WICHITA — Complete Landscaping Systems owner Laura McMurray was looking through tax lien notices when she saw competitor Michael's Complete Lawn Care.
She also saw an opportunity and called co-owner Michael Ackerman Jr. to brainstorm how the two businesses could help each other.
"We have two companies that are struggling," McMurray says.
She has extra space at her company's headquarters at 1727 E. Second St., so McMurray proposed they combine work spaces – without combining business.
"We're not merging ... but we will be operating out of the same facility."
McMurray, who says the move means a savings of at least 60 percent annually for each company, says it's an approach that other landscaping companies are taking nationally.
"It's just completely thinking outside the box to try to save overhead costs," Ackerman says. "I would have never thought this would happen."
Ackerman, who owns Michael's with his parents, Connie and Mike Ackerman Sr., has 11 full-time employees and anywhere from 35 to 60 employees during peak season. He leases 15,000 square feet of space in three buildings at 2320 S. Mead.
McMurray, who has 23 full-time employees and about 100 during peak season, has two 7,000-square-foot buildings, one of which she'll continue to use and one that Ackerman now will use. He says he especially likes that there's lots of exterior space, which helps for all of the company's large equipment.
The two businesses also will begin using each other as subcontractors.