Hi everyone, it's Laura, Blue Ox's (wo)man behind the curtain, and my keyboard-warmer, Bubbles. Some of you may already know that I'm usually the one who posts most of our social media and blog updates, but I wanted take the opportunity with our blog this month to introduce myself and speak directly to all of you about the benefits of supporting local businesses.
I know, I know, you've probably read this message a hundred times already. And each one was probably written by just another local business owner imploring you to spend your dollars at their business instead of their big-box or chain competitors. But there are two very good reasons each of us local business owners takes some time at least once in our lives to write the same message.
First, it's our livelihood—what else would you expect? You may not be aware that almost 40% of Blue Ox's business comes from repeat clients, and another 15% from word-of-mouth (i.e. those repeat clients telling their friends, family and neighbor's about us). That 55% of our client base is made up of people who may or may not have read an article or two about supporting local businesses which may or may not have resonated enough with them to guide them to our front door instead of calling a larger chain operation. Can you blame me for trying to find more people like that?
Second, we're passionate about what we do. And what is the number one behavior of all passionate people? To encourage others to share in their passion as well!
At Blue Ox, we're not joking when we say we're passionate about trees. I've seen Mike, John, and even some members of our crew pull out their gear after a full day of tree work, just to climb a particularly lovely tree for fun. I myself am hooked on dozens of different arborist instagrams and blogs, and regularly scour ISA calendars for tree-related events and symposiums I and my colleagues can attend because we want to. I have also recently discovered a new love of photographing trees—I now take my Canon Rebel with me on every outing just in case I come across a swoon-worthy tree. And every member of our crew is as excited to learn more not just about pruning techniques and equipment maintenance, but about identifying trees, understanding their biology, and even earning certifications as tree workers and arborists themselves.
While we all want to see Blue Ox grow into an operation that can keep pace with Fort Worth's ever-increasing tree care needs, we know we don't want to grow too big, because none of us want to sacrifice that something special you have when you're a small business—the familial relationships that bloom between employer and employee, contractor and client.
We who regularly support local businesses know that going local means more than just keeping your dollar circulating in your local economy; more than just supporting new jobs paid at higher wages; more than just guaranteeing your community's tapestry is woven with diverse and vibrant threads instead of becoming a homogenized cookie-cutter town. It also means entrusting the care of yourself, your belongings, and your property to someone you would gladly share a beer with at the end of a long day. And having those sorts of relationships with our clients is something we're as passionate about as trees.
Which brings me to the part of this blog post I'm most excited about:
As a way to say thank you to all our valued clients, Blue Ox is starting a monthly raffle we're calling Share to Win! All you have to do is post pictures on our Facebook page with the hashtag #oxatwork when we're trimming your trees, and you'll automatically be entered into a monthly drawing to win free Blue Ox swag.
If you're as excited to have us care for your trees as we are at being given the opportunity to care for them, we hope you'll share photos of your experiences and earn some cool merch in the process.
Wishing the best for you and your trees!
(and Bubbles the cat)