Lawn care as a service has been thriving over the years, and demand has only picked up as people are reinvesting in their backyards and spending more time at home. Even in times of economic downturn, the lawn care segment does well.
“We are a low-ticket item that helps homeowners protect their biggest asset,” says Jennifer Lemcke, LIC, CEO of Weed Man USA. “Mainly people cut other big-ticket things out of the budget but not lawn care.”
James Young, COO of Spring-Green Lawn Care, says there’s still the keeping up with the Joneses mindset where you may not have to have the best-looking yard, but you definitely don’t want to have the worst looking one either.
Lawn care is particularly lucrative thanks to the ability to build route density and cross-sell for multiple services.
“The average revenue per stop and our ability to build tighter density, I think that’s why it becomes lucrative,” Young says. “The margins have always been good it’s just if you can create that efficiency in that density and do multiple services at the same time.”
With the demand for lawn care growing, this is a prime service you can add to diversify your business. Diversifying your services can help if growth has stagnated, if your profit margins are too low, or if you’re struggling to find a long-term growth strategy.
Young says when commercial lawn maintenance owners diversify their services, they can build confidence in how they bid out their other jobs. Having other revenue sources can allow them to be more selective on the commercial jobs they want and partner with more profitable clients.
If you’ve built a successful company, you might be looking at the resale value of your business or passing it on to a child or successor.
“They’ve achieved a level of success and now they start to think, ‘How do I build wealth? And how do I leverage the asset that I’ve built into building wealth?’” Young says.
Adding a service like lawn care provides reoccurring revenue that is transferrable.
“At Weed Man, we renew on average 75 percent of full program customers, so each year we focus on growth, we don’t start the year with 0 customers, and in fact, the top 25 percent of our franchisees are renewing closer to 85 percent,” Lemcke says. “We are laser-focused on the franchisees’ growth and creating efficiencies with our process and procedures allowing for franchisees to enjoy high-profit margins and build wealth in their business.”
Benefits of Franchising vs. Starting from Scratch
When you’ve built your business from the ground up, you might not see the point in working with a franchise as you know how to add a service.
“Some owners ask, ‘Why would I want a franchise when I’ve already done it myself?’” Young says. “I could get into fertilization and weed control business. But can you scale it? Can you build that annuity, and do you want to reinvent the wheel?”
Young says he doesn’t doubt that any of these owners could operate their own lawn care business. The real question is can they build a scalable business with repeatable processes?
“It would be foolish for me to argue that somebody couldn’t do this on their own,” Young says. “My only statement would be, how long will it take and how big can you get it. The reality is, as we get bigger, those systems become more and more important.”
By opting to go the franchise route, it serves as a runway that allows owners to take off a lot quicker.
“There are many people in our industry that are successful and have done it without a franchise system, but oftentimes it takes them a long time to benefit from what they have had to create from scratch,” Lemcke says. “A franchise system should provide the blueprint to being successful, of course, the hard work still needs to be put into executing but at least you wake up and know what needs to be done.”