US Lawn Franchise

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by Haulin' Grass, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Haulin' Grass

    Haulin' Grass LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 55

    Anyone own one ? Read an interesting article about a guy who owns three and seems to be doing alright for himself. Don't think it's my cup of tea though. On the other hand other people do well with franchises in other business fields
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    You can have any franchise lawn company. I got in this profession so I could make the rules. Being a franchise owner, all you would be is a glorified employee.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    There is a large one by me and run by all hispanics...they do great work too btw.
  4. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    This business is easy enough for someone who has the slightest business sense to start up from scratch. You should be able to learn enough from this site alone to be able to start, advertise, and have a general idea of how to run your own lawn care company.

    Don't pay someone else for their "ideas" on how to run a lawn care company. They are not going to get you customers ... you still have to get those yourself.

    At least that's how I feel .... I'll start and run my own company, with my own ideas, and answer to no one but myself.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I'm surprised to hear this from you. Dosen't time have any value to anyone. Not to mention money. A start up business is risky and expensive. All the documentation needed to make a company run smoothly. Thats a lot of work.

    The fact is there is at least one LCO franchise out there that will get you commercial contracts.

    Would you rather make 100% of 300-K after 5-7 years of struggling if you make it. Or 94% of 800-K in two years with a clear path and someone a phone call away that has been in the business for over 50 years to offer advice.

    Do a search on franchise/franchising, if you can include my name in the search I have done a lot of research on franchising and have posted some good information. I would not be so quick to dismiss a franchise operation.

    Granted a franchise is not for everyone but I think there is a lot of mis-information given here on Lawnsite regarding franchising. Like every thing else there are good and bad franchisors.

    What are the odds of a start up company surviving 5 years? Like less than 1 in 10. It is the exact opposite for a franchise operation less than 1 in 10 fail.
  6. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    I have an U.S.lawns franchise in my mowing area. I see them out just about everyday. I looked into the franchise deal and it it expensive. These guys run Izuzu trucks and the biggest most expensive Scags you can buy. I would say over a hundred thousand for just equipment alone. Not to mention the four guys in each of the 3 trucks salaries. And the price of the franchise itself! I would like to see the fuel bill a month. Alot more to keep up with,alot more debt,insurance,headaches,supervision,employees,equipment maintenance,accountants,etc. I know they make big money too. But I appreciate them leaving us "one man bands" a little grass to cut. Although it would be nice to be the one telling everyone else what to do. And having more time for the family.
  7. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    These are both good opinions on both sides of the coin, the fact is that you have to decide what is right for you as an individual. Do plenty of research on both situations and make a choice that fits you and your style, as I have worked for a franchise and now I own and run my own business I have had a look into both worlds, and being my own man is the right choice for me, as I need to have total control and say in how I operate.
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I just received this e mail from a firm that helps companies that want to be franchisors. Pay particular attention to numbers 8 and 11

    12 Criteria of Franchisability

    While it is impossible to determine the franchisability of a business concept without a significant amount of analysis, the iFranchise Group has identified a series of 12 predictive criteria that assess the readiness of a company for franchising and the likelihood that it will achieve success as a franchisor.

    1. Credibility - To sell franchises, a company must first be credible in the eyes of its prospective franchisees. Credibility can be reflected in a number of ways: organization size, number of units, years in operation, look of the prototype unit, publicity, consumer awareness of the brand, and strength of management, to name the most prominent.

    2. Differentiation - In addition to credibility, a franchise organization must be adequately differentiated from its franchised competitors. This can come in the form of a differentiated product or service, a reduced investment cost, a unique marketing strategy, or different target markets.

    3. Transferability of knowledge - The next criteria of franchisability is the ability to teach a system to others. To franchise, a business must generally be able to thoroughly educate a prospective franchisee in a relatively short period of time. Generally speaking, if a business is so complex that it cannot be taught to a franchisee in three months, a company will have difficulty franchising. Some more complex franchisors offset this handicap by targeting only franchise prospects that are already "educated" in their field (e.g., a medical franchise targeting only doctors).

    4. Adaptability - Next, measure how well a concept can be adapted from one market to the next. Some concepts (e.g., barbecue) do not adapt well over large geographic areas because of regional variations in consumer tastes or preferences. Others (e.g., medical practices) are constrained by varying state laws. Still other concepts work only because they are in a very unique location. And some work because of the unique abilities or talents of the individual behind the concept. Finally, some concepts are only successful based on years of perseverance and relationship building.

    5. Refined and successful prototype operations - A refined prototype is necessary to demonstrate that the system is proven, and is generally instrumental in the training of franchisees. The prototype also acts as a testing ground for new products, new services, marketing techniques, merchandising, and operational efficiencies.

    6. Documented systems - All successful businesses have systems. But in order to be franchisable, these systems must be documented in a manner that communicates them effectively to franchisees. Generally speaking, a franchisor will need to document its policies, procedures, systems, forms, and business practices in a comprehensive and user-friendly operations manual and/or computer-based training module.

    7. Affordability - Affordability merely reflects a prospective franchisee's ability to pay for the franchise in question. This criterion is as much a reflection of the prospective franchisee as it is of the actual cost of opening a franchise. For example, a multi-million dollar hotel franchise is affordable to real estate developers, whereas a franchise with a $100,000 start-up cost that targets prospects with clerical experience might not be.

    8. Return on Investment - This is the real acid test of franchisability. A franchised business must, of course, be profitable. But more than that, a franchised business must allow enough profit after a royalty for the franchisees to earn an adequate return on their investment of time and money. Profitability is always relative. It must be measured against investment to provide a meaningful number. In this way, the franchise investment can be measured against other investments of comparable risk that compete for the franchisee's dollar. Typically, the iFranchise Group looks for the franchisee to achieve a ROI of at least 20 percent by the second to third year of operations. To see how your business measures up to this criteria, take the iFranchise Acid Test .

    9. Market trends and conditions - While not an indicator of franchisability as much as a general indicator of the success of any business, these trends are key to long-term planning. Is the market growing or consolidating? How will that affect your business in the future? What impact will the Internet have? Will the franchisee's products and services remain relevant in the years ahead? What are other franchised and non-franchised competitors doing? And how will the competitive environment affect your franchisee's likelihood of long-term success.

    10. Capital - While franchising is a low-cost means of expanding a business, it is not a "no cost" means of expansion. A franchisor needs the capital and resources to implement a franchise program. The resources required to initially implement a franchise program will vary depending on the scope of the expansion plan. If a company is looking to sell one or two franchised units, the necessary legal documentation may be completed at costs as low as $15,000. For franchisors targeting aggressive expansion, however, start-up costs can run $100,000 or more. And once the costs of printing, audits, marketing, and personnel are added to the mix, a franchisor may require a budget of $250,000 or more to reach its expansion goals.

    11. Commitment to relationships - Successful franchisors focus on building long-term relationships with their franchisees that are mutually rewarding. Unfortunately, not all franchise organizations understand the link that exists between relationships and profits. Strong franchisee relationships enable the franchisor to sell franchises more effectively, introduce needed changes into the system more easily, and motivate franchisees and their managers to provide a consistent level of products and services to their customers.

    12. Strength of management - Finally, the single most important aspect contributing to the success of any franchise program is the strength of its management. The iFranchise Group has found that the single most common contributor to the failure of start-up franchisors is understaffing or a lack of experience at the management level. Oftentimes, new franchisors will try to take everything on themselves. In addition to absorbing several new jobs for which the franchisor has little to no time, the franchisor needs to exhibit expertise in fields in which he or she may have little or no experience: franchise marketing, lead handling, franchise sales, ad fund management, training, and multi-unit operations management.
  9. Haulin' Grass

    Haulin' Grass LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 55

    I've got my own business. I was just curious if anyone used them. I quit my other job to be my own boss and call the shots
  10. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    my cousin is friends with a guy who owns a bunch of lawn doctors, and if u saw how we lived with his 250k worth of cars you'd be thinking about opening a franchise yourself. fertilizing is the same thing as mowing and all the lawn doctor franchises seem to do very well...

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