By focusing its efforts on manufacturing and selling lawn maintenance products directly to customers, Better Outdoor Products hopes to provide professional landscapers with a different option in buying lawn mowers and parts.
Now in its fourth year, Better Outdoor Products was founded as a direct, end-user company after research demonstrated that most commercial landscapers service their equipment themselves.
“It really came down to economics,” says Gary Patridge, owner of Better Outdoor Products and a 30-year veteran of the outdoor power equipment industry. “Out of necessity, commercial landscapers are required to fix their own stuff, and primarily all they need is access to parts.”
By eliminating layers of cost involved in manufacturing products and selling them through distributors, Better Outdoor Products is able to invest more into improving its products.
“It simply allows us to put the money into the product itself,” Patridge says. “It’s a combination our market has responded well to.”
Patridge says the only difficulty so far from this business model has been the fact the company is growing so quickly and is pursuing growth capital. He says customers seem to appreciate being able to deal directly with the company. If customers order a part before 3 p.m., it ships out the same day, and orders can be placed at any time using the company’s Web site at www.betteroutdoorproducts.com.
Homeowners interested in mowers with greater productivity than push mowers but without the heavy weight of zero-turn mowers have also responded well to the company’s machines, Patridge says. “We’ve found a surprisingly large market with homeowners who want to get their yards done quicker,” he says. “Our machines are a really comfortable fit for them.”