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View Full Version : U.S. Lawns Franchise?


HOMER
09-03-2004, 08:57 PM
Has anybody bought a U.S. Lawns franchise and if so..........how did it benefit you over just starting on your own?

I saw a guy the other day with his truck lettered up and really couldn't see much difference in what he was doing and what I am doing, other than he has to pay for that sign on the side of his truck. Surely they don't run around and get business for you.......they don't take the equipment payments out of the franchise fee do they?

Where is the benefit at for this type of franchise? A McDonalds or Subway I understand.......a lawn service I have trouble with.

DLCS
09-03-2004, 09:04 PM
I've never seen a US Lawns before, are they a mostly southern franchise?

J&R
09-03-2004, 09:17 PM
Who ever pays 30,000.00 and a % of what they do to US Lawns. As the old saying goes A FOOL and his MONEY are soon parted.

out4now
09-03-2004, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by HOMER


Where is the benefit at for this type of franchise? A McDonalds or Subway I understand.......a lawn service I have trouble with. [/B]

The advantage of a franchise? Established name, lower advertising costs, they can negotiate better insurance rates, equipment prices because they are a bigger company. franchises have their Upside but you lose some money and flexibilty to get that upside with any franchise. I'm suprized there aren't more lawn franchisors out there. Scotts also has franchise ops.

kppurn
09-03-2004, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by DLCS
I've never seen a US Lawns before, are they a mostly southern franchise?

I just noticed them around here this year. They do a few homeowners associations in the area.

AintNoFun
09-03-2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by HOMER
Ha Surely they don't run around and get business for you........


i wonder if they do have a sales force that is included??

tailoredlook
09-03-2004, 11:20 PM
No sales force. What you get is $30k in debt for them to tell you to get a new truck, bigger shop new equipment and their computer program. So basicaly It cost you $30k to spend another $50 -$100k and wear someone elses name on your shirts and trucks.

smlavin
09-04-2004, 12:10 AM
They haven't been around here for more than a year. At least I don't remember seeing their trucks before then. Now they have a very big presence in this area and a lot of commercial accounts. Two big new malls, banks, convience stores, etc. They have several rigs, 3 man crews. They are the big player in our area and they only just started. Is that worth 30K? I don't know.

Frosty_03
09-04-2004, 12:32 AM
But wouldn't you be like working for someone else, I don't know about the rest of you but I do this because I don't want to answer to no one but my customers. I for one cannot see myself paying 30K to have someone dictate how I am going to run my bussiness. :rolleyes:

HOMER
09-04-2004, 07:37 AM
I suppose if you didn't have a clue about what you were doing they might be beneficial, otherwise I'd have to agree........it's just debt.

I also don't buy that "purchasing power" bit. I bet I could go to my dealers around here and 1: They've never heard of them and 2: They ain't cuttin' me any slack on the price of anything because I bought the franchise.

What difference would it make anyway.......what you could possibly gain in the equip purchase you'd lose in fees and royalty payments.

leadarrows
09-04-2004, 07:42 AM
They sent me their literature. Sounds like a good deal to me.........FOR THEM. I passed for the same reasons as Frosty_03.

pcnservices
09-04-2004, 09:07 AM
Lawn maintenance and lawn care is probably the lowest cost entry into a business and with enough will power, hard work and perseverance you can succeed and grow it into a profitable bussiness.
Somebody started out that way and saw the gap to take it to the next higher level and franchised it.
I am having a hard time making a little bit of money - why should I buy a franchise and make somebody else rich?
That's my opinion!
PC

Tony Clifton
09-04-2004, 09:52 AM
I think that most of you guys are small and want to stay that way which is fine. However for someone wanting to be really aggressive and grow their business into a million + in sales annually it may be the way to go. I would never buy a franchise myself but I think it has some excellent advantages. First of all US Lawns is owned by ValleyCrest which means any work they do not want will be passed along to US Lawns. The equipment purchasing is another advantage. Of course if you walk into your dealer and tell them you want a discount because you have a franchise they will laugh at you. US Lawns goes beyond the dealer and buys direct from the manufacturer, the mowers are shipped to your local dealer but they make very little or nothing off of the trasnaction. Many suppliers also give hefty discounts, fertilizer, irrigation etc. I think the most valuable asset that you buy is the support and systems. You have a team of people who help you grow because the more money you make, the more money they make. It also greatly reduces the learning curve and the money you spend on franchise fees is money you would have never made to begin with because it would have been spent or lost because of mistakes and simply not knowing how to properly run a large landscaping company. I am sure any of the bigger guys with multiple crews would agree with me, things get pretty tricky when you get bigger. Another source of work are the national contracts, shopping malls, corporate sites, hotels etc. Just like Brickman, Trugreen, Symbiot etc. they can bid on national projects especially as the # of franchisees expands.

Andyinchville2
09-04-2004, 10:06 AM
Take the money you would have given them and spend it on your own business....you'll be surprised how far $30 K goes.....yes a franchise may be able to negotiate better prices on things you need to BUT with the $30 K youd have to pay them to get you better prices you could have just gone out and bought everthing you need and paid cash for everything.....If that doesn't convince you I'll sell you a franchise from me for say $25K (a 5K savings) and I'll get you discounts on Exmark mowers or most anything else you needv even if I have to kick in some money myself.....Of course I can take that out of the initial $25K you would have given me). Hmmm I'll have to look into selling franchises myself....sounds like real good $$ to me.....Let me know if you do it and how it works out but truthfully I'd recommend against it if all they go is lawns.....Some franchises I can see but lawns?.....I can't see that....Just my opinion....Hope it helps and good luch either way.

Tony Clifton
09-04-2004, 10:19 AM
I should probably post that US Lawns is a commercial maintenance company focusing on larger sites. They do no residential.

MMLawn
09-04-2004, 11:00 AM
I should post that I have never even heard of them or seen them in my area. Brickman does alot around here but never seen a US Lawn anywhere. So if they aren't in a large Metro area such as I am in they must not be growing very fast themselves. For that $30K that you spend you had better get a BUNCH of discounts on a BUNCH of equipment and a lot of business because it will take quite a while to make that $30K back even with those things.

out4now
09-04-2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Tony Clifton
I think that most of you guys are small and want to stay that way which is fine. However for someone wanting to be really aggressive and grow their business into a million + in sales annually it may be the way to go. I would never buy a franchise myself but I think it has some excellent advantages. First of all US Lawns is owned by ValleyCrest which means any work they do not want will be passed along to US Lawns. The equipment purchasing is another advantage. Of course if you walk into your dealer and tell them you want a discount because you have a franchise they will laugh at you. US Lawns goes beyond the dealer and buys direct from the manufacturer, the mowers are shipped to your local dealer but they make very little or nothing off of the trasnaction. Many suppliers also give hefty discounts, fertilizer, irrigation etc. I think the most valuable asset that you buy is the support and systems. You have a team of people who help you grow because the more money you make, the more money they make. It also greatly reduces the learning curve and the money you spend on franchise fees is money you would have never made to begin with because it would have been spent or lost because of mistakes and simply not knowing how to properly run a large landscaping company. I am sure any of the bigger guys with multiple crews would agree with me, things get pretty tricky when you get bigger. Another source of work are the national contracts, shopping malls, corporate sites, hotels etc. Just like Brickman, Trugreen, Symbiot etc. they can bid on national projects especially as the # of franchisees expands. This is exactly what I was eluding to.

PrecisionLawnsInc
09-22-2004, 12:24 AM
Is the $30,000 an annual fee or one time. What percentage of the income do they take?

Ty

Soupy
09-22-2004, 12:56 AM
It may be worth it, if they supply the advertising campaign. How much a year do you think your local TrueGreen/Chemlawn spend a year on advertising? If they handle everything except for equipment purchases, then it might be worth it. It would cost me a lot more then $30,000 to try and compete with the local big boys.

How about buying a McDonald's franchise? Look at what you get, national name recognition.

HOOLIE
09-22-2004, 01:10 AM
I see a US Lawn crew around my area occasionally. For a while they were running out of a storage unit. Not a big presence around here.

The difference between lawn care and restaurants/retail is, you can start an LCO with just a little cash, it takes a lot more to start your own restaurant/store. With that large financial risk it makes good sense to go with a franchise, the local businesses tend not to stay in business very long. Think of how many restaurants or retail stores that are NON-franchise have been in business in your town for 10, 20, 30 years. Probably not very many.

ProMo
09-22-2004, 07:54 AM
There was a us lawn truck around here at the beginning of the year and they seem to have dissapeared. I have given away mowers better than what they had on there trailer.

broken leg
09-22-2004, 08:27 AM
For $30,000.00 I can bribe my way into commercial contracts. Yes sir 30 grand well buy allot of shot guns, trips, Fancy dinners, and just cold cash under the table. I still won't have to pay a percentage ether. I have been beat out because of under the table and under the sheets. Yes under the sheets. Lost one because the other guy slept with the site manager. I would not have taken her to a chicken fight.

Runner
09-22-2004, 08:43 AM
However for someone wanting to be really aggressive and grow their business into a million + in sales annually it may be the way to go. The equipment purchasing is another advantage. US Lawns goes beyond the dealer and buys direct from the manufacturer, the mowers are shipped to your local dealer but they make very little or nothing off of the trasnaction.

.... and see how much servic support you get from a dealer that has made nothing from you. Your machinery will be at the back of the line and covered with dust.

As far as the advertising, This is the same type of thing you get from the lower cost "1800 lawncare" program, which is about a joke. I know a guy who got into that around here...unfortunatley, 4 miles away, there are 1-800 signs posted on streetcorners, and guess who they are advertising for? Not HIM! Another lco who forked over the money for the program. You pay all that money, and it ends up OTHER people within your working proximity get work from it, also. What a joke. This can be done without all the franchise fees...the advertising doesn't work to your advantage.

LawnsRUsInc.
09-22-2004, 10:21 AM
i Dont know everything about us lawns but by good friend in my area owns a us lawns fran. for 6 years. You pay 30k up front which you can finance and 4% of your income of the year. But they dont tell you what to do they tell you how to do it. We work together with ideas and toss business back and forth. He gets his equipment and supplies for less than what the dealer gets it for so figure in time you can save money. They supplie you with sales tech. and sales info. They know who to contact on a national level to get you large accounts. They sell for you to since its thier paycheck also. Any ?'s

Jason