Thanks for the welcome Az I bought a US Lawns franchise because I wanted to expand my business into the commerical market. I had great sucess in the residental market but I always felt intemidated when it came to bidding on large properties. Secondly, I was looking the answers in solving employee issues (finding and keeping good employees). I had really began to feel frustrated and angry when I thought that I had a large number of loyal customers and excellient equipment but the success of my business was always being sabitoged by the incomidence and lack of commentment of others. Third, I was looking forward to buying equipent and supplies (seed, fertilizer and chemicals) at a discounted price. Lastly, I was looking forward to being a part of a non-competing group of other franchise owners that I could bounce ideas off of or ask for help. Well, shorting after getting into US Lawns they told me that they wanted me to drop all of my residental customers. I of course refused because it was those loyal customers that had provided for my family for seven years. Inaddition, I was making more per man hour doing my residental customers than they claimed I would make only servicing commerical properties. US Lawns answer for finding good employees often centered around hiring H2B seasonal workers. I did not except the idea of letting a foreign worker drive my new primary work vehicle with thousands of dollars worth of equipment on it. The discounts at supply stores were not that big and only applied to certain products. US Lawns had national purchising contracts with John Deer, Exmark, Grasshopper and Echo. I use Walker, Gravely and Honda. There was no established John Deer or Exmark dealer close to my location. I did however, take advantage of the discounts on Echo products. The sad thing was that my local Echo dealer had to sell me the products at a discounted price but at his loss. In other words, Echo did not reimburse my local dealer. After buying 2 line trimmers I began to feel a little guilty. One of the "trainers" with US Lawns really tried to chastize my in front of other new franchise owners by saying that walker and Gravely were bad mowers. I of course responded by asking him how many hours he had operated a Gravely 260Z or a Walker mower in the field to which he said none. I then stated to him that perhaps he should make recomendations based from actual field experience rather than from igorience. From then on I was considered a rebel. I was not rich when I applied for a US Lawns franchise but I had an established business, great credit (over 800) and very little debt. US Lawns also allows you to finance the 29,000 franchise fee. Now let's discuss the debt issue. I had a 2000 Ford F350 extended-cab dump truck. This truck was in great shape but it was bright red. US Lawns vehicule color was white. So, I kept my red Ford and bought a new 2005 GMC cab-over-box truck (18 ft vanscaper). The truck was great. But after six months of bidding properties their way I did not get one single contract. As some of you might immagine the alarm bells started to sound off. In six months I suddenly found myself in a lot dept and going into the Winter months. Some debt is ok but I was at my personal limit. Sadly, most of the franchise owners are in a lot of debt. One franchise owner stated to me that he had been in US Lawns for 3 years and was still unable to take a salary from the business. It was only because of his wife's great paying job that they were able to provide for his family. Inaddition, a lot of the franchise owners finance their equipment purchaces by using home equity loans. I incorporated my business in 2002 so I never wanted to put business debt on personal property. I did come to enjoy the friendships I had made with the franchise owners that were located close to me. They were always very helpful and there was no question I couldn't ask. I still talk to them every now and then and consider them as friends. With all the differiences of oppion with me keeping my residential customers, my refusal to use only their approved equipment, the fact that I was already grossing more per man hour than I would with a contract using their bidding method, the idea of the sucess of my business would be greatly hinged on the ability of me applying and paying for seasonal foreign workers, the fact that I had not gotton one single contract, the fact that I was 60,000 in US Lawns debt with no new income to service the debt as I was going into the Winter months was all I could take. So, I call US Lawns and told them I wanted out. Surprisingly, they were very helpful and arranged the sale of my franchise to another franchise owner located in city close to me. In February of 2006 I sold the new GMC truck to another franchise owner and I was out. My net loss was about 10,000 but learned about 10,000 worth of knowledge. During the year of 2006 I concentrated on paying off my debt and focusing on what made my business a sucess in the first place. In May of 2007 I bought a new superlawn truck and began to change the ways I hired and compensated my employees. Last week I got my first HOA property that will pay 2,000 a month. I have two really great employees and now for the first time I feel confident in my abbilities and at peace with my future. I hope this was a blessing to someone.