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Weed man franchise

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by cdqat1432, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. conceptsketch

    conceptsketch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    if your goal is to own a business that does 300 grand a year and have to hand over 30 grand a year then go for it.there's no upward trend in franchising it's actually quite the opposite you look at the stats they're just good marketers .
    You will see them in all the trade magazine and although business buying and selling websites because that's what they do its the same as saying an ad for a tire store or a mattress store every weekend.
    don't be fooled that's all franchises is a marketing concept it has nothing to do with anything but marketing.
    Back to fertilizing lawns most of it is baloney when still die from lack of fertilizer never have never will , no forest ranger runs around and fertilizes the woods
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  2. cdqat1432

    cdqat1432 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Youngstown, Ohio
    Messages: 138

    True concept. Fertilization is a luxury service. No one needs it. If you treat them right you wont need much advertising. Word of mouth works way better. And you can usually get your asking price.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    conceptsketch, ... marketing always trumps good products/services for the masses. Building a better mousetrap may make you the best mousetrap maker, but without marketing, you are left with nothing. Do I like it? Absolutely not! But, that is the reality. TV, radio, newspapers are not filled with marketing materials just to take up air time or column space. Why is half of what appears in my mailbox advertising? Are there so many outstanding products or services? No. But, the advertising money is what gets crappy products/services moving. Yes, it says much about the quality of consumers, but, again, the reality of the matter.

    I'm convinced that lawn services applications are no different. I do not do apps, but am always interested in what the services have put down on the properties that I mow. I ask the homeowner about what was done. Rarely, even a hint of a clue. For 99%, they don't even care. A good marketing campaign got them to sign an agreement -- end of story. And, the story resumes every new year, as long as the service provider just shows on the scene. It makes little difference about what was done, or how well it was done. As long as there are tracks in the grass, a small sign at the curb, and a door hanger with an invoice -- good to go!
    iand likes this.
  4. cdqat1432

    cdqat1432 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Youngstown, Ohio
    Messages: 138

    So Roger, the saying "the cream always rises to the top" has no merit?Anyone care to guess trugreen's turnover rate? I heard 40%. Ok, lets give them the benefit of maybe 20%. Even at this rate, everyone has either tried TG or they know someone who has. The only way that TG gets them back is if they buy a smaller local company, and then they get fired by at least 20% of those customers, again. Face facts, if TG was such a great company, not only would they have all of the customers, they probably would have been able to keep all of the now private applicators (that used to be TG employees) from becoming their competition. So yes, TG needs a great and very expensive marketing plan because the small companies that provide great service would put them out of business. Here is another classic example. Three years ago, the largest car company in the world almost went out of business. Did they advertise? Sure did, but they also improved their cars. If they hadn't, no amount of government money or advertising or marketing would have saved them from their complacent attitude.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    cdqat, ... In my area, franchised applicators, include TG, have probably 98% of the business. I know of two small applicators, one of them legit, the other probably not so. The first one offers primarily other services, such as aeration and stump grinding, but also does applications.

    Marketing is part of the equation, but also economy of scale. Effective work requires tanks for weed spraying. The investment of this part of the business makes little sense for small operators. Either somebody has made the substantial investment to have the right equipment, or they have not. Yes, buying a $400 push spreader is not much investment, but having a tank (with truck to carry), pumps, etc, is reaching further.

    In most cases of the large applicators, they also offer aeration. For one of my customers, they do it in early March, a time convenient for them, but way too early for being useful. The customer does not know, nor do they care -- just pay the bill. In other cases, the aeration is done in the Fall, very quick, once-over, badly done, but they get their coin for the poor job. The customer doesn't know, or care -- just crank, grind, and collect. They have successfully marketed aeration to go along with the applications, regardless of the quality of work. Despite my pleas the customer hire somebody to do a good job, nobody wants to listen.

    BTW, the TG applicator that covers our common properties (about 1/3 of my customers) has been with TG (or former names) for 28 years. He has been at task much longer than I have been working any of these properties.

    Using GM to prove a quality matters point is a failed strategy. Just think how well they would be doing if many of those bilked our of their money by the Feds would still be buying GM products.
  6. bmburns99

    bmburns99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I guess we can just agree to disagree. Like I said- franchises are good for some and don't work out for others. Marketing is something that I needed the most help with and that's where Weed Man has helped me most. Most get into franchises when they are either starting from scratch or have hit a ceiling with an existing company as far as growth goes and they need help breaking through to the next level of growth. In the end it all comes down to management and systems. I had the management experience but not much in the marketing end, so I chose Weed Man. Feel free to PM me and we can discuss my Weed Man experience further.
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,717

    I don't know much about Weedman. They are actually Weedwoman here(The man part of the equation left town after a nasty divorce and she isn't actually in my market).

    From what I've read, everyone in Roger's market must go to McDonalds when they want a "GREAT" burger, because some 30 second ad told them that was where it was. I've got news for you Roger. 99% of the advertising that shows up in my mailbox goes to "File 13" before I ever give it a second glance and I've got a feeling I'm not alone on that one.

    I once had a chance to buy into Turf Doctor but decided not to because at the time, the franchisee who was selling only had about 100 more customers than I did, he had actually been in business 2 yrs less than me so the marketing help they provided him was a factor. However, he worked hard and did a great job. That was also a major contributing factor. I passed on it even though it would have over doubled my customer count. I would have begun paying Franchise fees on customers I had gotten on my own. I wasn't willing to do that. Nobody purchased him, he let his business go and I and others in the area eventually acquired his customers.

    I do nothing but fertilization/weed control and now have 2 employees plus myself and 3 trucks on the road every day. We have a 97% retention rate from year to year. I never did traditional advertising other than a nice yellow pages ad that I no longer have. I built my business on referrals for the most part and it has snowballed every year. I used MY NAME to build the business and am now close to getting an unlisted # for my home because not only does my business phone(cell phone) constantly ring. People have begun calling my home phone after they find my name in the white pages.:)

    "Mom & Pop" operations ARE the backbone of this nations economy whether some of you want to believe it or not. You CAN do it on your own. It won't happen overnight but I don't think I would have wanted it to anyway.
    I didn't have a big company name with brand recognition but I also didn't have some corporation with their hand in my pocket... It can be done any way you want to do it but failure only happens when you don't have the will to succeed no matter which route you choose...

    Do your homework thoroughly before agreeing to anything with anyone. That's the best advice I can give
  8. anolog139

    anolog139 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    My business mentor is the sub franchisor for weedman for I believe 7-8 states. He himself owns a large territory. My best friend owns a weedman franchise in Chattanooga TN. His company is doing awesome and he loves it. The support he gets in awesome and like people have said, it eliminates all the pot holes you would hit as a private business owner. His business this year has grown 250%...
  9. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Raleigh
    Messages: 595

    The American Dream personified. Well done. Way to work hard and succeed.

    Amen. You, sir, exemplify what is great about this country.

    Thank you.
  10. GaryBK

    GaryBK LawnSite Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 274

    Hi guys. BmBurns said that the Weed man take is 4-5%. Why are some of you exaggerating that point? I think that is reasonable for the support they give you. He doesn't have to learn everything from the school of hard knocks and that has great value.

    I take credit cards and a huge percentage of my customers pay by credit cards. I pay out about 2.5 percent of my gross including on the sales tax for the ability to use credit cards. But I am happy to do so because I find it easier to get customers when they pay by plastic. They put a credit card on file and I bill after I do the work. My receivables are way down and my growth is way up. I find it well worth what I pay to visa and Mastercard. If Weidman gives BmBurns the ability to grow faster and make more money giving away 4-5 percent than that is an investment in his business that has a good return on investment. I think it is a wise business decision for him.

    BTW BmBurns, I'm assuming that percentage is of the gross and not the net right? Also you said you were at 1700 customers correct? How many trucks do you need for that? And at how many customers did you need to get with the franchise fee for you to take a decent wage from your company?

    Ted, congratulations on building up your company on your own too!!! Word of mouth growth means you are doing things right! How many customers do you need to have to support 3 trucks?

    Thanks guys, I hope you are all having a great season. For me I can't wait for the snow to fly here as I'm looking forward to a nice break. ;-)
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