Here's a bottom line on this one, franchises make money, period. If they didn't, then no one would do them. I agree that if you build your own company from the ground up, it may be slow going at first, but eventually you will get where you want to be to be happy and your profit margins are better and you net income at the end of the year are better. It all comes down to a few simple things, how much work you want to put into it, how much money you want to initially invest, and how much money you want to make on the backside. Once you've answered those things, then make the decision that is best fit for you. When I started my landscape business I had every other franchise company call me offering me a "once in a lifetime" deal with their franchise. I told them all to pack sand b/c I could make more on one of my medium sized accounts than I could with three of their small ones and haven't heard from them since. I won't franchise, but that's because I don't care to go that route. I started my own business so that I could work for myself, but franchising would take that away from me.
NORTHWEST FLORIDA LANDSCAPING INC.
2012 Ram 3500 Cummins Laramie
2003 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
2013 Kubota L3200
2013 eXmark 60" Lazer Z X-series
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2013 eXmark Commercial 30"
2009 eXmark Turf Tracer 48"