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Meet Damon Walters of Prestige Tree & Landscaping

Today we’d like to introduce you to Damon Walters.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
At 12 years old, I had saved enough money from mowing yards to buy my first lawn mower, a used push mower from a neighborhood yard sale, and my entrepreneurial spirit has never died. What surprises people most is how my dyslexia learning disability hindered my ability to thrive academically or even enjoy school, and nothing seemed to really click until I was exposed to work-study vocational courses my late years in high school.

This is where my interest in horticulture began, and that led me to pursue studies in horticulture and turf maintenance. I worked for a golf course for six years, and although I enjoyed the culture and atmosphere, I started feeling I wasn’t challenged enough and desired more. A pivotal point in my mid-twenties was when I decided to quit my job and hike the Appalachian Trail, looking for a career reset and committing the next 6 months to hiking the 2200 mile trail with a good friend of mine.

Through this journey, I thought of length about potential career choices or trades that I could pursue that matched my skill set and passion for being outdoors. When I returned home 7 months later, I took a job with a tree removal business that I attribute my early start and tree climbing training. I started as entry-level labor, but within 2 years’ time, I was climbing trees and running my own crew. The owner made a strong investment in my training and groomed me for what eventually lead to me working for myself full-time.

Sure, my business had humble beginnings, and sure, I had to complete a lot of work manually before I could afford automated trucks and equipment, but I have the background and experience gained from investing that time to where I can tackle complex and high-risk situations with ease. I’ve built up a reputable brand mainly through customer referrals alone. The golf course I worked for 22 years ago remains one of my strongest commercial clients today.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve faced all the typical challenges with a new business, working for years without feeling profitable, difficulties getting loans for capital, etc.

Navigating federal, state, and local tax policy and small business regulations has been one of the toughest challenges for me as a small business owner. Even after utilizing professional accounting services, I struggled to feel this aspect of my business was being effectively managed.

Another struggle I continually encounter involves a weakening hiring climate. Workers with trade experience or technical training are harder to come by, and nowadays it’s starting to feel like everyone wants a raise and management position after 6 six weeks on the job. It’s difficult to find individuals that want to put the time in to gain adequate experience or apprentice.

Prestige Tree & Landscaping – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Prestige Tree is a full care tree service. We offer a modern fleet of trucks and equipment to service an array of commercial and residential tree needs: technical tree removal, pruning, 24-hour emergency service, crane service, preservation, vertical mulching and more. We are known for showing up on time and not leaving until we complete what was promised.

I’m very proud of how this business has operated solely on repeat customers and customer referral business. I haven’t advertised for any markets in 18 years.

My commitment to quality over volume, taking time to educate customers on their options, and remaining conscientious of our reputation and customer satisfaction sets us apart from other tree services.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is defined by pleasing our customers, clients, and our teammates each and every day we are on the job. We strive for success by using our skills and experiences to not only meet customer needs but anticipate and exceed them.

I personally aspire to honor the blessings and opportunities God has given me by serving others with integrity and strong work ethic and want my brand to be synonymous with these values.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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