The landscape industry is populated with a high number of independent business owners. Attracted by a low barrier of entry, basically a lawn mower and some manpower are all that is needed, many of these business owners find that they eventually hit a revenue ceiling.
This is what happened to Jeremy Vincent in Boise, Idaho. For 10 years he owned an independent landscaping business, focusing primarily on high end residential and niche commercial clients. In 2008, as the economy took a downward turn Vincent found his business treading water.
“Each year it would take me until August to build back up the business I lost at the beginning of the year due to cancellations, “ says Vincent, “Also, my advertising dollars just weren’t getting any results, especially in the commercial space.”
This is when Vincent decided that teaming up with a franchise would help him take his business to the next level. “I realized I needed help to get where I wanted to go.”
Vincent’s story is becoming more common in the landscape industry. Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine, an industry publication for landscape, irrigation and maintenance contractors, recently highlighted this trend. Vincent, along with two other business owners, are featured in the September edition of the magazine, discussing their reasons for teaming up with a franchise and what that did for the growth of their businesses.
Franchising offers more security and predictability than independent business models. They also have a greater growth potential. Franchisees are able to leverage the power of a large brand, its resources, support and access to new markets for greater success.
For Vincent, it was just a matter of finding the right franchise, saying, “I wanted to make sure my return on investment would be good. I didn’t want to just pay a company royalty, just to have them just cash my checks. I needed to be sure of the level of support they would offer. I needed a partner.” After vetting several franchises, Vincent felt confident that U.S. Lawns provided what he was looking for. In 2014 he converted his business to U.S. Lawns and has since expanded into two additional territories.
Having already had experience in the industry, Vincent found that his biggest hurdle was getting out of his own way. “I found myself trying to adapt the systems to me rather than just trusting the system.” Once he stopped working against the system and began working alongside something incredible happened. “I went on to experience about 100% growth on average for three years in a row!”
In addition to helping him grow his business and maximize his revenue potential, Vincent gained the power of the U.S. Lawns network. He has been able to tap into the resources of a larger group of franchisees to help him navigate operating an essential business during the pandemic, sharing best practices and materials to help them connect with their customers and communities.
By joining U.S. Lawns, Vincent found the partner in business he was looking for. “We’re a team. They’re motivated to help you be better and more successful,” he explains.
For Vincent, franchising provided the framework for to achieve his business goals saying, “For anybody opening up a business, franchising is going to help create the biggest return on investment in the long run, especially if you’re not familiar with the industry.”
Read the full article here.
Modrn Businss is a highly rated podcast which explores and discusses business technology and lessons from leaders in franchising. The podcast’s most recent series “Emerging and Essential Businesses” has been highlighting franchises that have been deemed essential services in the pandemic and exploring how they have adapted. U.S. Lawns was invited to participate in the series to represent how the essential brand is handling COVID.
Listen as host Zack Fishman interviews U.S. Lawns’ President, Ken Hutcheson on how the brand is thriving as it has adapted its business operations to better serve its franchisees and how they are “staying close” to their clients and employees.
In times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to become the optimistic leader your team needs. Optimistic leaders are best when they are able to balance positivity while remaining grounded in reality.
As the Covid-19 pandemic impacts small businesses across the globe, those able to remain focused on their vision will prevail and embrace the strongest bounce backs. As difficult as it may be, optimism is an intelligent approach to reframing how you think about business.
Optimistic leaders with a solution-based approach motivate teams, promote creativity and innovative thinking, and show confidence in the future despite setbacks.
In these uncertain times, as we all work together to abate the spread of COVID-19, U.S. Lawns is continuing to support our franchise network and our clients while keeping the health and safety of our teams, their families and their communities as a top priority.
U.S. Lawns franchisees are still hard at work improving communities in ways everyone can see, and the Home Office is here to help.
In accordance with guidelines set forth by government and health officials, we have implemented extra preventative measures for the health and well-being of our Home Office team, our franchisees, their team members and the communities they serve. These are in addition to our standard safety protocols and best practices. These extra measures include:
We have encouraged our franchisees to communicate proactively with their employees and customers and seek win-win solutions to the very real problems they are facing.
As the situation is still evolving, we will continue to closely monitor and respond accordingly as to how to best serve our network.
In the meantime, we understand this pandemic has affected many, especially business owners, and we want to provide some resources to help decipher and add clarity as to what the franchise community as a whole is doing to help.
One such resource is the International Franchise Association (IFA). Since 1960, the IFA has been a leading source of information, resources and advocacy for the franchise community. The IFA has set up a comprehensive COVID-19 resource page for franchisees that can be found at https://www.franchise.org/coronavirus. There you will find advocacy resources such as ways to send a letter to government leaders and request relief. You can also listen in on their Daily Government Activity call; hear their discussions with Congress, Administration and elected officials responsible for providing relief to small business owners; receive real-time daily updates; and ask questions. There are ways to sign up for an ongoing webinar series that provides an overview of the current legislation situation and ways you can enact positive change in the franchise community on a personal level. Finally, there are links to other COVID-19 related resources.
As U.S. Lawns continues to go above and beyond to improve communities and lives, we want to remind everyone to take care of one another. We will continue to take care of our franchisees and clients. Stay safe and healthy.
Our own president, Ken Hutcheson, was recently asked by Inc. Magazine to share his number one tip for keeping employees happy and motivated. See what Ken, and other business leaders, had to say about the topic by viewing the article at Inc.com.
Franchise Business Review (FBR) recently released their 15th Annual Top 200 Franchises for 2020 and U.S. Lawns, the nation’s premier commercial lawncare franchise, has once again made the list. In addition to being named one of the best franchise opportunities available today, U.S. Lawns also received the distinct honor of being inducted into the industry leading market research firm’s Hall of Fame.
FBR’s mission is to help entrepreneurs identify the top franchise opportunities for their investment dollars. To compile its annual ranking, FBR analyzes data from the preceding 18 months and rates franchisees’ overall satisfaction with their decision to invest in the franchise and their likelihood to recommend it to others. Using 33 benchmarking questions, franchises who make the list are highly rated in areas such as training and support, leadership, core values, general satisfaction, financial opportunities and community.
To be included in FBR’s Hall of Fame, franchises must have been on the Top 200 franchise list ten separate years. FBR states, “Hall of Fame franchises have demonstrated a proven track record of success and a corporate team committed to franchisee success and satisfaction. This honor is reserved for franchises that have shown long-term dedication to listening and doing right by their franchises.”
For U.S. Lawns, being an FBR Top 200 Franchise Hall of Fame franchise is very important. David Wells, senior director of franchise recruiting with the brand says, “This list is very significant to us because it is based on actual U.S. Lawns franchisee feedback. Our primary goal is 100 percent franchisee satisfaction. We promise to work hard and go above and beyond to help our franchisees create a thriving business. Being chosen for this honor means we are making good on that commitment.”
Ken Hutcheson, president of U.S. Lawns adds, “We have a hard-working team that takes a lot of time and care to make sure our franchisees are as successful as they want to be.”
To hear more about what U.S. Lawns franchisees have to say, click here.
As teenagers working on a dairy farm in Beaver Creek, Virginia, high school friends Tim Harrell and Chris Seaborne had no idea what the future held for them. After high school Harrell and Seaborne went their separate ways. Harrell worked for a lift company and Seaborne did arbor work. Both mowed lawns on the side. After grinding away for a few years, they both wanted more. They decided that if they wanted to get ahead, they should team up and buy a U.S. Lawns franchise.
Over the next two decades the pair followed the U.S. Lawns system and built an extremely sustainable and profitable commercial landscape business. “We didn’t really have a growth plan, but U.S. Lawns showed us where to put our resources and focus to take our business to the next level,” says Seaborne.
“We started out in our first territory, we had one truck, a small trailer, one commercial mower and some landscaping tools. Today we have two territories, a dozen trucks, commercial mowers and up to 40 employees during our peak season. We service 150 commercial clients and are enjoying year over year revenue growth.”
Over the years, Harrell and Seaborne have demonstrated themselves as leaders and an inspiration to other U.S. Lawn franchisees. In 2016, they were inducted in the Hall of Fame for their contributions to the brand.
As their business has grown, Harrell and Seaborne’s business eventually outgrew their rented office, work and storage space. Recently, the pair decided it was time to build home base for their business.
Coming full circle, the franchisee team purchased land in the same area where they worked on the dairy farm as teenagers to build an expansive 9,000 square foot building to accommodate their growing landscape maintenance business.
By becoming U.S. Lawns franchisees, Harrell and Seaborne had a roadmap for building a sustainable business, one that would grow beyond what they envisioned when they first started out. By following the system, even though they did not start out with a plan, today they have a business that continues to grow and has created personal wealth and freedom in their lives.
Modrn Businss Podcast is a highly rated podcast that explores and discusses business technology and lessons from leaders in franchising. This summer, hosts Ryan Hicks and co-host Zack Fishman took their show on the road, making stops and interviewing some of franchise’s heavy hitters. U.S. Lawns was honored to be one of those stops.
Listen as U.S. Lawns’ vice president Brandon Moxan and senior director of franchise development David Wells talk with Modrn Businss hosts Ryan Hicks and Zack Fishman. The group discusses everything from best practices in franchise development to the future of technology in the commercial landscaping business.
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