Planting seeds and deepening roots within the communities of Hampton Roads

by Elsa Heller

Rich Linehan builds relationships. As the owner of New Image Lawn & Scapes, he and his team have established their business client-by-client with hard work, education, a refusal to cut corners, and attention to detail, and have proven themselves committed to providing high-quality lawn care for over ten years.

"Nearly 100 percent of our business comes from word of mouth," Rich says. "To celebrate our tenth year, we are rewarding clients who refer new business to us with half off one month of service, and we are extending that offer through the end of 2017."

Over the past ten years, New Image Lawn & Scapes has grown from an employee of one - Rich - to 15 employees, serving areas from Hickory and Great Bridge to Newport News and Williamsburg. "And I am very particular about who I hire to represent my company," Rich states. "My employees are ambassadors for this business and I strive to hire people who have the same values and passion about their work as I do. People who take pride in doing a job right the first time are worth finding and keeping around."

Rich Linehan - Photo by Kaiser Custom Images

For example, Gama Trinidad has been working with Rich for over eight years now. "We have worked side-by-side since Gama started with me," Rich says. "He is reliable, hard working, and friendly. Many of our clients have nicknamed him 'Smiley' because he is always smiling. He is passionate about his work and always goes the extra mile."

Kay McDaniel has been a client of New Image since the company's founding. "Rich and his men do all that they can to keep their clients' yards beautiful, not an easy task when dealing with nature and the elements," she says. "It gives me peace of mind to look outside and see how beautifully they care for our yard."

"When our clients come home from work and see their yard manicured and looking its best- that is what we strive for," Rich affirms. "We value customer feedback and remain flexible with the services we offer. From tree-trimming to aeration and seeding and everything in between, we are truly a one-stop shop. Our clients want to protect their investment - and when a lawn and its landscaping are taken care of properly, it will thrive."

It was listening to client feedback that prompted Rich to initiate different long-term service packages to suit any homeowner. Tiered along a baseball theme inspired by his sons' participation in the sport, New Image offers packages at All-Star, MVP, and Hall of Fame levels. "We also offer a la carte services," he says. "A few years ago, when the economy took a downturn, we utilized our ability to be flexible because - as a small business - we can make decisions quickly to give our customers exactly what they want. That's why we also have special maintenance packages that we customize to the exact requirements of each household."

It is this business strategy and the quality of services provided that sets New Image apart. Relationships are built one at a time - and word of mouth travels fast.

"My employees
are ambassadors for this
business and I strive to hire people
who have the same values and passion
about their work as I do."

- Rich Linehan

Nicknamed 'Smiley,' hardworking Gama Trinidad has been working with Rich for over eight years now

Giving back to the community also holds a special place in the team's heart at New Image. They contribute to local baseball leagues, Great Bridge High School football, and the Grassfield Cheerleading Flip-a-thon. Most recently, New Image Lawn & Scapes gave away 25 free lawn services to the men and women of our local law enforcement.

When talking about the importance of building up the community in which he lives and works, Rich says: "It is so imperative to show our men and women in uniform that we value the protection and service they provide so unselfishly, day in and day out. Our initiative got a fantastic response on Facebook and it felt great to hear from people within the community - some even donating on their own accord and paying it forward."

Brian and Joy Kiple have also been using New Image for all of their landscaping needs for ten years. "Rich is really wonderful," Brian says. "I appreciate many aspects of how he runs his business and the quality assurance he does on the job. We get the Hall of Fame package and he makes sure his crew is taking care of every detail, from fresh mulch to the flower beds being weeded."

Joy adds: "In the beginning, he was out there doing all the work himself. Even then he would always make sure that he said hello, no matter how busy he was. He has seen our children graduate and go off to college and I remember his children from when they were just babies! The refreshing difference about New Image Lawn & Scapes is that Rich always takes time to answer questions himself, call back himself - he truly takes pride in each and every job."

These glowing references are the honest dividends of a decade spent valuing clients and building a team atmosphere from within New Image Lawn & Scapes. "Our clients are busy people," Rich says. "I want them to come home from work, drive up to their house, and be overwhelmed at how beautiful and manicured their greenery is. It's the reason we do what we do. I know that I am saving my clients time and that - instead of laboring over their lawns - they can enjoy that extra time with their families."

Even ten years in, Rich will do whatever it takes to ensure that his clients are fully satisfied with the level of service they receive.

"We make our services financially convenient for our clients by amortizing the payments over 12 months," Rich explains. "In the long run the amount of money our maintenance and upkeep saves is more than worth its cost. It's the same principle doctors follow when they focus on preventative care, just applied to landscaping. Turn your back for too long and all kinds of problems can crop up. But we work for our clients, staying vigilant, so they never have to worry about it. My team and I are here to make sure their property looks the best it possibly can - whatever it takes to keep our clients happy and get the job done."

Rich and his team have kept lawns looking their best for over ten years

New Image Lawn & Scapes