient competence, excellence, and above all, a good attitude.
They are a full-service, one-stop-shop, which is not common for many landscaping companies, they deliver a full package. His dad, Carl, a part-time landscaper, and a full-time truck driver, now retired, taught him many lessons about being a business owner in the landscaping industry, how to be a good dad and a respectable member of the community.
He expressed that he is most fortunate that each valued member of his staff is excellent at what they do, as each of them has worked their way up to being seasoned experts. However, for a business in general, he believes the person answering the business phone and the salesperson are the main keys to success. They must be presentable, courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable about the business and the services offered. The customer is depending on them to give advice on what needs to be done.
Carlos shared the vision of his dream job. The ideal landscape design project would include paving, artificial turf, a softscape of beautiful foliage, lighting, a total yard transformation.
Carlos is a devoted, happily married man to a loving, fun wife, who is the general manager of Chuck-E-Cheese, and has worked there since high school. Together they are raising 3 amazing children, ages 16,12, and 9. He lives his life based on a strong faith in God, the divine creator. He believes in treating people with that same Love God has for him. He believes that he is doing God’s work by Service to others, making happy customers, keeping his word, consistently delivering professional quality services, being a good dad, a boss that appreciates his help, and a devoted husband.
Ponderosa Landscaping graciously offers 10% discounts to the elderly and military. When people call him to get a bid, they will say they are shopping bids. Carlos will tell them, “ that’s ok… however, if you want it done right, hire us!”
He loves the Ft Lauderdale area’s diversity and the fact there is plenty of work available. He loves serving his customers. One of his many desires is to impart his strong work ethic to his children and build a strong foundation for them and be able to help them get a good start in life, just as his dad helped him.
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