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A local and young entrepreneur proved so impressive that the national publication Turf Magazine published a feature story on him last month.
The multi-page magazine spread tells how DJ Carroll, a 2007 graduate of Carroll County High School, began his lawn care service in high school while playing football for the Panthers.
Since graduation, he has since been all business about growing his business.
Carroll has built Easy Pro Property Services from the ground up, taking his original lawn mowing business and expanding it to incorporate all types of lawn maintenance, including landscaping and leaf removal as well as building, concrete, deck and roof cleaning and snow removal. The article in Turf Magazine explained how he grew his business from lawn mowing and kept adding services to increase his client base.
“I began my business with an ‘89 pick-up truck and a Walmart lawn mower and weed eater,” Carroll said in a recent interview. “I started with nothing. My parents wanted me to go to four-year traditional school.” He had other ideas, however.
Carroll had originally planned on playing football in college and becoming a chemical engineer, he said, but realized that some of those boys in college playing football get pretty big and he could get hurt.
He began to re-think his options and career choices, realizing he loved and wanted to be in business — not just studying about it.
Carroll explained he sees himself as an entrepreneur, not a business owner. With this, his focus is to build his company and eventually sell it to allow him to build more businesses.
Carroll said it didn’t take him long to learn he needed insurance if he wanted to pursue corporate clients and that’s when Mark Smith of State Farm Insurance on Highland Avenue became his mentor.
“His generation takes a wrap for not being industrious,” Smith said. “But he’s bucking that trend. I’m really proud of him. I think he’s an asset to our community.”
His passion is his business. Carroll said he likes the rush he gets when he’s done a good job or completed a sale. The magazine article opens its story about Carroll’s passion for business, “that shows in every aspect of his young and growing company.”
“Anytime the phone rings, there’s going to be a sale made,” Carroll said. “Either the customer is going to sell me about why they can’t afford my service or I’m going to sell them my service.”
As a young entrepreneur, Carroll relies heavily on technology to conduct business. On the internet, his company comes up in the top three results if a person searches Google for any of his business areas. This leads the person to his website, www.easypropropertyservices.com.
He believes in professionalism, which he says is evidenced by his logo polo shirt, his logo painted truck, his brochures, flyers, right down to his $100 bill look-a-like business cards.
Carroll takes every opportunity to promote his business and says that when he purchases gas with his credit card, he replaces his business card, which looks like a folded up $100 bill, in the credit card slot. He hopes the next person to purchase gas at that pump will be intrigued enough by the sight of a $100 bill that they will open it up and then see his pitch for their building care needs.
He also places his business card any place that has similar items, such as convenience stores and restaurants and says he recently got a contract for a commercial job from just such a strategy.
Most importantly, Carroll recognizes it is important to know everything about the products and services he offers. He has learned how to do it and why a property owner needs his services.
When he gives his pitch to possible clients, he says he gives them a checklist of questions to ask other service providers if they are going to get other estimates. He said he loves to teach people about the need to take care of their roof and how to make it last the 30 years they paid for in a warranty.
“Knowing your numbers is the most important thing in business,” Carroll said speaking about understanding how to price his service. You have to know how much everything costs involved in the product down to the insurance and the logo shirt, Carroll explained. “If you know your numbers, selling is the easy part.”
EasyPro now has one full-time and several part time employees. Carroll said his philosophy is to provide professional customer service and a quality product.
Turf Magazine says Carroll crams 12 hours of classes into one day at Jefferson Community and Technical College. He reads every book and magazine he can on business and entrepreneurs and now Carroll himself is in a magazine inspiring other entrepreneurs.
The magaizine’s feature article can be found online at its website at www.turfmagazine.com.