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Discussion in 'Franchising' started by cowboytim, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. cowboytim

    cowboytim LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 180

    An one have any luck with lawn doctor or weed man. I want to expand and think that might be the way to go.
  2. group501

    group501 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Franchises have their positives and their negatives. Make sure you do extensive research before making a purchase.Thoroughly read and question the terms of the franchise contract. In the beginning stages what looks to be a good or acceptable deal may prove not be so good 5-10 years down the road. A reputable and well known franchise does give you instant credibility in many consumers minds. So, for a newbie this should prove to be a value. Also, depending on the franchisor, the initial training in both the office and the field are very helpful and take alot of the trial and error out of running your business. Buy group and corporate arranged discounts are also a definite plus.
  3. chrisby316

    chrisby316 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    i have only heard nightmares about franchises. group 501 does make some good points about credibility and training. but there are things like advertising and the profit that you make that the corp. is going to control. you may find that one form of advertising does not work in your area but they will make you buy a certain amount of advertising products from them like direct mail post cards and such. plus even if you do your time of 5 or 10 years and you want to go out on your own you may have signed a non compete clause with them that would prevent you from doing business in that area and to the "your" customers. which are not yours they are theirs.
  4. group501

    group501 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Regarding the advertising, alot of the terms that you have to adhere to depend on the franchise system you buy into. Each franchise will have their requirements spelled out in their franchise offering and in their contract. Advertising is usually based on a percent of your gross revenues. We do have to get our marketing materials approved by corporate prior to running them so as to ensure that they are compliant with their standards. That being said, there is alot of flexibility as to what you do regarding advertising. The basic requirements are that you present a professional image and spend the required percentage. There is also a regional marketing percentage which is mandated. The regional marketing pays for items such as internet marketing, radio, tv, valpak, etc. The one thing that I really do like about being part of the franchise system is the discounts associated with the advertising. This past spring we were getting postcards and direct price pieces out the door for substantially less than anything I have seen elsewhere. For every dollar we spent on advertising we took in three plus dollars in new sales. Although we do give up some creative freedom it is more than made up for.

    Don't get me wrong, not everything associated with franchises is rosy. There are some definite negatives as well. Remember, a franchisor is in business to sell franchises and to collect continuing franchise royalties. Even when you are not turning a profit they still have to get paid. Remember, the bigger your business grows, the more fees you will pay. My franchise royalties now exceed what I pay my service techs. All I can suggest is to carefully examine your franchise offering. Franchising is a good fit for some and a not so good fit for others.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.
  5. david webb

    david webb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Do not buy into lawn doctor ! I did and made a big mistake!
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    Wow, way to elaborate. Thanks for the insite.

    Group 501 has made all the valid points that I would have made. I have 2 businesses, one franchise, one not.

    It really does all depend on the franchise you purchase. But as Group said, they have their positives and negatives. I am very happy with my decision to buy into the franchise that I did. There are restrictions but not the point that they interfere with my daily operations. For me the upside far outweighs the downside with this particular franchise.

    As Group mentioned ask away, we can only answer so much without knowing what information you are looking for. I cannot help out with a lawn care franchise as mine is independent, but I can help out with general franchise questions.
  7. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,410

    Having purchased a nation wide lawn care franchise, i myself would not do it again.
  8. Taylorman

    Taylorman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I have owned a Scotts Lawn Service franchisee for almost 2 years and have no regrets. It stings paying royalties every month but knew nothing about this industry when i bought it. I bought an existing business with about 300 customers. So i was making money day one. The main benefit for me was that everything you need is already in place. They dont require you to advertise at all if you dont want to but have everything you need in place if you want to. No regrets for me.

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