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Ask the Expert Q&A with Ken Hutcheson of U.S. Lawns: February 18, 2016

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by Michael J. Donovan, Feb 8, 2016.

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  1. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,760

    Hi all, just a quick 5-minute notification for the Ask the Expert event. If you weren’t able to get all of your questions in, please join us again tonight at 6:00-7:00 P.M. CST.
     
  2. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Residential Advantages:
    1) Easy to pick up customers
    2) Ideal for a one or two man operation

    Residential Disadvantages:
    1) Takes a high number of customers to create a fair revenue.
    2) Your dealing with a non-professional customers that's spending their own money.

    Commercial Advantages:
    1) Dealing with professional customers that are spending a budget, not their own cash.
    2) Lesser number of customers required to deliver significant revenue.

    Commercial Disadvantages:
    1) Customers expect uniformed trained crews and a professional appearance.
    2) Customers expect accurate pricing and professional business practices including, risk management (insurance) and safety program.
     
  3. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,760

    We’ve reached the end of the first Ask the Expert event. Thanks to Ken from U.S. Lawns and all of you for joining us today. Don’t forget to come back again tonight at 6:00-7:00 P.M. CST with more questions or to see questions from fellow landscape professionals. We’ll continue the discussion right here on this same thread.
     
  4. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Yes. Many of our conversion franchisees bring their residential customers into their U.S. Lawns franchise. However, over time we typically help our franchisees phase out the residential revenue and replace it with more profitable commercial work.
     
  5. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,760

    Welcome back to the Ask the Expert event, sponsored by U.S. Lawns. Ken Hutcheson, longtime green industry veteran and President of U.S. Lawns, is back for another hour with the LawnSite community.

    Don’t forget: You must be a registered user of LawnSite.com to participate in today’s Ask the Expert events. Click here to create your free account now. Also, please remember to refresh the page to keep updated with the comments on the thread.
     
  6. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Thanks Mike. I look forward to another hour of questions.
     
  7. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,096

    Just a hypothetical here:

    Say a business is doing around 250K. Still very small business; but yields a 25% net after all pay; including owner pay. The owner is probably making in upwards of 80-90k easily; assuming the business profit. What is the advantage/or why would they convert to a franchise then? The franchise seems more of attraction for guys who are starting out; say around 50K in revenue. Is this a fallacy? your thoughts...
     
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,522

    I haven't read the first session so pardon me if Im redundant.

    Does US lawn have a national account base that is accessable to those that "join"?


    What percent of " joiners" are still in business after 1 year and then 5 years?

    Should a person want to get out of the "join" agreement and still retain his business will the mess end up in court?

    Can you post a typical Contract or "join" form for all of us to see?

    Thanks for the input.
     
  9. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Thanks for the question. It sounds like this hypothetical owner is making a good living. However, we typically see a business of this size riding a revenue and profit roller coaster ... good seasons and bad seasons. A couple of customers leave or a good employee leaves and things get tough. Also, the business is highly dependent upon the owner's physical activities.

    We work with many businesses in this size range and help them grow the revenue, while maintaining and growing the net profit. At a larger size, the business is more sustainable because it is not disproportionately dependent upon the owner, a small group of customers, or a key employee.
     
  10. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,004

    I am in need of more efficient equipment and have a lot of work but not enough cash to purchase outright. What are your thoughts on financing equipment?
     
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