For more than 30 years Wayne Cordova worked in the financial industry. Making a daily hour and a half commute from central New Jersey to Wall Street, he worked his way up the corporate ladder, to what he thought would be job security. However, this would not be the case, as his company recently made the decision to relocate out of state, eliminating his New York based position.
“It didn’t make sense for me to move with the company and take a pay cut. Looking at my options in the industry, the level of opportunity just wasn’t there. I wasn’t interested in working my way back up again. The banking industry has changed a lot and I felt like this was a good time to try something new,” says Cordova.
Rewriting the Story
That something new for Cordova was business ownership. He says, “Entrepreneurship is not something that runs in either side of our family. I had always been taught to go to school, work hard and move your way up the ladder. This was a chance for me to rewrite our family story and create a future, rather than just following along a preordained path. I wanted to build a legacy to pass on to the next generation.”
With three college aged kids, financial stability was a priority. Cordova says, “My wife and I felt like franchising was the way to go. With the backing of an established brand, there would be less of a learning curve. Having support systems was important to us.”
When they began their search, the Cordovas were open to any type of business. They looked at a variety of business models, including a men’s clothing store, car care, even geese management. An online search of businesses eventually led them to landscaping.
The U.S. Lawns Opportunity
Cordova says, “We compared the U.S. Lawns business model with another landscaping company. Ultimately, U.S. Lawns came out on top in our minds. In addition to a proven track record, we felt we would be more successful focusing on commercial clients which was something U.S. Lawns emphasized heavily.”
He continues, “The more we got to know about the brand and the way they do business, the more comfortable we felt. We had access to the franchisees and were able to ask questions about the pros and cons of the business model and brand. We really appreciated that level of transparency.”
Combined with his wife Joanne’s experience with a property management company, Cordova felt his experience in the business world would be an asset to their role as a U.S. Lawns owners. “Business is about building relationships and adding value. Having worked in risk management and compliance auditing, I can identify what a business’ key risks and concerns are and be an extra set of eyes and ears for them,” explains Cordova.
Taking the Leap
In December of 2018, the couple made the decision to become U.S. Lawns franchisees and immediately became part of a dynamic team. “The U.S. Lawns franchisees have been so welcoming and encouraging. It is great to be part of a network that is so eager to help each other and share ideas,” says Cordova.
Now in the process of establishing his business, Cordova says the overall support has been comprehensive. He explains, “The business sales team has helped me learn how to execute the framework. There are resources for everything, from how to market my business, to documentation, to truck branding. It has been incredibly helpful.”
He adds, “I recently made my first sale and right away I received calls from the office telling me congratulations and celebrating along with me. This is indicative of why we made the decision to become part of U.S. Lawns, because of the team culture and support.” Cordova concludes, “There is lots of work to be done, but we are confident the support and plans are there, we just need to execute them. Its actually happening, and it is very exciting”
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