Making it Easy
Green Man Lawn Care’s franchise package makes running your own business a walk in the park
It’s Monday morning and Glenn McCullough is getting into his Green Man Lawn Care van, ready to start his working day. First, he’s off to see a potential new customer in a Bromley suburb to carry out a quote, followed by ten lawn treatments at existing customers’ properties. At around 3pm, he spends a couple of hours leafletting the local area before making his way home to relax for the evening.
In fact, his day is very much the same as that of most employed lawn care technicians. Except Glen isn’t just an employee. He’s the owner of a Green Man Lawn Care franchise, and instead of working hard for someone else’s gain, Glen runs his own business and gets to keep the profits for himself, and crucially, decide how he spends his time.
Whilst he’s out treating lawns and serving his customers, Green Man Lawn Care’s Franchise Support Team are busy answering calls, following up quotes and recommendations and carrying out many of the other back-office tasks that a franchise owner would normally be expected to do. “Basically, we take care of all the boring fiddly bits,” Franchise Support Manager, Kate Warren tells us. “Just some of the many examples include handling customer queries, taking care of the scheduling, setting up direct debits and the dreaded credit control – something which, in a small business, can too often spiral out of control.”
On top of in-house support, Green Man Lawn Care offers access to TOMS, a bespoke online management system which allows franchisees to access their customers’ information and schedule from any computer, smart phone, or in-van tablet. The team is always working on innovative new technology to make franchisees’ working days easier and more efficient. For example, the TOMS route optimiser will automatically order the daily work schedule so that the franchisee is travelling the shortest possible distance between customers, allowing them to treat more lawns per day, and thus make more money. Additionally, there’s an easy-to-use quoting system which goes through a series of questions enabling the franchisee to offer a comprehensive lawn analysis and assortment of different payment plans.
This new approach to running a franchise is the brainchild of company directors Howard Abramson and Tom Le Friant. As an ex-franchisee of a national lawn-care brand, Howard knows exactly how hard it is to juggle the demands of running a business whilst carrying out treatments and growing a customer base. Tom, meanwhile, has had first-hand experience of being an employee, and wanted to ensure that the issues he faced when working for a lawn care brand are not encountered by Green Man franchisees.
Their experience has led them to run Green Man Lawn Care with one principal aim – to make life easier for their franchisees. They have achieved this by taking on those tasks that new franchisees often find the most daunting and time-consuming. For example, having to return customer calls at the end of a hard day’s work.
“We make it easy,” says Howard, “We’ve removed most of the office jobs that a franchisee would normally have to do. This allows them to concentrate on what they do best – servicing their customers and growing their business.”
Whilst having your lawn professionally treated is commonplace in the USA, it’s still a comparatively new concept to a lot of homeowners in the UK. “The lawn care industry is unlike any other,” explains Howard. “It’s still in its embryonic stage over here, which means there is a lot of room for growth. Now is the perfect time to join us and capitalise on this emerging market.”
“It’s the attraction of working outdoors that entices many of our franchisees to make an initial enquiry, and the profit margins that really help them to make their mind up,” says Tom, who oversees training and supports new franchisees. “That certainly was the case for me. I enjoy the variety of the work and am seeing first-hand how profitable this growing industry is.”
The main service offered by Green Man Lawn Care is a weed and feed treatment which is carried out every 9 weeks. At every visit, franchisees re-asses the lawn’s needs and if required, offer additional treatments to help eradicate any weeds or pests needing special attention, and thus ensure every customer’s lawn looks its best.
To those new to the lawn care industry it often comes as a surprise to hear that work is carried out all year round. In fact, the profit margins are highest in the autumn and winter months, as this is when customers have some of the more expensive additional treatments, such as aeration and scarification.
“I’m always busy.” says Glenn, “A lawn’s needs change with the seasons, meaning there is always a problem to be treated. And when I’m not carrying out lawn treatments, I’m out leafletting. It’s a great way of raising awareness of my business. Often, I will be approached by a potential customer while leafletting and can quote them there and then. It’s so satisfying seeing my customer base increase every day.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Glenn’s working day looked completely different. Just this time last year, he was stuck behind the wheel of a black cab, ferrying passengers around London. His hours were long and unsociable, and he was missing out on time spent with his wife and two children. Stressed out, and feeling the ill effects of sitting all day, Glenn, together with his wife, decided that it was time to make a change. Not knowing a single thing about lawn care and nervous about jumping into a new career, they approached Green Man Lawn Care about running a franchise.
“I’m so glad that I made the decision to start afresh,” he tells us. “I joined less than a year ago, and have already turned over £38,000. That’s a fantastic amount for a first year and I am looking forward to seeing this figure grow year-on-year.
“Yes, I had a whole new trade to learn but the team taught me the fundamentals and then continued to come out with me to ensure I had the knowledge to deliver the service with confidence. Even now, if I get stuck with a problem I haven’t seen before, Head Office are on hand to help me straight away.”
For Glenn, being a Green Man Lawn Care franchisee is simple. He just focuses on carrying out treatments and leafletting in-between. The harder he works the more profit he makes, the higher his salary. He’s got the role of an employee with the benefits of owning his own business. Now how many lawn care technicians can say that?
Contact us today on 01206 598 030 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, or visit franchise.greenmanlawncare.co.uk.