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  #31  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:29 PM
Az Gardener Az Gardener is offline
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CMC what other franchises have you looked into? In this industry or others. I am a big believer in the franchise model I just have just been underwhelmed with the ones I have seen in our industry. But I am underwhelmed with what most in our industry consider to be a good job too.
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  #32  
Old 11-09-2010, 07:05 AM
CMC CGCS CMC CGCS is offline
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Everything that I have looked over the last few years has been outside of this industry - Golden Corral, Quiznos, Cold Stone primarily. I have scanned the commercial cleaning market pretty heavily, also. I have not looked at anything within this industry (not interested in the spray and go or residential concepts), except US Lawns. It best fits the niche that I would want to spend my time in and is close to my background. I actually like their concept and think it is a good option. They really seem to offer alot for the money, if given the time to explain it and adquate evaluation effort is put in.

The franchise concept in each of them offers alot and is appealing to me, but for one reason or another I didn't move on them. The most prevalent reasons for not going forward was lack of funding or my reluctance to leave a good paying job (most require 100% operator participation) to start at $0. I have passed both of those points now.

Being from a more corporate environment, I understand that I can not and do not know everything there is to know about all of the dynamics of a business. I may think I know alot, but the franchise offers the opportunity to fill all of the gaps in my resume operationally and provide certain other supports (contacts, accounts, systems). I don't see how any of these things hurt me. I will have to pay someone for those things anyway if I really want to grow my business, so why not a proven company. I believe that my franchise fees and royalties go to these things.

Related to earnings potential, I don't know how that works with anyone starting a business. You have to be prepard to make $0 for awhile. I am not even aware of a franchise that really gives earnings or growth numbers - they are so afraid of earnings claims. So I guess that leaves you at how hard do you want to work and how big is the market you are in. I guess that is the risk/reward of owning a business. I doubt anyone will get rich on the operating side of this industry. You might do well, when you sell the business.

The problem with franchises to most isn't really the franchise fees, oversight, etc. It's the fact that ego won't allow them to admit that they don't know everything and need help to be more successful, so they start making up reasons "why not". I don't think anyone in their right mind wouldn't want to be successful...quicker...with less suffering in the process. I think franchises do that by leveraging a little money from your pocket

None of what I am saying is intended to validate or damage anything with US Lawns. They are a franchise system. Each individual needs to evaluate if they fit into their plans in this industry.
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  #33  
Old 11-09-2010, 12:07 PM
Az Gardener Az Gardener is offline
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A business, franchise or otherwise is a reflection of the owner. I think the low cost of entry by U.S. Lawns is probably why they don't have the cream of the crop in rearguards to ownership and why they all seem to look like crap.

Your right that they clearly have the basics figured out and your learning curve will be reduced greatly by purchasing a franchise. Especially if your not from the industry. Good luck but my advise, stay away from the green industry. I can't imagine a harder buck can be earned.
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  #34  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:31 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Being that I am 45 miles from their epicenter I just don't see them that much around here. I don't see where a customer would be more apt to call them over anybody else that advertises. Being a franchise doesn't guarantee you a leg up on commercial bids either.
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  #35  
Old 12-19-2010, 06:30 PM
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Agape Agape is offline
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from what I can tell, my company colors have to be white, and all I get is a list that might not be cold calls - the rest I have to do myself, when if I really wanted commercial accounts, I could call around, Introduce myself, ask if they are completely happy with their service and if not, when would they be accepting bids?
All they are offering is their name, (never ^&#$#&%$ heard of them), a list of businesses to call ( yeah, I have a phone book) and demands on how I should operate my business.

not a hard decision, Hell no!
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  #36  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:24 PM
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Jason Rose Jason Rose is offline
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I hate franchise companies like this as they love to run all the little guys out of business. Hey, I'm a little guy! I also see NO benifit to being part of a franchise, so you get a easy phone number and a "corperate apperance". Who gives a flip? You are still mowing lawns. It's already hard enough with all the other regulations and rules placed on us by the state and federal government! I am self employed for a reason, so I can be my own boss. Buying into a franchise i may as well just sell my biz and go be a crew foreman for another local company. At least I'm not out of pocket nearly $30K!

I've received calls from US lawns and others asking if I was interested in selling out. I would rather run my biz into the ground and file bankrupsy first. Letting one of these corperate giants into a town like mine would hurt EVERYONE in the business here. It gives me chills to think that some chain outfit could pop in any time and start swallowing up customers with lowballing and truck loads of south of the border types.
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  #37  
Old 12-22-2010, 02:43 PM
U.S. Lawns Home Office U.S. Lawns Home Office is offline
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We recognize that U.S. Lawns (and franchising for that matter) is not a good fit for everyone, and not everyone is a good fit for us. Furthermore, going the route of purchasing a franchise is not the only way to build a successful business in the landscape industry. Many companies have found success without U.S. Lawns. Additionally, we can’t guarantee success. The business is still dependent upon the actions and activities of the owner, something we have very limited control over. With that being said, we certainly believe we can expedite the process of growing your business, especially if you are early in your development (3 trucks/crews or less).

The ability to cut grass and run equipment has very little to do with growing a sustainable business (though “good service” is a core competency). It has everything to do with your ability to gain the confidence of your potential customers (so you can engage contracts and pick up new customers) and your ability to build work teams to properly service the properties (so the business is not dependent upon your physical activity; you performing the service). This is where a franchise helps. We supply the tools and resources necessary to meet the needs of professional commercial customers; a proven bidding & estimating system to accurately price the service, a safety program to meet their insurance needs, proper invoicing, customer communication forms & processes (surveys and service reports), employees in uniform, etc. Furthermore, we provide you with the infrastructure necessary to build/retain a good workforce; hiring practices, job descriptions, training programs, employee handbooks, manuals, HR processes & guidance, etc. All of this is coupled with continued ongoing support by our team of Regional Franchise Advisors, industry experts that have the real life experience of building and growing large commercial businesses.

Now, is this something you can create on your own? Sure. But how long will that take you? How much will that cost you? What is the cost of missed opportunities because you are not properly positioned to acquire commercial contracts? These are the types of questions you have to ask yourself.
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  #38  
Old 12-22-2010, 05:31 PM
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Agape Agape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U.S. Lawns Home Office View Post
We recognize that U.S. Lawns (and franchising for that matter) is not a good fit for everyone, and not everyone is a good fit for us. Furthermore, going the route of purchasing a franchise is not the only way to build a successful business in the landscape industry. Many companies have found success without U.S. Lawns. Additionally, we can’t guarantee success. The business is still dependent upon the actions and activities of the owner, something we have very limited control over. With that being said, we certainly believe we can expedite the process of growing your business, especially if you are early in your development (3 trucks/crews or less).

The ability to cut grass and run equipment has very little to do with growing a sustainable business (though “good service” is a core competency). It has everything to do with your ability to gain the confidence of your potential customers (so you can engage contracts and pick up new customers) and your ability to build work teams to properly service the properties (so the business is not dependent upon your physical activity; you performing the service). This is where a franchise helps. We supply the tools and resources necessary to meet the needs of professional commercial customers; a proven bidding & estimating system to accurately price the service, a safety program to meet their insurance needs, proper invoicing, customer communication forms & processes (surveys and service reports), employees in uniform, etc. Furthermore, we provide you with the infrastructure necessary to build/retain a good workforce; hiring practices, job descriptions, training programs, employee handbooks, manuals, HR processes & guidance, etc. All of this is coupled with continued ongoing support by our team of Regional Franchise Advisors, industry experts that have the real life experience of building and growing large commercial businesses.

Now, is this something you can create on your own? Sure. But how long will that take you? How much will that cost you? What is the cost of missed opportunities because you are not properly positioned to acquire commercial contracts? These are the types of questions you have to ask yourself.
on the off chance that I don't know quickbooks, and that I cant get insurance or a bond, or workers comp and all that... employee training?? for $30K you'll teach me how to tell my guys to get to work? I just tell my guys to move their azz and it saves me 30 grand!

you are not gonna do my billing.
not gonna do my calling or estimating.
you're not gonna buy me logoed shirts for my guys.
your "list" of leads is not something I cant find in the yellow pages.
how long it takes seems to be up to us even with your friggin' "employee manual" and "infrastructure".

yes, you are correct when you say that this isn't for everyone.
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  #39  
Old 01-23-2011, 10:15 PM
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Barefoot James Barefoot James is offline
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6.29 to 12.22 - that was the time it took this "franchise" to answer a question??? I would say this a a good indication on what type of support they give - STAY AWAY! They should stay off this site or fire the guy in charge of this site.
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  #40  
Old 01-23-2011, 10:38 PM
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justanotherlawnguy justanotherlawnguy is offline
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I gotta think if your one of their franchisees, you will get support to your questions much faster. They couldn't give a crap about jobbers on a web forum asking questions about their biz model. Their operation that they run here is nothing more then huge. I think I posted a pic of it on here before, if not I will.
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