No one had run a mile in less than four-minutes before Roger Bannister achieved the historic athletic feat in 1954. What once seemed like an impenetrable barrier before Bannister proved it could be done, now seemed within reach. As if a flood gate had been opened, four other runners followed suit within the following year. Today, more than 1,500 runners have eclipsed the mark.
In the same way the four-minute mile is a mark of distinction, the million-dollar annual revenue mark is that for a landscape business. It represents a turning point for a business. No longer just a trade or a craft, the business has reached a threshold of sustainability. Multiple crews and a management structure become necessary. This infrastructure creates balance and true personal wealth for the owner, giving them more freedom, flexibility and stability in their business and life.
The One-Percent Network
In an industry where less than one percent of registered businesses achieve this level of sustainability, the mark is elusive for most. However, in the U.S. Lawns network the average franchise that had been in business for at least five-years generated $962,599 in gross sales in 2019. (See Item 19 of the 2020 U.S. Lawns Franchise Disclosure Document).
How does the organization manage to outpace the industry? It starts with a dedication to 100 percent franchisee satisfaction and a support team that works with every one of their franchisees to maximize opportunities and drive the business forward. But beyond that, they have also tapped into the “power of the network” by instilling a culture of competitive comradery and putting several programs in place to foster franchisee to franchisee support within its network.
The Million Dollar Club
The Million Dollar Club is one such program. Each year members who generate a million dollars in revenue in a single territory are inducted into this club. Brandon Moxam, U.S. Lawns vice president says, “It is human nature to think something is impossible until it is done. Everyone thought the four-minute mile was impossible until Bannister showed the world it wasn’t. By creating that million-dollar target we want to encourage franchisees to say to themselves, and to their peers, ‘I can do that too.’”
Moxam continues, “It gives franchisees a target to aim for. Every year we induct the members into the club in front of their peers at the annual conference. In my conversations with new franchisees after the ceremony, they all say the bar has been set. It takes a dream and turns it into a goal that is measurable and time bound,” says Brandon.
An Exclusive Experience
In addition to recognition at the annual conference, Million Dollar Club inductees are invited to an exclusive retreat. “We really go for an experience, picking boutique hotels in fun locations. We create specific content with these high achievers in mind, such as leadership and financial education for accumulated wealth. It gives them an excuse to getaway, slow down and appreciate their success,” says Moxam.
He continues, “It’s also an opportunity to create memories and engage with other high achievers in the network. Like the old adage goes, you are most like the people you surround yourself with. By spending time with like-minded peers, sharing best practices and encouraging each other, we see this as a way to help them reach even greater heights professionally as well as personally.”
A Culture of Competitive Comradery
With their proven system and dedication to franchisee success, much like the floodgate opened after Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier, the brand began to see more and more of their owners generating over a million dollars annually. As the Million Dollar Club grew to an unprecedented size, U.S. Lawns created the Top 10, a subset group to recognize the highest performing individuals within the club. Moxam explains, “The Top 10 represents the elite of the elite. These members are invited to the retreat a day early. This gives them direct access to the leadership team, and their knowledge is leveraged to brainstorm ways for us to continually improve as a brand.”
This ranking system is not just an annual thing, standings are released monthly. Moxam says, “To achieve a goal, it needs to be measured, so we publish a list of the Top 100 monthly. The day we release the stats, our franchisees flood our intranet, rushing to check their position. We see franchisees competing to rise in the standings in a positive way. There is a lot of friendly banter taking place on the message boards. The competitive comradery is pushing them to take their business to the next level.”
Moxam concludes, “It is pretty hard to improve your community and your life without achieving your individual potential. Surrounding yourself with others who are doing it and seeing it firsthand is the best way to position yourself for growth. The growth we have seen in the Million Dollar Club proves this.”
For more information on how you can join the one-percent network, click here.