Do you think you have a great business model? Is your model a lot better than others. Do you feel you need more money and resources in order to grow? If so maybe you have considered franchising your lawn care business. But before you go out and start trying to sign people up, you better really think about a bunch of issues.
One member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wrote “my biggest problem now is trying to get the money to get big. It’s a double edged sword though. You need to make money to get big, yet in order to be big, you have to have money.
I really want to get huge here in the next 2 to 3 years. The biggest problem I am facing though is personal and business debt. I would love it if in 3 to 5 years I was just in the office all day long. And 5+ years I would love it if I just had to come into work maybe 2 to 3 days a week.”
Another shared his ideas for growth “I want to franchise. Why? Before I can answer this, I must tell you the mission statement of my business: To provide reliable, affordable, professional lawn care solutions to customers.
I’m new to the lawn care business. I am a detailed person who is passionate about what I do. It boils down to wanting to be the best at what I do and doing whatever it takes to get there.
My goals with my new lawn care business is to provide top notch service to my surrounding area. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few companies in my area already doing this, however, after speaking with many homeowners, these big companies lack an agro-nomically educated individual calling the shots and knowing what’s best for a given grass.
Reliable service is a huge factor in this business. Do you care enough about your customers property to make it shine? Will you mow it twice in one week if you have to? Can you keep and maintain a sound maintainence schedule? Do you present a professional image in all aspects of what your doing? Do you respect the money of your customers? I do, I can, and I will! This ties it together prestty well. Many companies offer a lot of services but preform them in blue jeans and tank tops, NOT ME. Many people can’t confidently answer routine “grass related” questions, I do and can. If someone were to do work in or around my home, I would much rather a clean, professional looking individual versus a “grimmy” looking one. All of my customers love the fact that I am reliable, knowledgable, honest, and professional.
Ok, so it seems like people really like what I have to offer, why re-invent the wheel? This is what people need, and this is what people want. Everyone needs a reliable, knowledgeable, honest and professional lawn care provider. More importantly, everyone wants their property to stand out. It’s a winning combination.
I think I answered why I want to franchise and how I will seperate myself from the pack. If I didn’t, let me know.”
As you can tell these business owners have a lot of energy and are ready to take on the world however before you get ahead of yourself I want to share with you some insights another member wrote. He said “franchising is an excellent idea, especially if you are interested in spending more time on the business side of things rather than in the field. However, the task should not be taken lightly.
I am not an experienced franchiser however it is an option that I have investigated quite thoroughly.
The first thing I would say is that you must have your own operation streamlined and profitable. If you struggle with cash flow problems, debt or fail to plan properly, then these things need to be resolved before franchising or expanding or you are simply growing the problem. If you find it very difficult to produce quality work with hired help this should be a red flag to you as well.
Whether you franchise or just expand, you have to have documented systems in place for everything. Morning procedures, after work procedures, job site procedures, year-end procedures and so on. This must all be in place and running smoothly before making any other steps towards franchising. As author Michael Gerber says ‘People don’t run businesses, systems run businesses and people run the systems’.
So when I mentioned that employees not producing the same top quality work as you is a red flag, it’s because you don’t have systems in place. The new employee should know how to produce exactly the same as you because it’s part of your written system. They are trained exactly how to do the job. Without this kind of meticulous training how will franchisees know how to produce the same outstanding results as the parent company?
Keep all this in mind when considering this option and remember, it’s all about reproducible systems.”