Like many in the industry, the company Chorbie’s origins began with a man, a truck and a mower.
Since starting in June 2019 Chorbie, based in McKinney, Texas, has grown to reach $6.2 million in revenue. The business was founded out of what was previously Weed Xtinguishers and Emerald Lawn Care, which began in 2006.
“Our vision of a world-class home services company was somewhat limited by the specific nature of the Weed Xtingishers and Emerald branding, Chorbie was born out of a desire to communicate our vision of a one-stop-shop for many residential home services,” says E.J. McCoy, CEO of White Picket Team Management, the parent company of Chorbie.
McCoy says Chorbie was founded on the idea that one company through franchising is capable of offering professional services in not just one skilled trade, but all the skilled trades that specialize in maintaining a property with excellence.
The company offers everything from landscaping and lawn care services to pest control and handyman services. Most of Chorbie’s clients choose to use their core services of mowing and maintenance, fertilization and weed control lawn program, and structural pest and termite program. They tend to add on additional services on an as-needed basis.
“For as long as I can remember if a service vehicle drove by me, it caught my eye,” says E.J. McCoy, CEO of White Picket Team Management, the parent company of Chorbie and Scoop Soldiers. “I love business and I love the service industry, no matter what the skill set or specialization. I have always had a passion for the skilled trades and service industry. It took the better part of a decade to figure out, but the key for me was understanding the importance of the team. Finding work will happen if you can build the team and building the team never ends, you are always working to make the team better.”
Chorbie goes about building this team with their Chorbie University. It uses a learning management system called Trainual that allow them to focus on customizing engaging training content based around the concept that “knowledge applied is power.”
“At face value, Chorbie University focused on that first element of the equation – knowledge,” McCoy says. “We are dedicated to providing relevant information on all things related to our organization that our team members can then turn around and use that to aid in executing our mission of conveniently adding comfort and value to our clients’ homes. These topics include who we are, what we offer, and most importantly – why we offer them.”
Employees learn everything about how Chorbie operates and it systematically breaks down everything relevant to their business model. It truly serves a university where team members can learn and expand their skill set in a number of areas, including advanced training modules to facilitate licensing and technical expertise.
“A fert tech with an interest in arboriculture will be able to reference these training modules, learn at their own pace, demonstrate proficiency and ultimately be qualified to take the related certification or licensing tests,” McCoy says. “We like a deep bench and believe that cross-training gives us people with a better understanding of the big picture and makes better team members.”
Chorbie doesn’t stop at just cross-training their employees. Both Chorbie University and their training and development managers focus on leadership development by recommending and providing audiobooks and professional development books free for all Chorbie employees. These books range on topics from emotional intelligence, leadership strategies to learning how to have a positive impact on the people within their sphere of influence.
“We pick a book every 3 months and will read and review as a group,” McCoy says. “We host structured book reviews and discussions, live webinars, and one-on-one coaching. We are also consistent about sending weekly emails to our team members, the subjects of which revolve around either leadership-specific topics or videos produced by our team that include ‘interview’ style podcasts that include several key members on our leadership teams.”
The podcast provides a way for the leadership team to provide their long-term vision and unique perspectives. McCoy says it is vital for all of their team members to have a voice to speak up and speak out as there is no position in the company that is considered unimportant.
McCoy says this passion for training and development has had a profound impact on their employee retention.
Chorbie currently serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area but is expecting to offer Chorbie Lawn Care franchise opportunities by the second half of 2022. By the end of 2023, they will launch Chorbie Tree & Shrub as well as Chorbie Pest and Termite franchise opportunities in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida before moving on to the rest of the U.S.
McCoy says he opted to grow the business with the franchise model because he believes providing ownership opportunities to each community will have the most positive impact as they scale. He says it will help them maintain a small business atmosphere.
Chorbie is wanting a healthy mix of talent from diverse backgrounds and McCoy says what matters the most is shared leadership values. They also want franchising to be an opportunity for current and previous team members.
“Over the next 7-12 years Chorbie will develop into a national field services/ skilled trades franchise organization with thousands of franchise units ranging across 20+ unique skilled trade franchise opportunities specializing in our mission, adding value and comfort to our clients’ properties,” McCoy says.