Four Seasons Total Landscaping gave us all a light lesson in 2020 | Small American Business

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For for many small businesses in #America, 2020 hasn’t been a fun year at all – nor fun. #It’s hard to find humor in a year when a pandemic has killed more than 350,000 people, destroyed jobs for more than 12 million, and ruined countless restaurants and other small businesses in fitness, arts, travel and retail.

#But last year, one small business gave us all reason to laugh. #This small business is #Four #Seasons #Total #Landscaping in, of all places, my hometown of #Philadelphia.

#Four #Seasons #Total #Landscaping became a global story when #President #Trump’s campaign announced a surprise press conference – the day the election results for #Pennsylvania and other states were released – in their parking lot on #State #Road in the game. northeast of the city. The announcement baffled both supporters and opponents. The press conference – like so many in this administration – was a confused and rambling affair. #No one knew if this was actually planned or just a confusion with the #Four #Seasons hotel near #Broad #Street. #No one could know if #Trump even knew what was going on. #It happened anyway. #And it was all very funny.

#It was funny because of the footage: #Trump’s lawyer #Rudy #Giuliani was fighting for his boss’s political life surrounded by other typical #State #Road small businesses – a sex shop and a crematorium – and of course with the #Four #Seasons #Total #Landscaping sign behind it. #It was funny because it was absurd and surprising and curious. #It was funny because no one admitted it was a mistake. #Was it? #It was funny because the incident took place in a city where #Trump had recently warned that “bad things happen”. #To him apparently.

#But the real reason this story was so funny is because of #Marie #Siravo, the owner of #Four #Seasons #Total #Landscaping. #She and her team’s response to what happened was non-partisan. #It was a perfectly #American lesson in business acumen. #Siravo saw the humor. #She also saw the dollar signs.

#Doing her best to stay out of politics, she doubled the unprecedented visibility of her small business. #Siravo immediately improved its website. #She posted a politically astute #Facebook post that any seasoned PR professional would be proud of. #She sold tongue-in-cheek shirts that said “##Make #America #Rake #Again” and “##Lawn and #Order” and coined phrases like “in grass we trust” on other promotional items. #She took part in the quickly organized “#Fraud #Street #Run” which drew 2,100 participants and started from her parking lot. #She embraced the crowds and the people who – to this day – stop by for a brief glimpse into political history. “##We are not making any political statements,” she told the #Philadelphia #Inquirer. “#We run with this and we take advantage of it. #It’s like a magic carpet ride.

#Four #Seasons #Total #Landscaping is the very definition of the typical #American small business. The media love to showcase these tech savvy, venture capital backed entrepreneurs who are launching the next big business in #Silicon #Valley and #Austin. #But there are 30 million small businesses in this country. #Most, like the one in #Siravo, are family businesses and farms. They usually provide an unsexy but necessary service… like landscaping. #Similar to #Siravo, they typically employ less than 30 full-time people and are typically located on national roads in their home towns. #You know these companies. These are not companies that #Stephen #Colbert, #Jimmy #Kimmel, #Seth #Meyers and #James #Corden would talk about. #Or profiled by the BBC. #Or featured on The #Tonight #Show and #Saturday #Night #Live. #Or written here in the #Guardian.

#But this company was. #And it’s funny too.

#So #Siravo – like so many smart entrepreneurs navigating the changing dynamics of 2020 – pivoted. #She converted her conference room into a distribution center, not for landscaping work, but to assemble and sell more than 35,000 T-shirts, sweaters and face masks, which generated more than 1.3 million dollars in sales to clients like #Jake #Tapper, #Mike #Myers and #Emma. #Watson. #She appeared on television and other media because, like a savvy small business owner, she was not going to pass up a good public relations opportunity. “#You know, a lot of companies don’t snow, don’t irrigate, don’t plan,” she reminded us in an interview. “#So that’s where the term ‘total’ comes from.”

I did not know that. #Now yes. #Now that’s funny.

The whole story is funny because it happened at a very funny moment. #Everyone was nervous. #Everyone was tired of the pandemic, worried about the election, and generally stressed about the future. #And then we heard about that weird presidential press conference at a landscaping company on #State #Road that looked too much like the city’s five star hotel and… we laughed. #We read the light, entrepreneurial response from this small business owner and laughed. #We admired his courage, his quiet humor and his ingenuity.

#It was a funny story and we were reminded that we all – #Democrats and #Republicans – can enjoy a funny story. #Most importantly, we were reminded how much we, as #Americans, value the small business owners of our country.

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