On a Strong, Steady Course

Updated Mar 15, 2013

Utah landscaper’s dependable pace serves his business and community

Steve Hansen
Hansen’s Landscape Services
St. George, Utah


Steve Hansen, owner of Hansen’s Landscape Services in St. George, Utah, started his company in 1983 in southern California and had a vision to provide great service to quality customers and feed his love for the landscape industry.


More than10 years ago, Hansen sold the operation and moved to Utah, with his wife Darci and their children. Darci grew up near an Indian reservation in the Southwest, and she longed to have a similar small-town atmosphere for their family.

Above and right: Xeriscaping, including drought-tolerant plantings and rock/gravel, is used in many of the housing developments and golf course communities Hansen’s Landscape Services maintains.

Since those first years in business, Hansen’s customer base has evolved from small and mid-level projects to caring for large commercial projects and major residential homeowner associations, developments and government and major corporation contracts.

“Our philosophy is, and always has been, slow and steady growth. This allows us to truly accentuate quality, uncompromising customer service standards,” Hansen says.

Hansen now runs three full-time, year-round divisions, including commercial grounds maintenance, commercial/residential landscape installation and fertilization/pest control.

Conservatism is key

The recent economic downturn left many business owners unprepared for the worst. Hansen says he built his company conservatively, creating a relatively debt-free business. “We pay off loans within a quarter of the allotted time,” he explains. “We pay cash for most of our equipment, and we manage our money extremely conservatively.”

This homeowner requested a dramatic water feature to accent the stunning red rock behind their home. It also serves as something special for the grandchildren to enjoy when they visit.

While admitting he didn’t “get rich quick,” Hansen has maintained his customer accounts and employees during a challenging time. “I am proud to say we have yet to lay off a single one of our 43 employees during this recession. I am humbled and grateful for that.”

His financial conservatism carries over into equipment purchases, as well. “We recognize the value of investing in quality equipment and vehicles. It allows our company to grow in a regulated way that we can financially manage,” Hansen says. “When you purchase equipment, it also conveys you are committed to sustaining your business, your employees, your community and most of all your clients.

“I am a perfectionist. Every year my team redefines the standards for superior landscape maintenance and installation projects, and we are able to provide quality service as new accounts are accrued,” he says. “We meet the challenges of drought and soil imperfections that are unique to the southern Utah area. Our staff’s unmatched work ethic makes us a success and sets us apart in our developing community.”

Giving back

Hansen’s reputation for quality and integrity was evident in 2006 when NBC Studios, producer of the television program “Three Wishes,” selected Hansen to design and build a neighborhood park for a young, blind mother in Cedar City, Utah. Not only did the company meet their budget and six-day production deadline, they also donated $25,000 in additions to enhance the park beyond the producer’s request.

“Since the beginning of our company, we have felt indebted to our customers for their support,” Hansen says. “As a firm believer in community service, I have encouraged and supported a variety of philanthropic endeavors. My wife, Darci, is the voice of our company to the community and to the state, and many of her volunteer positions have come about due to the service-oriented reputation of Hansen’s Landscape.”

In a daring approach, the Hansens took 85 percent of their advertising dollars for the past three years and donated that money to area charities.


“We meet the challenges of drought and soil imperfections that are unique to the southern Utah area.”


The Hansens also play a role in the state legislative process for issues that affect children, education and small business. They maintain close relationships with legislators, which allows them to remain centrally involved in issues that may affect their business, as well as their employees and their families.

“I love this community, and I love to create,” Hansen explains. “There is immediate and enormous satisfaction in improving the landscape of the community in which we reside. My family and I feel fortunate to have played a significant role in the evolution of maintaining the beauty of southern Utah. I wake up every morning and count my blessings for making a living doing what I love most.”

While no one truly knows what the economic future looks like in southern Utah and beyond, Hansen says he is content to remain optimistic for his community and his business.


Hansen’s 5 Keys to Success

1.  Understand the Client’s Vision – Customers have a vision for the services they expect. Spending time on their property and communicating with clients regularly positions your company to exceed the clients’ expectations.

2.  Know Your Staff – Every employee has strengths and weaknesses. By knowing your staff you can place them in positions that allow them to succeed in their roles. This lends to job gratification, reduces turnover, and allows your company to provide quality service.

3.  Maintain a Low Debt to Income Ration – If you learn to work with what you have and limit your debt to income ratio, you can make it through tough economic times, maintain your own clients, and acquire the business of others who unfortunately weren’t able to survive during an economic downturn.

4.  Knowledge is Power – Clients and even architects who design landscape from out of the climate zone sometimes do not realize the varying factors each zone deals with – this only comes from years of trial, error, and continued education. Advising customers based on one’s acquired knowledge of zone and geographical variables guides clients towards making educated decisions and results in customer satisfaction.

5.  Quality Relationships Organize your staffing in a way that allows your company to build the best relationship with the client. This concept begins inside the office and extends to the field. In the end it won’t matter if you have a quality product if the client can’t work with your staff. downturn

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