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cdqat1432
01-23-2013, 06:46 PM
Has anyone franchised with Weed Man or any of the others? I already have an established lawn maintenance business with 160 fertilization/spray accounts. Seems like a lot of money. Not sure.

CorbinSchlatter
01-25-2013, 04:25 PM
We currently own a Weed Man Franchise. We are entering our 10th year of owning the franchise, prior to Weed Man we owned a smaller business than you currently have. A franchise is not a "Golden Egg" but has provided us structure, clarity and the road map to achieve success.

We would make the same decision again.

Feel free to contact me directly.

GaryBK
02-08-2013, 02:35 AM
Weedman in my area is hurting me somewhat with their deceptive business practices with new customers with people asking me if I'm a "snake in the grass". I found out what that meant last year when a guy almost literally chased me out of his yard on a first application when he didn't realize the landlord had hired me. When we began talking he explained the documentary to me and told me to check it out. :(

http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2012/snakeinthegrass/
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cdqat1432
02-08-2013, 08:37 PM
Interesting. I am thinking that they are not my style. The one poster said it all, "I dont want a lawn care company, I want a landscaping company". That is what we are, and I dont want some suits to come in and tell me that I have to do things differently and then charge me a ton of money. Supposedly they are coming into my area. They will never take anything off of me because my customers want a landscaping company. Maybe they can help suffocate trugreen.

32vld
02-23-2013, 07:02 PM
Working for a franchise is the same as working for a National. They exploit you. Why pay someone to use their name. There is nothing wrong with your own name.

GaryBK
02-23-2013, 09:38 PM
I think you can grow faster with a Franchise. All the school of hard knock lessons are given to you and you do not need to reinvent the wheel. There are many advantages to a franchise. However, you do own your own business but have little control over it. You need to do what head office tells you to do. And like the Weed Man video, a few branches can ruin the reputation for every franchise owner. What percentage you pay for the rights, is most often covered by the increased profits of being in the franchise. Franchising is great for some but would not work with others. It depends on your personality type.

wbw
02-24-2013, 06:54 PM
Working for a franchise is the same as working for a National. They exploit you. Why pay someone to use their name. There is nothing wrong with your own name.

Ever heard of Bill's Burgers? How about McDonalds?
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vanncann
02-25-2013, 10:21 PM
They came in the Dothan AL area around 18-24 months ago and have tried to take over all things grounds related... There crew is full of nin-com-poops and do not know their ass from a hole in the ground!!! They blanket an area no matter what and try to talk down any one else... Just my experience...

32vld
02-26-2013, 05:46 PM
Ever heard of Bill's Burgers? How about McDonalds?
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When I drive past Bill's, it's appearance is either going to pull me in or let me drive on.

There is a chance that I may like the food or will not.

Thing is when I drive by McDonalds I know the food will be of poor quailty. So I will keep on driving.

zackvbra
02-27-2013, 01:48 PM
No I havent heard of them. But it sounds to me like they deal with a different kind of grass.:rolleyes:

jonthepain
03-01-2013, 04:32 PM
No I havent heard of them. But it sounds to me like they deal with a different kind of grass.:rolleyes:

Post of the Week lol

DalesLanscaping
04-20-2013, 10:34 PM
Most of them are trying to get that quick jump in the Landscaping business but have no idea how to keep a customer. they are in turnover not keeping them.

IES
04-21-2013, 08:32 AM
When I drive past Bill's, it's appearance is either going to pull me in or let me drive on.

There is a chance that I may like the food or will not.

Thing is when I drive by McDonalds I know the food will be of poor quailty. So I will keep on driving.

But the problem is that MILLIONs of other people have pulled in to McDonalds. So even with poor quality their business model works for their target market.
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DalesLanscaping
04-24-2013, 01:42 PM
But the problem is that MILLIONs of other people have pulled in to McDonalds. So even with poor quality their business model works for their target market.
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Agreed there is something to be said for a name. many people just go for the name as they are familiar with it and figure they must be good becuase the name has been around for a while.

I just do not think it is worth the price many ask for when you are making or breaking the name for them. I work hard and give good quality finished jobs. I also do not want to be huge. I guess if you are looking to grow massively then a franchise may be the way to go up front.

JohnnyRocker
04-24-2013, 09:17 PM
Weedman had their signs in a yard next to one that I mow. I do not treat yards, but wow....their yard has never looked worse after they treated it for a season or so. Not sure if it was the franchise's fault, or the guy who they sent out, or both.

conceptsketch
06-11-2013, 10:11 PM
I would run not walk , franchises are scary , they claim to have your best interest . But there model is built so that they make money no matter what . This defies basic laws of business , Businesses fail, but Franchisors dont fail there franchisees do, the franchisors never loose money, only the franchisees do.
Weedman is very manipulative they act bigger then they are in the landscape management top 100 . They are from Canada at least 95 % is .
The problem is the royalties in most franchises cant exceed 4 to 5 % for one to survive but weedman will take 10 to15 % ,That is insane 60 minutes did a series on it one time with royalties that high its a good shot at failure .:usflag: i dont recomend franchises because you really get ideas and some tools but thats it , Hire a consultant its cheaper .

jonthepain
06-11-2013, 10:58 PM
Hire a consultant its cheaper .

great advice.

bmburns99
06-26-2013, 09:45 PM
I would run not walk , franchises are scary , they claim to have your best interest . But there model is built so that they make money no matter what . This defies basic laws of business , Businesses fail, but Franchisors dont fail there franchisees do, the franchisors never loose money, only the franchisees do.
Weedman is very manipulative they act bigger then they are in the landscape management top 100 . They are from Canada at least 95 % is .
The problem is the royalties in most franchises cant exceed 4 to 5 % for one to survive but weedman will take 10 to15 % ,That is insane 60 minutes did a series on it one time with royalties that high its a good shot at failure .:usflag: i dont recomend franchises because you really get ideas and some tools but thats it , Hire a consultant its cheaper .

I also run a Weed Man franchise and wanted to clear up a few misconceptions. First, Weed Man's royalties aren't 10-15%- they're typically closer to 5 or 6%. My advice when looking at franchising is to research the available options. I did this for a year before buying into Weed Man. It became very clear early on during my research which franchises were ones that I was interested in pursuing more information from.

Weed Man is the top-ranked lawn care franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine. It was ranked #89 overall and #15 amongst home-based franchises. It's true that Weed Man was started in Canada in 1970. They started franchising aggressively in the US about 10-12 years ago. This year approximately 40% of sales will be from US based branches with the other coming from Canada.

From my experience, I can assure you that I've never felt manipulated or felt like someone was looking over my shoulder with regards to corporate- it's been much the opposite. Not only have they been helpful, but they are ultra-accessible. I can get advice from any of them simply by calling- they have always been there to help.

Buying into a franchise is a huge decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. Do your research. The best way to know what being a franchisee would be like is to reach out to a few and grill them. That's what I did and you'd be surprised what some franchisees from various lawn care franchises would tell me.

Overall it's been a positive experience for me. My business has gone from 0 to 1700 customers in a little over 5 years. I'm never the cheapest option and don't sell on price. If you can do that without a franchise just as fast then maybe a franchise isn't worth it for you- everyone is different. If anyone wants to reach out to me to discuss feel free to.

conceptsketch
07-02-2013, 08:29 AM
Clearly the powers that be have guided this message, sounds like asales pitch not a response.
Look i have no doubt any franchise Has got as much of a chance at failure as any other business , you are not immuned to the pressure of business. Owning a franchise doesnt change the quality of a labor you hire or bring you better leads or make you a better person its just a set of rules.
Weedman is not a leader in the industry , they squirt dirt like Scotts and Trugreen Or Lawn Doctor but no one knows who they are. Why buy a crappy name if you buy a franchise. You dont want a burger world franchise if there is a Burger king or Mcdonalds available
But i am sure you know that , Tell the truth when you buy a Franchise what do you get thats real that you can touch besides, a few freebies at the begining you get nothing but words or advice , You pay for every ounce of every paper, software, conference , Royalties (even if you dont make money ).
Buy the way whats your salary?

Franchises are like gangsters you pay even if things arent good . Thats how they make there money ,They dont care if you had a bad week or year
If

Roger
07-02-2013, 09:20 AM
Franchising works well for some, not so well for others. Our retail and service industries are highly populated by franchises, covering a wide variety of products and services. Some can write highly negative things about franchises, but the upward trending in new local businesses says that franchising is working pretty well. Without any objective stats, my anecdotal observations would indicate that more new businesses are opening under the franchise umbrella, than on their own. The number of small "mom/pop" shops are dwindling, and getting new ones started seems to be a recipe for failure. The marketplace gives a new business very little ramp-up time now, so a steep ramp at the very beginning is necessary. This did not used to be the case.

Weedman just moved into my area. I know of two properties they work, one of which is my mowing customer. I am 100% certain the former applicator dropped said customer for lack of payments (I know his string is very short, and know the customer is a poor payer). I do know they put down material on the entire property, although entirely unnecessary. Also, I know they put down material that produced lots of top growth, which I had to handle. Time will tell if: (1) Their work is successful, (2) If their string is short on prompt payments (my guess is "yes"), and somebody new will show up in a few months.

conceptsketch
07-02-2013, 06:23 PM
if your goal is to own a business that does 300 grand a year and have to hand over 30 grand a year then go for it.there's no upward trend in franchising it's actually quite the opposite you look at the stats they're just good marketers .
You will see them in all the trade magazine and although business buying and selling websites because that's what they do its the same as saying an ad for a tire store or a mattress store every weekend.
don't be fooled that's all franchises is a marketing concept it has nothing to do with anything but marketing.
Back to fertilizing lawns most of it is baloney when still die from lack of fertilizer never have never will , no forest ranger runs around and fertilizes the woods
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cdqat1432
07-02-2013, 09:19 PM
True concept. Fertilization is a luxury service. No one needs it. If you treat them right you wont need much advertising. Word of mouth works way better. And you can usually get your asking price.
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Roger
07-02-2013, 10:15 PM
conceptsketch, ... marketing always trumps good products/services for the masses. Building a better mousetrap may make you the best mousetrap maker, but without marketing, you are left with nothing. Do I like it? Absolutely not! But, that is the reality. TV, radio, newspapers are not filled with marketing materials just to take up air time or column space. Why is half of what appears in my mailbox advertising? Are there so many outstanding products or services? No. But, the advertising money is what gets crappy products/services moving. Yes, it says much about the quality of consumers, but, again, the reality of the matter.

I'm convinced that lawn services applications are no different. I do not do apps, but am always interested in what the services have put down on the properties that I mow. I ask the homeowner about what was done. Rarely, even a hint of a clue. For 99%, they don't even care. A good marketing campaign got them to sign an agreement -- end of story. And, the story resumes every new year, as long as the service provider just shows on the scene. It makes little difference about what was done, or how well it was done. As long as there are tracks in the grass, a small sign at the curb, and a door hanger with an invoice -- good to go!

cdqat1432
07-03-2013, 12:11 AM
So Roger, the saying "the cream always rises to the top" has no merit?Anyone care to guess trugreen's turnover rate? I heard 40%. Ok, lets give them the benefit of maybe 20%. Even at this rate, everyone has either tried TG or they know someone who has. The only way that TG gets them back is if they buy a smaller local company, and then they get fired by at least 20% of those customers, again. Face facts, if TG was such a great company, not only would they have all of the customers, they probably would have been able to keep all of the now private applicators (that used to be TG employees) from becoming their competition. So yes, TG needs a great and very expensive marketing plan because the small companies that provide great service would put them out of business. Here is another classic example. Three years ago, the largest car company in the world almost went out of business. Did they advertise? Sure did, but they also improved their cars. If they hadn't, no amount of government money or advertising or marketing would have saved them from their complacent attitude.

Roger
07-03-2013, 07:26 AM
cdqat, ... In my area, franchised applicators, include TG, have probably 98% of the business. I know of two small applicators, one of them legit, the other probably not so. The first one offers primarily other services, such as aeration and stump grinding, but also does applications.

Marketing is part of the equation, but also economy of scale. Effective work requires tanks for weed spraying. The investment of this part of the business makes little sense for small operators. Either somebody has made the substantial investment to have the right equipment, or they have not. Yes, buying a $400 push spreader is not much investment, but having a tank (with truck to carry), pumps, etc, is reaching further.

In most cases of the large applicators, they also offer aeration. For one of my customers, they do it in early March, a time convenient for them, but way too early for being useful. The customer does not know, nor do they care -- just pay the bill. In other cases, the aeration is done in the Fall, very quick, once-over, badly done, but they get their coin for the poor job. The customer doesn't know, or care -- just crank, grind, and collect. They have successfully marketed aeration to go along with the applications, regardless of the quality of work. Despite my pleas the customer hire somebody to do a good job, nobody wants to listen.

BTW, the TG applicator that covers our common properties (about 1/3 of my customers) has been with TG (or former names) for 28 years. He has been at task much longer than I have been working any of these properties.

Using GM to prove a quality matters point is a failed strategy. Just think how well they would be doing if many of those bilked our of their money by the Feds would still be buying GM products.

bmburns99
07-07-2013, 09:26 AM
Clearly the powers that be have guided this message, sounds like asales pitch not a response.
Look i have no doubt any franchise Has got as much of a chance at failure as any other business , you are not immuned to the pressure of business. Owning a franchise doesnt change the quality of a labor you hire or bring you better leads or make you a better person its just a set of rules.
Weedman is not a leader in the industry , they squirt dirt like Scotts and Trugreen Or Lawn Doctor but no one knows who they are. Why buy a crappy name if you buy a franchise. You dont want a burger world franchise if there is a Burger king or Mcdonalds available
But i am sure you know that , Tell the truth when you buy a Franchise what do you get thats real that you can touch besides, a few freebies at the begining you get nothing but words or advice , You pay for every ounce of every paper, software, conference , Royalties (even if you dont make money ).
Buy the way whats your salary?

Franchises are like gangsters you pay even if things arent good . Thats how they make there money ,They dont care if you had a bad week or year
If

I guess we can just agree to disagree. Like I said- franchises are good for some and don't work out for others. Marketing is something that I needed the most help with and that's where Weed Man has helped me most. Most get into franchises when they are either starting from scratch or have hit a ceiling with an existing company as far as growth goes and they need help breaking through to the next level of growth. In the end it all comes down to management and systems. I had the management experience but not much in the marketing end, so I chose Weed Man. Feel free to PM me and we can discuss my Weed Man experience further.

ted putnam
07-13-2013, 11:50 PM
I don't know much about Weedman. They are actually Weedwoman here(The man part of the equation left town after a nasty divorce and she isn't actually in my market).

From what I've read, everyone in Roger's market must go to McDonalds when they want a "GREAT" burger, because some 30 second ad told them that was where it was. I've got news for you Roger. 99% of the advertising that shows up in my mailbox goes to "File 13" before I ever give it a second glance and I've got a feeling I'm not alone on that one.

I once had a chance to buy into Turf Doctor but decided not to because at the time, the franchisee who was selling only had about 100 more customers than I did, he had actually been in business 2 yrs less than me so the marketing help they provided him was a factor. However, he worked hard and did a great job. That was also a major contributing factor. I passed on it even though it would have over doubled my customer count. I would have begun paying Franchise fees on customers I had gotten on my own. I wasn't willing to do that. Nobody purchased him, he let his business go and I and others in the area eventually acquired his customers.

I do nothing but fertilization/weed control and now have 2 employees plus myself and 3 trucks on the road every day. We have a 97% retention rate from year to year. I never did traditional advertising other than a nice yellow pages ad that I no longer have. I built my business on referrals for the most part and it has snowballed every year. I used MY NAME to build the business and am now close to getting an unlisted # for my home because not only does my business phone(cell phone) constantly ring. People have begun calling my home phone after they find my name in the white pages.:)

"Mom & Pop" operations ARE the backbone of this nations economy whether some of you want to believe it or not. You CAN do it on your own. It won't happen overnight but I don't think I would have wanted it to anyway.
I didn't have a big company name with brand recognition but I also didn't have some corporation with their hand in my pocket... It can be done any way you want to do it but failure only happens when you don't have the will to succeed no matter which route you choose...

Do your homework thoroughly before agreeing to anything with anyone. That's the best advice I can give

anolog139
09-24-2013, 08:27 PM
My business mentor is the sub franchisor for weedman for I believe 7-8 states. He himself owns a large territory. My best friend owns a weedman franchise in Chattanooga TN. His company is doing awesome and he loves it. The support he gets in awesome and like people have said, it eliminates all the pot holes you would hit as a private business owner. His business this year has grown 250%...

jonthepain
09-24-2013, 08:34 PM
I used MY NAME to build the business and am now close to getting an unlisted # for my home because not only does my business phone(cell phone) constantly ring. People have begun calling my home phone after they find my name in the white pages.:)


The American Dream personified. Well done. Way to work hard and succeed.



"Mom & Pop" operations ARE the backbone of this nations economy ... You CAN do it on your own. It won't happen overnight but I don't think I would have wanted it to anyway.




Amen. You, sir, exemplify what is great about this country.

Thank you.

GaryBK
09-25-2013, 08:07 AM
Hi guys. BmBurns said that the Weed man take is 4-5%. Why are some of you exaggerating that point? I think that is reasonable for the support they give you. He doesn't have to learn everything from the school of hard knocks and that has great value.

I take credit cards and a huge percentage of my customers pay by credit cards. I pay out about 2.5 percent of my gross including on the sales tax for the ability to use credit cards. But I am happy to do so because I find it easier to get customers when they pay by plastic. They put a credit card on file and I bill after I do the work. My receivables are way down and my growth is way up. I find it well worth what I pay to visa and Mastercard. If Weidman gives BmBurns the ability to grow faster and make more money giving away 4-5 percent than that is an investment in his business that has a good return on investment. I think it is a wise business decision for him.

BTW BmBurns, I'm assuming that percentage is of the gross and not the net right? Also you said you were at 1700 customers correct? How many trucks do you need for that? And at how many customers did you need to get with the franchise fee for you to take a decent wage from your company?

Ted, congratulations on building up your company on your own too!!! Word of mouth growth means you are doing things right! How many customers do you need to have to support 3 trucks?

Thanks guys, I hope you are all having a great season. For me I can't wait for the snow to fly here as I'm looking forward to a nice break. ;-)
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WeedManWeatherford
09-25-2013, 11:24 PM
After 20 plus years in "Corporate America," I purchased a Weed Man franchise earlier this year and I am very happy with the company and the support I have been given. After doing extensive research on numerous types of industries and business models, this industry and the Weed Man model made perfect sense. Yes, they do have franchise fees and ongoing royalties, but we know all of that upfront. I could not have been close to where I am today if I had to do it all myself from scratch. It is not that I lack the intelligence or motivation, it is the lack of a more precious commodity - TIME. The time I would have wasted on finding the right quality equipment, software, computer systems, ad slicks, proven marketing strategies, establishing vendors, etc would have taken too much time. And given the fact that I can call my sub-franchisor or the folks in Canada and get an answer almost immediately on any aspect of the business has been most helpful. And don't forget, banks will lend to a franchise much faster than just a "Schmuck with a Truck." Why? The model has typically proven successful and reduces their risk. And it reduces mine as well.

And don't forget the buying power of Weed Man. With all of the locations across North America, saving a buck or two on a bag of fert IS worth it!

And I AM IN BUSINESS FOR MYSELF. I make my customers happy every day just like everyone else. I make business decisions everyday myself or in consultation with those who have years of experience. I try to make as few mistakes as possible.

I understand and appreciate the whole idea of "starting from scratch" but it wasn't for me. I did buy a "business-in-a-box" and am happy and proud to be associated with the Weed Man brand. The leadership is exceptional. And the name "Kyle's Lawn Care" just didn't sound quite as good as WEED MAN! And there is not a day that goes by that someone passing in a car doesn't laugh and wave and even take pictures. Doesn't everyone like the Weed Man?

And there's my two cents...

jonthepain
09-26-2013, 09:12 AM
That may all be true, but you still have ugly trucks lol

.02

GaryBK
09-26-2013, 04:33 PM
Yeah.... Laughing all the way to the bank... With ugly trucks.... ;-)
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jonthepain
09-26-2013, 05:19 PM
Wtg!rofl
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WeedManWeatherford
09-26-2013, 10:02 PM
Lol.... Thanks for NOTICING our ugly trucks.

jonthepain
09-26-2013, 10:04 PM
good point.

JohnnyRocker
09-29-2013, 12:16 AM
Funny how the only ones praising it on here only have like 3 posts and just joined. Hmmm....:laugh:

cpllawncare
10-03-2013, 10:52 PM
I'm seriously looking into a franchise, so far my research has told me that it's the franchisee that makes the difference just like any company, if the person buying the franchise is a bad franchisee chances are they are a bad business owner anyway, which the company selling the franchise needs to address. Not everyone is business owner material franchise or not. For me, I was successful in the military because it gave me structure, focus, and a system to operate in, the same as a franchise, not all franchises are created equally. I'm not a proponent to any franchise but like anything in life you only get out of it what you put in to it. With the modern business moving at lightening speed these days franchises make a lot of sense, by the time you make all the costly mistakes on a one man operation start up you could be up and running with a full support staff behind you without all the lost revenue because you "Just didn't know" I've been on my own now for five years and had I started with a franchise five years ago I'm certain I would be in much better shape than I am now, because of all the " I just didn't know" thingy.

ted putnam
10-06-2013, 02:24 AM
Hi guys. BmBurns said that the Weed man take is 4-5%. Why are some of you exaggerating that point? I think that is reasonable for the support they give you. He doesn't have to learn everything from the school of hard knocks and that has great value.

I take credit cards and a huge percentage of my customers pay by credit cards. I pay out about 2.5 percent of my gross including on the sales tax for the ability to use credit cards. But I am happy to do so because I find it easier to get customers when they pay by plastic. They put a credit card on file and I bill after I do the work. My receivables are way down and my growth is way up. I find it well worth what I pay to visa and Mastercard. If Weidman gives BmBurns the ability to grow faster and make more money giving away 4-5 percent than that is an investment in his business that has a good return on investment. I think it is a wise business decision for him.

BTW BmBurns, I'm assuming that percentage is of the gross and not the net right? Also you said you were at 1700 customers correct? How many trucks do you need for that? And at how many customers did you need to get with the franchise fee for you to take a decent wage from your company?

Ted, congratulations on building up your company on your own too!!! Word of mouth growth means you are doing things right! How many customers do you need to have to support 3 trucks?

Thanks guys, I hope you are all having a great season. For me I can't wait for the snow to fly here as I'm looking forward to a nice break. ;-)
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First of all, I was in no way trying to sway anyone either way on getting into a franchise or not. I think it could be good for some and not so good for others. At the point I was at when I had the opportunity to buy in, I don't think it would have been a good decision for me. It's going to take hard work and dedication whichever path you choose.

I do sales/service, tree/shrub and whatever regular lawn production I can do out of one of the trucks. The other 2 trucks do straight lawn production. We have around 700 customers. Between regular lawn apps, tree/shrub, aerations and some miscellaneous apps, we stay fairly busy but I think we could actually handle another 150-200 before I need to look at truck number 4 and everything to outfit it along with a new employee to run it.

ted putnam
10-06-2013, 03:44 AM
I'm seriously looking into a franchise, so far my research has told me that it's the franchisee that makes the difference just like any company, if the person buying the franchise is a bad franchisee chances are they are a bad business owner anyway, which the company selling the franchise needs to address. Not everyone is business owner material franchise or not. For me, I was successful in the military because it gave me structure, focus, and a system to operate in, the same as a franchise, not all franchises are created equally. I'm not a proponent to any franchise but like anything in life you only get out of it what you put in to it. With the modern business moving at lightening speed these days franchises make a lot of sense, by the time you make all the costly mistakes on a one man operation start up you could be up and running with a full support staff behind you without all the lost revenue because you "Just didn't know" I've been on my own now for five years and had I started with a franchise five years ago I'm certain I would be in much better shape than I am now, because of all the " I just didn't know" thingy.

At around 5 yrs, I think I was at the same point you are at now and I agree with some of what you are saying about the growth might have been faster. I wouldn't say I made any costly mistakes as much as I spent more time making decisions. I also tried to stay out of debt as much as possible while on this journey. I have 5 skid sprayers 3 trucks 3 trailer 2 Z-sprays a Turfco aerator and a host of small equipment. I owe 3 more years on one truck and owe about 5K on one of the Z's. Everything else is paid for.Maybe I was being cautious but debt can be a double edged sword IMO.

At the time I was where you are now, I'd never heard of "WeedMan". TurfDoctor is a whole other deal too. The support would have been good but like I said before, I just couldn't see paying franchise fees on customers I had accumulated on my own. Plus Turfdoctor had their own way of doing things as far as the lawn applications were concerned. The franchisee I spoke of earlier pretty much scrapped many of their ways of applying and adopted what many of us do around here because it works. He was a "greenhorn" when he started and I think the training he received from them left a lot to be desired.

Also, I grew up here, I know a lot of people and a lot of people know or know of me. That list grows every year. The point I'm trying to make is that this makes a difference too. I feel its an advantage that I might not have had in a larger community or urban area.

Honestly, you have to take a lot of things into consideration and you just have to weigh everything out in your own mind.

cpllawncare
10-06-2013, 08:53 PM
Ted I whole heartly agree with you, some guys myself included need some sort of structure and support that a franchise provides. it's taken me this long to get to 50 regular maint customers, I just can't see taking another 5 years to get to 100 customers, I've stayed out of debt for the most part it's hard to do when your trying to grow at any kind of pace though. Like you say you just gotta weight the plus's and minus's for your situation. If I do decide to go the franchise route I'll report back and let yall know if it was a good decision or not.

jake78
10-08-2013, 12:59 PM
I have analyzed Weed Man's Franchise Disclosure Document. Looks like a ripoff. You pay them 12 grand per truck you have, plus 20% more to their "advertising fund". You also pay 5 grand for software. That's absurd. No software should cost 5 grand. Plus a ton more restrictions. I can't attest to how helpful their training is or their blueprint for success, but there are so many costs and rules. In addition the non-compete clause after the contract ends is bad. You can't even touch lawn care for 2 years in an area where Weedman exists.

Personally, I don't see the value.

GaryBK
10-08-2013, 10:55 PM
For $12k you get a truck and spray rig? Doesn't sound bad. $5k for good software isn't bad either. As anyone who uses a service Assistant from Real Green. The other fellow said royalties were about 5 percent a year. Are you saying there is an additional 20 percent advertising fee?? That seems extremely excessive especially if the franchisee has to pay for their own local mail outs etc. The noncompete clause is pretty standard though.
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Roger
10-08-2013, 11:21 PM
... You also pay 5 grand for software. That's absurd. No software should cost 5 grand. ....

What is the function and capability of the software? Specialized software for B2B is far different than MS-Word (or similar) marketed to the masses. I know some PC software is $18,000, plus annual fees for maintenance.

jake78
10-11-2013, 03:13 PM
For $12k you get a truck and spray rig? Doesn't sound bad. $5k for good software isn't bad either. As anyone who uses a service Assistant from Real Green. The other fellow said royalties were about 5 percent a year. Are you saying there is an additional 20 percent advertising fee?? That seems extremely excessive especially if the franchisee has to pay for their own local mail outs etc. The noncompete clause is pretty standard though.
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12 grand does not include any equipment - if it included a truck and spray equipment I would sign in a heartbeat! 12k per truck is just how they structure their royalty. And 5k for software is for one license, you have to pay additional for more. Plus a recurring fee for it. There's plenty of better software out there for that much. We could probably pool 5k together and have my nephew program an awesome software platform for all of us (hmmm not a bad idea...).

The 20% of royalty (not 20% of revenue) gets paid to their national advertising fund, so you have no discretion of how it is spent. Of course you may benefit from the brand name, but it's not like Weed Man is a household name yet. You still have to pay all marketing costs for your own franchise.

conceptsketch
12-18-2013, 10:26 PM
12 grand does not include any equipment - if it included a truck and spray equipment I would sign in a heartbeat! 12k per truck is just how they structure their royalty. And 5k for software is for one license, you have to pay additional for more. Plus a recurring fee for it. There's plenty of better software out there for that much. We could probably pool 5k together and have my nephew program an awesome software platform for all of us (hmmm not a bad idea...).

The 20% of royalty (not 20% of revenue) gets paid to their national advertising fund, so you have no discretion of how it is spent. Of course you may benefit from the brand name, but it's not like Weed Man is a household name yet. You still have to pay all marketing costs for your own franchise.
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conceptsketch
12-18-2013, 10:42 PM
If weed man looks you in the eye and says you pay 12 k per truck plus marketing dollars then you are going to go bankrupt . A good mature lawn care route at its best may do 125k back in the heyday chlawn was busting 150 k
A true franchise model that is respectfull will only charge 4.5 perecent max . Google 60 minutes ,they had a whole show on the devestation that franchise can cause by overcharging.
Weed man is not a model of anything except to over charge you, and hope you quit . And then the will come in and steal all your hard work .This happens everyday to different franchise owners in all types of businesses Cause there is no sustainable way to give away more then ten percent and have much left over .
If you want to run your business like a franchise , then use real green software , all the franchises use it except weed man .Basically it was developed by a Scotts franchise owner .
Don't give away your hard work to a franchise that will make you pay , win loose or draw .Have self confidence and know you can do it , granted you will need help but it will be yours!!!!
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bmburns99
12-18-2013, 11:19 PM
If weed man looks you in the eye and says you pay 12 k per truck plus marketing dollars then you are going to go bankrupt . A good mature lawn care route at its best may do 125k back in the heyday chlawn was busting 150 k
A true franchise model that is respectfull will only charge 4.5 perecent max . Google 60 minutes ,they had a whole show on the devestation that franchise can cause by overcharging.
Weed man is not a model of anything except to over charge you, and hope you quit . And then the will come in and steal all your hard work .This happens everyday to different franchise owners in all types of businesses Cause there is no sustainable way to give away more then ten percent and have much left over .
If you want to run your business like a franchise , then use real green software , all the franchises use it except weed man .Basically it was developed by a Scotts franchise owner .
Don't give away your hard work to a franchise that will make you pay , win loose or draw .Have self confidence and know you can do it , granted you will need help but it will be yours!!!!
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Apologies folks- completely forgot about this thread and haven't checked it for quite some time...

Again, the franchise fees aren't 12K per truck when you have multiple trucks, they decline. I'm currently paying ~6% which will continue to decline the more concentrated I get. We are more than $150K per truck so that might be affecting your calculation. We'll probably max out around $175K. This can be partly attributed to being in the Chicago Suburbs and being so densely populated.

The 60 minutes piece was very good and, again, pointed out that there are good franchise systems and bad, so do your homework. I have no experience with the Real Green software so wouldn't feel comfortable commenting on it. Again, franchises are not for everyone but to paint them with a broad brush seems a bit short-sighted. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Weed Man franchisees who've chimed in on this thread seem to be happy with their decision. Are there franchisees out there who are unhappy with Weed Man? Perhaps, I just am not aware of them.

Again, anyone with questions feel free to chime in or email me directly- I will try to check this thread regularly. Needless to say, I have had a pretty positive experience thus far. However, I realize it's not for everyone.

GaryBK
12-19-2013, 12:16 AM
Hi Bmburns. Are you saying that one truck can max out at $175k of revenue per year and all trucks do over $150k/year???

If so you are laughing at 6% royalties!

Cheers!

conceptsketch
12-19-2013, 01:05 AM
Garybk
Those numbers are high and the exception not the rule , and to be getting to that volume has nothing to do with a franchise . There are plenty of examples of non franchise lawncare operators in a mature market can do that volume along with very sound business practices .
For any one to imply weedman grows there business is misleading. People grow there business and weedman or lawndoctors or a consultant will show you procedures to follow . To win in business it is totally up to the individual , on what they decide to do, based on the options in front of them . For example ; you read A great business Guide "Emyth book "and go use the principles they suggest,and then join a peer group inside the industry with guys not in your area ( they will share more openly with you) . Do you credit emyth and your peer group with your profitable business . Sorta but not really cause its all you and your employees efforts , thats the point of this thread really!!!! you did the work not them they just gave you advice .
The reality is the only reason a business exists is really to market itself it is the fuel that feeds the machine ,,
Does Weedman have a marketing presence, a name that means something , Does it get you leads that turn into business from clients, from there reputation in the country (Gary Bk maybe in Canada ) Here in the good ole USA , lawn doctor means something , Scotts does they have commercials ,sponsor Race cars . I can see some value in those names from a marketing standpoint

To Bmburns ; Unhappy franchise owners venting in a public place is Like, Unhappy employees venting in a break room and the boss walks in . It makes for a very uncomfortable scenario , soi suspect you wont here from them very much .
But I do agree in the value of franchises providing its 4% or under. Again Watch the 60 minutes expose , any more then the 4% is corrupt their words not mine

GaryBK
12-19-2013, 02:29 AM
Ah yes. I have read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. Great stuff in business books. But I am still amazed at that revenue per truck. I thought I was pushing it in the weed and feed area and I am getting about $130k/yr per truck. What should a truck be doing per year? But we don't work Saturdays (unless absolutely necessary because I get too far behind or Sundays of course). I was just reading some stuff on a Lawn Doctor franchise. They work their guys 4 days per week (10-11 hrs/day) but the trucks work 6 days per week with rotating work schedules. I don't like to work Saturdays though. Wen we do we are often turned away because people want to use their yards or we get a phone call that they are teed off because we serviced their lawn while they were out and now they don't feel they can use it. Maybe I am losing revenue per truck by not working Saturdays. How do you guys feel about having your weed and feed trucks out on Saturday?

bmburns99
12-19-2013, 12:32 PM
Ah yes. I have read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. Great stuff in business books. But I am still amazed at that revenue per truck. I thought I was pushing it in the weed and feed area and I am getting about $130k/yr per truck. What should a truck be doing per year? But we don't work Saturdays (unless absolutely necessary because I get too far behind or Sundays of course). I was just reading some stuff on a Lawn Doctor franchise. They work their guys 4 days per week (10-11 hrs/day) but the trucks work 6 days per week with rotating work schedules. I don't like to work Saturdays though. Wen we do we are often turned away because people want to use their yards or we get a phone call that they are teed off because we serviced their lawn while they were out and now they don't feel they can use it. Maybe I am losing revenue per truck by not working Saturdays. How do you guys feel about having your weed and feed trucks out on Saturday?

Hi Gary- We don't work Saturdays typically either. The only Saturdays we work are during the month of May. Once our first round of weed control is down we can typically stay caught up with everything by just working 5 days a week. I credit our pricing structure for the high revenue per truck, as we're never the cheapest service out there and never come close to matching some of the low-cost providers pricing. As far as revenue per truck, we were at $153K last year. Once our territory is saturated we will be in the 4.3-4.6% royalty range.

Hope this helps!!

GaryBK
12-19-2013, 05:02 PM
Working Saturdays for R1 is a great idea. That would set you up better for the whole year in scheduling. I must look into that. Good on being on the high side of pricing. We increased our prices more than inflation with our 2014 prepay notices. Will wait and see how that pans out. We have a lot of work and I was reading in a business book that if you have a lot of work raise your prices. You may lose some but you will always keep good accounts that way. I'm a bit apprehensive as I will be in the top pricing of the market but I don't want to compete with the lowballers.... (Going $60/F&WC and $115 aeration up to 4000ftsq - that's most lawns - with a 20% PP disc.). Glad you are having success with your franchise! Thx BM, Merry Christmas.

GaryBK
12-19-2013, 05:05 PM
Oh, do you have a percentage of prepay vs pay as you go customers. I have yet to work that out. I have to do a lot of stuff manually. My computer program sucks. I'm looking at Service Assistant for 2014....

olajoe808
12-19-2013, 06:59 PM
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GaryBK
12-20-2013, 01:23 AM
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That's a bump Olajoe? ;-)
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bmburns99
12-20-2013, 06:38 PM
Working Saturdays for R1 is a great idea. That would set you up better for the whole year in scheduling. I must look into that. Good on being on the high side of pricing. We increased our prices more than inflation with our 2014 prepay notices. Will wait and see how that pans out. We have a lot of work and I was reading in a business book that if you have a lot of work raise your prices. You may lose some but you will always keep good accounts that way. I'm a bit apprehensive as I will be in the top pricing of the market but I don't want to compete with the lowballers.... (Going $60/F&WC and $115 aeration up to 4000ftsq - that's most lawns - with a 20% PP disc.). Glad you are having success with your franchise! Thx BM, Merry Christmas.

Your pricing seems good. I might not offer as much of a prepay discount though. We offer 10% and typically get 42-44% of our customers to prepay- very nice for cash flow.

GaryBK
12-20-2013, 07:20 PM
I was thinking that this year it might be easier to phase in the price jump...and offer a bigger discount to help cushion the shock. I mail out a prepay/renewal letter in December for a Jan 15 deadline. 20% discount for next season. Then we send out a spring renewal for those not yet booked. Goes out in February with about a March 30 deadline and a 10% discount for 2014. I think a second mailing should have less of a discount.

What do you do for renewal mailouts and deadlines? Thanks for the tips BTW.