Originally Posted by cpllawncare
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.