After 40 years in snow removal and residential landscaping, Tom and Rose Curdes reached a point where their growth had become stagnant. Even with a solid base of loyal clients, any efforts to grow their business were met with disappointing results. Rose recalls, “Our business was floundering, and we didn’t know where to go with it. We even considered folding or selling it.”
What the Curdes really wanted to do was take their business to the next level and build a family legacy they could pass down to their son Jon. “We needed help to get us into growth mode so that we could set Jon up for his future,” says Tom.
The Curdeses began to look towards franchising as a solution. Tom says, “We had been doing it on our own for so long. Having that national logo and support from a brand and a network of franchisees was really appealing.”
U.S. Lawns immediately caught their attention. “The support and franchise development team really stood out above the rest. And with U.S. Lawns’ time-tested systems being simple to teach, it would make it an easy transition for John to step into,” says Tom.
In 2017, the Curdes converted their landscape business over to U.S. Lawns, and gained the resources and support of the industry’s leading brand; a brand committed to 100% franchise satisfaction. The first thing they did was begin to phase out their residential clients, “They just are not profitable. We realized there was greater potential with commercial contracts.”
Implementing U.S. Lawns’ proven systems and processes, the Curdeses started to find new ways to grow their once struggling business. Tom recalls, “Even after decades in this business, I found new ideas to improve my business, from jobs to in the office. U.S. Lawn’s revolutionary bidding system eliminates guesstimating. I am now able to be paid fairly for my time and labor while staying competitive. Not to mention the brand’s purchasing power which provides substantial discounts on equipment that used to majorly drain our profits. We’d been looking for years for systems to run our business on. We felt it was important to track our budget and do proper business planning and strategy. U.S. Lawns gave us the tools to locate commercial clients and processes to serve them in a sustainable manner.”
The Curdeses also benefited from a U.S. Lawns dedicated business coach, “John Steeves worked with us one-on-one to help with the conversion. With his help, we have increased our efficiency and achieved more growth than we ever thought possible.”
They also have found they now have a larger pool of highly qualified employees who are drawn to working for a large company. “We are able to offer more opportunities because we are part of a national brand. Recently we had a great employee move, and he was able to find a position with the brand in his new state.”
Tom has found another benefit to being part of an industry leading brand, “Because of U.S. Lawns’ influence in the industry, I feel I now have a voice as well. I recently sat on panel discussions with a major landscape equipment producer about the development of new technology.”
Converting their business to U.S. Lawns turned out to a winning move according to Tom, “This has been a fantastic experience for us, from the initial franchisee training all the way to the support we receive today. U.S. Lawns came in and showed us their systems and how to implement them. They showed us how to get into doors we never could before. Our growth is up 70 percent from last year!”
Rose agrees, “The support and marketing from U.S. Lawns has been phenomenal. It has helped get our business back on track. We are now centered and focused. And we have a strong and thriving family legacy to pass on to our son.”