During his successful career there, Bill implemented plant health care programs that centered on soil testing and utilizing organic products to manage plant nutrition and insect and disease outbreaks. He found the whole-system organic approach to plant management to be superior to conventional programs that used synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. For years he tried to steer the company in this new direction, but the ship wouldn’t turn. So, he decided to start his own company, Organic Plant Care LLC, founded in the Spring of 2009.
In its first year of operation, Organic Plant Care’s annual sales totaled $88,000 and staff consisted of Grundmann and one other employee. Annual sales now exceed $1.1mil, with nine employees. Bill says his business is successful because, “We do excellent work. That is the secret to our success.” His greatest business challenge has been “finding great employees.” Not only has he been able to achieve this goal, but many of his current employees have been with the company for the long term. He believes the great strengths of his business are the quality of Organic Plant Care’s employees and the high level of customer service they bring to their jobs. The SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds he received in May allowed him, as an essential business in the midst of the pandemic, “to weather the storm of uncertainty and we were able to hold on to all our employees.”
From 2008 to the present, Grundmann has received guidance from the NJSBDC at Raritan Valley Community College’s Vicki Lynne Morgan for start-up and marketing; Bill Harnden for QuickBooks, business plan and financing; James Carty for legal; Michele Walten for QuickBooks and Rita Auld for human resources. Bill Grundmann knew he had the confidence and scientific knowledge to run his business, but he preferred to be “out in the field” doing the work, rather than in the office. He says, “The assistance you (the SBDC) have given us is unbelievable. I bet you’ve helped a lot of people.” We look forward to continuing to assist Bill Grundmann and wish him and Organic Plant Care a very successful future.