For John Steeves, Franchisee Success is About Quality of Life
May 23, 2019
Every morning, to close their leadership meeting the U.S. Lawns leadership team calls out the Home Office brand vision in unison, “100 percent franchisee satisfaction!” For John Steeves, U.S. Lawns’ Senior Franchise Advisor, this mantra is at the heart of his people first approach to helping individuals achieve freedom and financial independence with the brand.
Steeves, who leads the brand’s development team and is responsible for executing a support system that is highly individualized and customized, understands that this commitment requires something beyond a one-size fits all approach. “Our support is constantly evolving to stay ahead of industry trends and to better fit our franchisees’ needs. No matter whether someone has zero industry experience or have been in the industry for years, we formulate an actionable plan to get them headed toward their business and personal goals.”
“Success is not just making money, it’s about happiness and quality of life,” says Steeves. “It is important to understand the ‘why’ behind each franchisee’s decision to invest. For us, this starts right from the beginning during the franchisee recruiting process.”
Laying a Foundation for Success
David Wells, Senior Director of Franchise Recruiting, says, “For U.S. Lawns, the franchisee recruiting process is relational rather than transactional. If we are successful in the recruiting process, we are beginning a relationship with this franchisee that will last at least ten years. The business model must be a good fit for the individual, and the individual a good fit for the business model. We are looking for alignment because it is the foundation of franchisee success. One tool we use to determine this is the Culture Index, a personality inventory.”
Steeves adds, “Beyond the recruiting process, the Culture Index helps the support team better understand the individual franchisee and tailor support specifically to them. We look closely at their strengths and how we can play to those and where there are opportunities for growth to find ways to best support them with that. This is very much the U.S. Lawns culture.”
The U.S. Lawns Development Team
The development team, comprised of highly trained and experienced experts, is dedicated to living the culture and delivering on the brand’s promise of helping franchisees be successful. “The support we offer is multi-layered and comprehensive. The development team, which offers intensive support from day one until about 18 months in, is a group of individuals dedicated to helping new franchisees get off to a great start. New Franchise Training is led by Dave Reist and starts in the Home office with a 40-hour week-long deep dive into how the system works,” says Steeves.
“Paul Wania is our Sales Coach. He visits new franchisees in their market and gets hands on in helping them learn how to sell and propose work. Our Field Support Specialists, Jay Todd and Steve Gold, help with service execution, job sequencing and how to operate with optimal efficiency. Carol Beeler, our Marketing and Communications Manager, helps franchisees build their newsletters and all of their personalized communication and messaging.”
But support does not stop there Steeves adds, “Other ways we strive to offer tailored support are through our Advisory Council and mentor system. With our newly formalized mentor system, each new franchisee is assigned a mentor. Mentors are chosen based on several things, such as personality fit, background, success to model and geography.”
He continues, “Over the years, I have come to see that success comes down to the franchisee’s ability to trust and follow the proven system. This has a lot to do with their willingness to listen to advice and to adapt the tools provided to them. Sometimes this is about breaking old habits and helping them understand the business model, all its working parts, and how it all fits together.”
No Franchisee Left Behind
Steeves sums it up this way, “I have never been a part of a more caring and forward moving group. No franchisee is left behind. 100 percent franchisee satisfaction is much more than just a goal, it is one of the main drivers of the U.S. Lawns’ culture, all the way from the senior leadership down to each and every member of the support team.”
To learn more about how U.S. Lawns is helping individuals build a business that improves their communities and their lives through independence and financial freedom, click here.