Brian DuMont describes the start of his company as the “perfect storm.”
As a senior pursuing a degree in horticultural science at N.C. State in 1997, DuMont was assigned a class project about business ownership. He came up with a plan for a landscaping company and received one of his best grades ever.
Later that spring, Yard-Nique became official.
DuMont deferred graduation for a year, working 14-hour days with a crew of one or two people and a single truck. Today, Yard-Nique is a full-service landscaping company with more than 250 employees and locations in Raleigh, Creedmoor, Jacksonville, Wilmington, Fayetteville and Greensboro, as well as in Richmond, Va.
The company provides com-prehensive landscaping services, from design/build to maintenance. DuMont calls it a “one-stop shop.”
And for his accomplishments as a young entrepreneur, DuMont was named to the 2012 class of the Triangle Business Journal’s esteemed “40 Under 40” list.
“Every dollar I made, I put back into the business,” DuMont says. “Early on, through word of mouth, our business began to snowball, and the company would double in size every year. The economy also was good at the time, and the market was booming.”
Despite the economic downturn of the last few years, DuMont and his team have managed to expand the company’s market share into Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Wilmington, Greensboro, and across state lines into Virginia. He speaks animatedly about continuing to grow the business into areas like Charlotte, while also maintaining growth in existing markets.
“Our diversity of services enables us to succeed,” DuMont says. “When one sector is down, the others tend to do well.
“And our people are the best,” he says. “I don’t micro-manage. To grow a company, you have to let go, and I let our folks do what they do best. We wouldn’t be where we are today without such an incredible staff.”
DuMont says he also receives great support from his family. In fact, his father, Bill DuMont, came on board in 2003 to help out with the company’s bookkeeping. Today he serves as CFO.
He also points to his experience as a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Horticultural Science as one of the keys to his success.
“My professors, especially Stu Warren and Bryce Lane, are a huge inspiration to me,” DuMont says. “They were such a big help when I was trying to start this company, and they’ve been there for me every step of the way.”
The company is committed to hiring graduates of the College’s Horticultural Science Department, DuMont says. A number of his current employees are CALS graduates, some of whom were interns who stayed on with the company.
To say DuMont is driven is an understatement. “I’m 37 now,” he says. “I want to continue to grow this company as long as I’m proud to be here. My favorite part of all this is the challenge.”
He also takes great pleasure in giving back to his community. Yard-Nique has participated in educational programs with school children, donated labor for a school beautification project, and most recently, the Yard-Nique team won the “Bike MS Evolution Award” for raising more than $20,000 for multiple sclerosis research.
DuMont and his wife Aaren (a 2005 graduate of the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine) welcomed their first child, Dylan, last year, which presented DuMont with what he describes as his greatest challenge yet: achieving balance.
Whether in parenthood or business, DuMont says he strives to do his best every single day.
“When people say, ‘You can’t do this,’” DuMont says, “I say, ‘Let’s do it.’”
— Suzanne Stanard