Many of today's successful entrepreneurs found new careers in new industries by becoming franchisees. In many instances, they've done so right here in the Green Industry. But beyond that scenario, many landscape contractors have found that signing on with a franchise has allowed them to efficiently grow and/or diversify their existing businesses.
Of course, becoming part of a franchise is not for everyone. There are also stories of landscape contractors who'd tried it, only to realize later that they'd rather just be on their own. That's up to the individual contractor to decide.
If you've ever thought about franchising, consider the below pros and cons, based largely on talking points found on the International Franchising Association's website. Then, see our listing of "Hot Green Industry Franchises" after that.
Owning a franchise allows you to go into business for yourself, but not by yourself. In other words, you maintain your independence (at least to a certain degree), but also have the marketing and administrative support of a franchise.
A franchise provides an established product or service which may already enjoy widespread name recognition. This gives the franchisee the benefits of a pre-sold customer base which would ordinarily takes years to establish.
A franchise can increase your chance of business success because you are associating with proven products and methods.
Franchises may offer consumers the attraction of a certain level of quality and consistency because it is mandated by the franchise agreement.
The franchisee is not completely independent. Franchisees are required to operate their businesses according to the procedures and restrictions set forth by the franchisor in the franchisee agreement. For example, a given franchise may cater to a specific type of clientele. If you want to pursue a different market segment in any significant way, this could pose a conflict. Additionally, the restrictions usually include the products or services which can be offered, pricing and geographic territory.
In addition to the initial franchise fee, franchisees must pay ongoing royalties and advertising fees. The bottom line is that becoming a franchisee is going to cost you money. You simply have to decide if that cost will be recouped by increased customers, sales, productivity, cost savings and profits.
A damaged brand image can result if other franchisees are performing poorly or the franchisor runs into problems. In other words, you might be a fabulous contractor with incredible attention to detail, discipline and service skills. But if your franchise gets a bad rep, you could pay the price.
The term (duration) of a franchise agreement is usually limited and the franchisee may have little or no say about the terms of a termination. So you also want to determine how much control you have over the agreement. If you want to expand, what are your chances? What if you want to cancel? And what if the franchise wants to cancel you? Understand going in how these scenarios might play out.
Check out some of these hot Green Industry franchises that might be able to help you grow your business.
Hot Green Industry Franchises
U.S. Lawns – Systems and infrastructure to build a commercial grounds care business
Lawn Doctor – Advanced technology in the lawn care industry
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives – Shed some lighting on a near $800 million industry
Weed Man – Regional sub-franchisors help provide unparalleled lawn care support
NaturaLawn of America – Environmentally responsible lawn care for 26 years
Mosquito Squad – Eliminate mosquitoes and ticks
Renew Crew – Cleaning and protecting exterior surfaces of all kinds
Archadeck – Capitalize on the outdoor-living movement