First to hear you say they are joke makes me wonder if you tried to become one and got turned down. unfortunately not everyone can become a Grounds Guys franchise owner. There is certain criteria you have to meet. i went to Waco with my wife to check them out. Class act bunch of people who also own and sale 6 other franchises in the service industry. The one i recognized right off was The Glass Doctor.Anyway we stayed in touch and went over our business plans and decided to buy a franchise. Me being a firefighter I got a pretty good discount off the price of my franchise. We were somewhere around #82 franchise. There are around 165 franchises now. We started April 1st 2013 as The Grounds Guys of the tri-cities. We grew our business with the Grounds Guys help to more than double. So far in 2014 we have doubled that number already. Someone asked do they get you customers? Yep. Do they help you grow your business? Yep. They have systems and they have people with knowledge of the industry guiding and helping you in every way possible to help you succeed. Is it guaranteed your going to make it and not fail? NOPE! You have to do your part too. Is it stress full? HELL YES! but owning any business is stressful at times. Are you going to see eye to eye with your franchise consultant all the time ? NOPE. Its not for everyone but it has helped me with many different aspects of the business. There are so many people out there not making a dime doing this business. The Grounds Guys have taught me about setting goals, getting my numbers where they need to be, profit and loss statements, advertising for results, etc,etc,. I have a legit business now that is growing very fast and I am learning something new just about daily about this business. I have access to 165 other business owners just like me who have a wealth of business and field knowledge. I get national pricing on John deere,Exmark,Redmax, etc. that comes to about 45% off mowing equipment. A lot more that fleet pricing. I have access to vendors who offer services like payroll, workman's comp, ALOT cheaper than I could ever get it by myself. There are so many vendors that offer me discounts just because I am a Grounds Guy franchise owner. Great gig cant wait to get out in the field tomorrow!