Jason Cory, father of six, spent 25 years building several successful businesses in the software and technology services industries. “I like the process of starting and growing businesses,” he explains. After selling his most recent company, Jason started to look for his next challenge. He was growing tired of the pressures and time commitments required with tech start-ups and wanted to build something new. Something that would allow him to spend more time with his family.
Around the same time, his son, Colin (23), realized that he didn’t want to sit behind a desk and work in financing for the rest of his life and began working as a landscaper. Another son, Ryan (24), was just out of the Army and looking for his next step. Everything was coming into alignment for the three of them to look for something to do together. Since Colin was already working in landscaping, they began by assessing their options in the industry.
“Starting out, I didn’t know much about the landscaping business. My son knew more. But I did know a lot about service businesses. You are dealing with time, people, and logistics,” says Jason, “I knew with the right franchise opportunity, we would be able to leverage our knowledge with their support and systems to build a successful business, with lower risk.”
After looking at a few different brands, Jason and sons found U.S. Lawns stood out from the rest for several reasons. “In addition to a low barrier to entry and its year-round business model, I felt that U.S. Lawns demonstrates a singular dedication to knowing their market well and have the resources of a large brand behind it. I felt that I could be successful with them.”
Adding, “The core values of this company were a big factor in our choosing this brand. I have always taught my sons that in life and in business, who you associate with defines you. U.S. Lawns is a brand I am proud to associate with. Also, they appreciate veterans, which my sons and myself proudly are.”
Jason took time to validate with other U.S. Lawns owners to help him decide if it was a good fit for him. “In my conversations with owners, they all said they would do it again. I took this as an indicator that this was a good investment.”
In 2019 the Jason and Colin became U.S. Lawns owners, servicing the beach areas of Jacksonville, Florida. They have been quickly growing ever since. “The U.S. Lawns name and the support of our neighbors has definitely helped us secure contracts. The growth we have experienced has been because of U.S. Lawns, be it referrals or getting our foot in doors we would not have otherwise been able to alone,” says Jason.
In addition to the U.S. Lawns name, Jason has found other reasons to be happy with his choice. “Their national buying program, marketing program, complete with customized marketing campaigns, their support system and training have all been important to our success,” adding, “For what we pay and what they do for us, we receive a disproportionate value.”
Jason has found the network of other owners has been an incredible asset as well. “They are in the trenches with you. I can call on them for help or just to compare best practices. Recently I was looking to buy a certain truck, I was talking to another owner about it and they ended up helping me save a ton of money on that purchase.”
Despite the global pandemic and economic slump, Jason says his business has continued to grow through it all. “The pandemic has not slowed us down. And the response and quick action from U.S. Lawns was great. I was impressed with how well they were prepared to council us and answer our questions during these unprecedented times. They were quick to publish info and materials for our use. It really helped us serve our customers,” he says.
Jason goes on to say, “U.S. Lawns has provided a road map for us throughout this journey. When I try to do things my way instead of theirs, I just end up wasting money. I have been in business by myself for over 25 years and it can be a lonely existence. Having the support of a brand like U.S. Lawns makes for a better day. Their systems and ongoing support really help to flatten the learning curve. They truly want you to be successful.”
When asked if he had any advice for someone considering U.S. Lawns, Jason says,” Talk to owners and really understand what it takes to succeed in this business. Ask they how long it took them to get an income. And you have to be a growth minded individual with a mind for business. This business is highly scalable, but at the end of the day you have to take it there. You have to be able to get off the lawnmower to grow your business. And you have to be willing to follow the system. Watch your financial metrics and hire in advance. U.S. Lawns has a clear road map.”
Jason concludes with, “Owning a U.S. Lawns has a lot to do with sales and following up with customers. This is a service-based business, and it helps to approach it with a servant’s heart and to want to add value to your customers and employees. The relationships you build with them are very rewarding.”