Matt Young’s Story
With the housing market booming in 2002 and 2003 Matt Young was kept busy doing landscape designs and installations for his parents and many family friends.
As a new horticulture graduate from Kansas State University in December 2003, Young decided to explore starting a landscape design business in Topeka by writing a business plan. After several sessions with the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KBDC) at Washburn University, Young’s plan received bank financing for his business to start up in January of 2004. The business plan was key in helping Matt realize his business goals were achievable and instilled confidence to start his business.
Kelly Condray’s Story
An internship with Kansas State University K-State brought Kelly Condray to Topeka in 2003. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape and Turf Management in 2005, Kelly began working for a landscaping company in Topeka as a Landscape Maintenance Foreman. In January 2008, Condray struck out on his own and founded Condray Landscaping. Over the next 12 months, Condray grew the business to 7 employees. He began subcontracting work with Matt and Michael Young for the completion of hardscapes, irrigation, and was then subcontracted by the Youngs for mowing, landscape maintenance, and fertilizing and spraying.
The Story of Condray and Young
In 2009, after working successfully on a large project together, Young’s Landscapes merged with Kelly Condray to form Condray and Young Landscape and Professional Groundskeeping. Michael Young joined the team as well adding his expertise in building hardscapes – stucco and stone wall designs.
During the past three years the company has grown over 60% in revenues with annual revenue increasing at least 20% per year. The company employs six full time employees and over 20 seasonal employees.
The owners shared that the landscape business is extremely competitive in the Topeka area. They have been able to grow and maintain their success by attracting and retaining dedicated quality employees. These employees take great care in the professional service they provide and keep customers happy. Most new business is obtained through word-of-mouth advertising, and from prospects obtained at the annual Topeka Lawn and Garden show, held each spring at the Shawnee County Expo Center.
For Condray and Young, the keys to their success have been in developing trust –delegating/empowering their employees to provide great landscapes and professional groundskeeping. Great customer service and follow up have provided numerous new referrals. Their team approach to managing the business has proven successful in decision making and growth. After the businesses merged in 2009 Kelly says, “Since then we’ve continued to hire and acquired some very high quality employees. We take pride in our quality and our crew.”
Their advice to prospective entrepreneurs is to remember to focus on working on the business not always in the business. They encouraged others to use a team approach in managing a business and to remember that customer service and satisfaction is critical to business survival.
Condray & Young By the Numbers
Washburn SBDC began working with Matt Young on a business plan and loan application in late 2003. Matt was a recent K-State Horticulture graduate and wanted to return to Topeka to start a landscape business.
•Young Landscapes obtained financing and started business in 2004.
•Matt Young and Kelly Condray worked with Washburn SBDC in late 2008 to discuss a business merger.
•Businesses merged in 2009 under the name Condray and Young Landscape and Professional Groundskeeping.
•Current business operation located at 414 NW 25th Street, Topeka, Kansas.
•Company employs six full-time and over 20 seasonal employees.
•Current annual revenues have increased over 60% in the last three years with 20% annual growth each year.
•Business provides landscape design and installation services, irrigation systems, hardscapes, and landscape maintenance services.
condrayandyoungllc.com | 785-286-1563
Assisted by Les Streit, KSBDC Consultant | KSBDC at WU | Topeka. WU KSBDC | 785.234.3235 | washburnsmallbusiness.com | email@example.com
Represented by Senator Pat Roberts | Senator Jerry Moran | Fed. Dist. #2 – Lynn Jenkins | State Sen. Dist.#18 – Laura Kelly | State Rep. Dist.#50 – Joshua Powell