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stvsloan
03-18-2009, 12:31 PM
I'm concidering a Jim's mowing on Vancouver island. Is there anyone who has had experience with this franchise? I know most of you will say "do it on your own"...but is this franchise really a bad way to get into the business? If they have a system that works and makes the money they project....why not use it? I have yet to find someone who can explain the work quarrentee yet tho... Anyways...I need some help if there's any out there.

Green Finger
03-18-2009, 12:51 PM
If you have zero experience and want to get into the biz. That MIGHT be a way to go. Don't agree but MIGHT.

The reason you want to do it on your own it's called a franchise fee. you'll have to pay for all that equipment, plans, marketing literature, payroll, taxes and

You'll have to pay the company a franchise fee.

Look into it.

stvsloan
03-18-2009, 01:13 PM
If you have zero experience and want to get into the biz. That MIGHT be a way to go. Don't agree but MIGHT.

The reason you want to do it on your own it's called a franchise fee. you'll have to pay for all that equipment, plans, marketing literature, payroll, taxes and

You'll have to pay the company a franchise fee.

Look into it.

I HAVE looked into it. I am aware of how a franchise works and what their fees are. The fee right now is $450.00/mth. The way I see it...if I do all the advertising etc that i would have to do if I started on my own...I could easily spend that same amount of money. If they have a system in place that works...why not use it? If it's succesful...450 shouldn't be a issue.

weeble67
03-18-2009, 01:55 PM
I guess it's all a matter of what you want. Most people seek the personal satisfaction of saying I made what I have all on my own. I'm not bashing the franchise idea. Just saying I don't think I'd be as happy with what I have if I knew I was still under a company. But good luck in your endeavor.

jg244888
03-18-2009, 01:59 PM
is there a clause that restricts you from going on your own in the future?

stvsloan
03-18-2009, 02:14 PM
is there a clause that restricts you from going on your own in the future?

if i sell....i can't open up a similar business in my area. But like i said before...if it's successful...why would i want to?

stvsloan
03-18-2009, 02:19 PM
I guess it's all a matter of what you want. Most people seek the personal satisfaction of saying I made what I have all on my own. I'm not bashing the franchise idea. Just saying I don't think I'd be as happy with what I have if I knew I was still under a company. But good luck in your endeavor.

I may be under a company...but the success of it will still depend on me and my efforts. It's the "jump start" that the franchise offers thats attractive right now.

mowerbrad
03-18-2009, 02:27 PM
This could be a good way to get into the business but once you get going, wouldn't you want to get out on your own? If you are on your own, you don't have to pay that $450/month fee. That equats out to almost $5000/year. Personally I would rather have that $5000 in my pocket at the end of the year. It might be a good way to get started but once you get going you can't go out on your own.

My advise to you: start small on your own and build your company, don't go with those franchise companies.

jg244888
03-18-2009, 03:31 PM
i personally would feel like i would be working as an employee rather than a business owner and wouldint be satisfied and accomplished that i did it from the begining id feel that i was brought into a existing company. jmo

ALC-GregH
03-18-2009, 08:57 PM
I see no reason for a franchise. It's not the same as owning your "own" business. You already said it, you'd spend that much in advertising. My say is, then DO that and do it on your own, you'll be much better off it the end.

MileHigh
03-18-2009, 09:02 PM
become a plumber, and let lco's have our accounts that WE strived for and got.

Pietro
03-18-2009, 09:06 PM
I dont see how you will spend 450 a month on advertising. I just bought 10,000 FULL color glossy post cards from planetgrapix for $780 shipped. I will have em for a few seasons. Walk around, hand those bad boys out and watch the phone ring. How can you bust your ass mowing lawns, doing ALL THE WORK and sending some mo-mo a check for $450 every month! Wise up jack! Get motivated, get going. Not to brag but I am 25 years old, build my company from the ground up.....I dont owe anyone anything! Im damn proud of it. I started with my old mans snapper mower, now I have my own pro setup!

Carolina Cuts
03-18-2009, 09:19 PM
I just bought 10,000 FULL color glossy post cards from planetgrapix for $780 shipped.

next year, use gotprint.com..... $200- for 10k postcards full color. 100% quality, I use em' every year....

become a plumber, and let lco's have our accounts that WE strived for and got.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::cry: No chance of that... EVER!

Pietro
03-18-2009, 09:24 PM
^Double sided? I did lots of research. Ours are half the size of standard paper. Multi colored. They designed em too.

Carolina Cuts
03-18-2009, 09:33 PM
oh, ok.... they designed them, that might be why they cost so much more. My bad.
I designed mine (have a background in graphic design) Full color fronts, blacknwhite back HEAVY weight post card 4x6... full color both sides was another $50 or so....

Grits
03-18-2009, 09:35 PM
Personally, I don't dig the franchise deal. That being said.....U.S. Lawns is a franchise and people seem to do good with them.
Look into Jim's as well as other franchises to compare. Good luck.

Carolina Cuts
03-18-2009, 09:44 PM
U.S. Lawns beat up on a few guys in this area recently, including myself. Commercially, I was involved in a few.... 3 particular commercial property bids for 09 season.... 3 bids accepted, I was middle on all three.... U.S. Lawns came in $5k less on each project.... and was awarded all 3 projects. Contracts began Jan 1..... HOA's were complaining by Feb. 1st. :clapping::clapping::clapping:

Grits
03-18-2009, 09:52 PM
U.S. Lawns beat up on a few guys in this area recently, including myself. Commercially, I was involved in a few.... 3 particular commercial property bids for 09 season.... 3 bids accepted, I was middle on all three.... U.S. Lawns came in $5k less on each project.... and was awarded all 3 projects. Contracts began Jan 1..... HOA's were complaining by Feb. 1st. :clapping::clapping::clapping:

WOW! How do you come in $5000 BELOW the lowest bid? Insane. How did you hear that HOA's are complaining? If they are, now is the time to step in and see what YOU can do for them.:cool2:

Carolina Cuts
03-18-2009, 10:42 PM
How did you hear that HOA's are complaining?

long story short...
original property manager that brought me into the complex for 08' , quit half way through 08'. Great guy, stand up character..... honest property manager.
He was replaced by a j-ass.... with a bad rep for gettin' his hands greased from contractors. Well, the original PM that brought me in, came back to work there agian but in a different position now. I rebid 3 of my 08's and few others for the 09' season.... ALL 3 of my re-bids were under bid.... by the new property managers buddies.
I still remain friends with the original guy, and since he works there again, he fills me in with all the gossip and dirt... including the fact that ALL the HOA's are unhappy with their LCO decision.

Truth be told??? I don't think I would want to go back there.... that commercial work... for a board??? Finding out it's all politics and crooked PM's... damn, that left a bad taste in my mouth...

Mimowerman
03-18-2009, 11:52 PM
Of every post so far , no one has owned a franchise of a lawn care(or at least admitted it ) ..... their opinions are almost useless! Ask for a list of their current franchisees and see if it was worth it to them or not( the 450/month) ! Some of these people don's get it/ don't know how big of a company that is you'd be representing and the benefits that come along with it . That all being said, it is almost always better being your own boss, but this is an option where some of the hard work is already done for you ! Best of luck this season-

Elite Outdoor
03-19-2009, 12:08 AM
If it were me, I would do it myself. If you took that $450 a month, every month and spent it advertising like; door hangers, stakes signs, and direct mail. You would have More clients than you could keep up with. You have to buy the equipment anyway, I don't see a huge advantage. But I must admit I have never been a part of, or owned a frachise.

Australian Mower Man
03-19-2009, 06:14 AM
Jims was created in Australia by Jim Pennman. I own a jim's mowing franchise. and I cannot comment on you suitation as Ive never been to USA. But, In Oz, EVERYONE has heard of Jim's Mowing. I get about 15 leads per month in a town of 13000 people. I dont get every job but have gone from zero to 250 accounts in 8 years.
Basically it like McDonalds. People see it, know what they do/supply/sell, know what their getting and feel safe with a known brand. But in the USA or Canada, who knows?

Allens LawnCare
03-19-2009, 09:26 AM
This is like opening a franchise like subway....Huge fees...if you have zero experience your going to spend more money seeking help from others...you'll be paying out to everyone which means less in your pocket......zero experience you should start on your own. I think you'll be surprised how fast you grow and it will be from your hard work. Advertising isn't as expensive as you think. look for local stuff....stuff older people read. Most have money, pay on time and gather often with friends, they will spread the word and word of mouth free and the best form of advertising

stvsloan
03-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Of every post so far , no one has owned a franchise of a lawn care(or at least admitted it ) ..... their opinions are almost useless! Ask for a list of their current franchisees and see if it was worth it to them or not( the 450/month) ! Some of these people don's get it/ don't know how big of a company that is you'd be representing and the benefits that come along with it . That all being said, it is almost always better being your own boss, but this is an option where some of the hard work is already done for you ! Best of luck this season-

I knew when I put up my original post, that I would get the type of replies I did. Kinda like a union man talking shop with a non union man. Guess i was hoping to hear from someone who had direct experience with jim's. I have to go have a one on one with the head dude before the 2 "jim's" in this area will be given the green light to talk to me. It is always better to ask the people doing the work what they think. We'll see what happens...

stvsloan
03-19-2009, 01:06 PM
Hello Australian Mower man...finally someone with the insight that I'm looking for. If your into it I would love to ask you some more questions. Not sure how this site works and if we can chat back and forth. My home email is ( steveandkristen@telus.net ). Hope to hear from you...Steve

Frontstreetlawns
03-19-2009, 03:30 PM
steve, i live not to far from you depending were on the island your from, im just 2 miles south of the border. if your wondering about the aspect of making your lawns look good i may be able to help you bc were not to far apart and very simular wheather conditions. The profit margins on a lawn care company are not huge. Buying a franchise may not be the best idea. you can always buy into one later. my suggestion is start small yourself, australia probably has different wheather patterns and different grasses so keep that in mind

towtruck212
03-19-2009, 05:59 PM
I go to Vancouver Island every year and I see Jim's rigs everywhere from Victoria way up island. I would say depending on how close the next Jim's is. They probably have all the commercial contract so when you have the franchise for your town you get that group of commercials. Jim's is very popular there I think it could be very benificial. On the island starting out on your own might be hard because of the power Jim's name has there. I'd imagine if someone wants yard work done they look for Jim's right away in the phone book. Thats how popular they are.

maverick1
03-19-2009, 06:57 PM
Lawncare isnt rocket science, Just start your own be in control of your own destiny and not have to pay them fees. Market yourself and get your name out their it may take you time but most lawn companys are started by the owner. I think that is a joke read some business books and lawncare,landscaping info and go with it you'll be suprised how easy it is.

ExtExc
03-19-2009, 07:01 PM
how long is the contract for the franchise fee? you might have an easier time starting up with a franchise name but, at 450 a month, say after 5-10 years thats 25-50,000 less in your pocket, say you gotta spend 10,000 in your first 3 years to get your name out and obtain clients, but then your done if you do good work, word of mouth and visual of the work performed can bring as many clients to the table as you might be paying for with a franchise name. in 5 years, in your local area if you do well, your name will become known as well as a franchise might be.

kaferhaus
03-19-2009, 09:24 PM
No way in hell I'd consider it. It's not that hard for a solo to go out and get work. you just have to do it. And sitting around waiting for the phone to ring if all fine... you still have to go talk to the customer and "sell them" on yourself.

Getting calls isn't a problem if you target your advertising well. It's making sales that make the difference.

You may as well be an "employee", because most Franchise contracts will own you. And there's always more to it than the "monthly fee". Likely there will be pages upon pages of "rules" you'll have to follow. Don't follow the rules, they pull the franchise and you STILL cannot run that type of business for several years.

stvsloan
03-20-2009, 12:26 AM
Just wanted to say "thanks" to the people who have taken the time to answer my thread. I have read each one and appreciate all your opinions and advice. I guess where I'm at with all of this is...at this exact point in time...with absolutely no experience in this feild AND in my financial position....I don't have the time/ finances to invest in getting a business of my own going. Also...I don't think I will be very successful going into a bank and looking for funding. Atleast with the power of a big name, I might get the funding. While I totally understand that doing it on my own can be done...I need to shorten the start up time as much as possible. Hence the idea of using a franchise. I have looked at them all and have kinda settled on Jim's because of the work availability guarrentee. I will understand the in's and out's of that in about a week from now. So if their's anyone out there that has any inside info on this area...i'd appreciate some help. Again thanks to all....

towtruck212
03-20-2009, 02:12 AM
where are you on the island?

stvsloan
03-20-2009, 10:42 AM
where are you on the island?

comox valley

grasschopperofchicago
03-20-2009, 11:27 AM
Franchising offers many advanatages that you can sell to your customers! ie: name recognition, reputation, quality...!--and you do "OWN" your own business!--My friend owns Chevrolet and GM dealerships, yes a franchise and he OWNS his own business!--I would say if the franchise has great reputation and good Market name in your area it is possibly a good way to go. I would also determine if that $450 fee also has a royalty percentage in addition to it that is usually 1-5% of gross sales. I have family that owns State Farm Insurance locations, there is usually a fee associated with the franchise so that they profit from your growth!
If they are assisting with advertising materials, versus you paying for them, chances are they have a marketing and development team on that! If they are putting you in national ad campaigns, you can't buy that advertisement as a solo!--not at their costs you can't...Do they do media ads?...Do they do mailings with advertisement, that they can buy in bulk and provide them to you, or mail them for you at their expense?...do they carry a retirement plan you can invest in? If you do go to get a loan, it is easier to use the SBA to get one on a proven company with real numbers, versus a business plan and speculation, especially in todays tight lending market!. If you go to open a Dunkin Donuts, you are more likely to get your loan for building with that name over it versus Bobs Donut holes!...lots of questions you have to ask, starting solo is very rewarding, I started cutting grass when I was 12, opened a business when I was 18, I had the advantage of family in the (State Farm) insurance business to target particular areas for residential and commercial, using their lists!..24 years later I am having my best years!---but I have my own name recognition, and family influence for commercial accounts, which has now become my influence...We "ARE" the company to use in our area period!--but it came from years of work to get to this point!

stvsloan
03-20-2009, 07:59 PM
I would also determine if that $450 fee also has a royalty percentage in addition to it that is usually 1-5% of gross sales. I have family that owns State Farm Insurance locations, there is usually a fee associated with the franchise so that they profit from your growth!

I will definately ask about this...but from what i can remember...I only have to pay the 450 plus a one time only fee of 5.50 for leads they (JIM"S) send my way. The fees never go up once I sign on. Any leads or business i get on my own is never charged for.

If they are assisting with advertising materials, versus you paying for them, chances are they have a marketing and development team on that! If they are putting you in national ad campaigns, you can't buy that advertisement as a solo!--not at their costs you can't...Do they do media ads?...Do they do mailings with advertisement, that they can buy in bulk and provide them to you, or mail them for you at their expense?

They do thier own advertising. But if I want...i can do any additional advertising in my territory.

...do they carry a retirement plan you can invest in? If you do go to get a loan, it is easier to use the SBA to get one on a proven company with real numbers, versus a business plan and speculation, especially in todays tight lending market!. If you go to open a Dunkin Donuts, you are more likely to get your loan for building with that name over it versus Bobs Donut holes!

I agree...as a laid off logger...i don't think I can get a business loan based on just this as an idea. But with the company name behind me...i definately stand a better chance.

...lots of questions you have to ask, starting solo is very rewarding, I started cutting grass when I was 12, opened a business when I was 18, I had the advantage of family in the (State Farm) insurance business to target particular areas for residential and commercial, using their lists!..24 years later I am having my best years!---but I have my own name recognition, and family influence for commercial accounts, which has now become my influence...We "ARE" the company to use in our area period!--but it came from years of work to get to this point![/QUOTE]

I would love to have the time to sit down and do the research needed to make the business plan, figure out equipment, do the marketing etc...but I just don't have the time needed...nor the funds. So this is why I thinking a franchise would help me get a head start on all of it.........

lifetree
03-20-2009, 09:08 PM
is there a clause that restricts you from going on your own in the future?

Yeah, this is something that is usually standard in the franchise organizations !!