SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
Noel Boyer: The No. 1 thing is the way word of mouth works in Springfield. We’ve actually slowly been cutting our marketing budget year by year and still watching our company grow. About 85 percent of our business is repeat and referral work.

SBJ: All About Trees is a debt-free company. How did you manage that?
Boyer: When I first bought this company 11 years ago, I did borrow money. I had to. I saved every penny that I could from then on. I just don’t buy equipment and I certainly don’t buy brand new stuff. When I did have loans on equipment, I looked at principle vs. interest and it felt like all those interest payments were washing down the drain. It made me crazy. I decided to buy what I could afford.

SBJ: Your employees choose to attend tree-climbing competitions rather then get raises. Tell us about that?
Boyer: I graduated with a degree in psychology, and man I needed a job. I took a job here in town with a local tree service. My boss there started teaching me how to climb trees. In 1997, he took me to a tree-climbing competition. That’s what hooked me into the industry. I thought I would try to do the same with my own employees.

SBJ: How does you company give back to the local community?
Boyer: There are a lot of companies who donate gobs of money to causes. We are not that. Maybe that’s why I’m a debt-free company, I don’t give a lot of it away. We are usually donating in the form of services. We have done several days of service at the National Cemetery on Seminole. That’s one of our favorite ones. We’ve also done free tree work at several elementary schools. We do lots of career days and informing pretty much any crowd we can get ourselves in front of to get passionate about trees.

SBJ: Where do you see the company headed in the next five years?
Boyer: I don’t know how we wouldn’t continue to grow. It’s not like at the start of the year I write down a number on a piece of paper that I want to see at the end of the year. It’s always been organic.

Already this year, we are at 25 percent growth over where we were last year. We did $1 million in tree work last year, but my friends did $20 million. They are in Chicago, that’s not going to happen in Springfield. The entire tree-service market in Springfield is about $5 million. I’m capturing 20 percent right now. It’s very competitive. If you open the phonebook, there are 40 tree services listed.

SBJ
: What’s your next big goal?
Boyer: We just closed on a 6-acre commercial property, we have a contractor and the new shop is underway. Right now, we are busting at the seems at our commercial property in the city of Battlefield. (The new property) will be just outside Springfield city limits on West Bypass.