some insight into brickman from the web
On the other end of the spectrum lie lawn care businesses untouched by the franchise world. These can vary from small, local independently-owned ventures to larger corporations with locations scattered throughout the country. One of the larger businesses is The Brickman Group. Although you might think it is a franchise, you would be wrong.
Brickman has been in operation for 65 years and is currently based in Gatesburg, Md. Some of the company's most recent projects include a park at Padre Stadium in San Diego, Calif., in which families can have picnics while enjoying a baseball game, as well as the design and maintenance of the baseball field at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. With 110 branches in 23 different states, this company could be confused with a franchise. However, Margie Holly, communications manager, attributes the expansion to the growth and movement of its clients. “Brickman originated in Chicago and as its clients moved to different parts of the country, the company went as well,” Holly said.
The family-owned landscape business also shifted from a design/build company to a firm specializing in lawn care and maintenance. About 85 percent of Brickman's business is commercial landscape maintenance, and the remainder is dedicated to builds and installations. It also performs snow removal, tree care and sports turf application jobs.
The reason why The Brickman Group has never considered becoming a franchisor is that they believe that quality and service starts with family. Instead of bringing outside people in to run their business, Brickman takes inside people and trains them to head up the new branches.
“Brickman has established a stable duplicateable model that can be put in place, and these branches are supported by regional offices,” Holly said.
If a territory is getting too big for one branch, employees are brought in and trained for a set amount of time, usually two years. Once the branch is ready to split into two branches, they are already prepared and are able to function consistently with the other branches.
Brickman also offers in-house training through a program called Brickman University, similar to training programs offered by franchises. Employees gain consistent education in the core curriculum of horticultural maintenance, as well as in customer service and crew management.