By using technology to streamline processes and taking much of the admin in-house, Green Man Lawn Care has made running a franchise as easy as can be
According to recent research by the Aldermore Group, one in seven British workers aspire to set up their own business. As you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one of them.
But starting and running your own business is undoubtedly hard. Firstly, you may need to learn a whole new trade. Not only that, but for you to successfully grow your business, you’ll need to know what marketing methods work best within that specific industry - it can take a whole lot of trial and error to get this right.
If your business does well, the competition will be hot on your heels. To stay ahead you’ll need to ensure you can offer a consistently high level of customer service.
Having a human to answer the phone from day one will be critical in developing and maintaining strong relationships with your customers. Whilst offering the option to pay by either credit or debit card, or even Direct Debit, will keep the tricky job of credit control to a minimum. Even the thought of these obstacles can be enough to put many people off from fulfilling their ambition.
Luckily there is an easier way; buying a quality franchise offers you the opportunity to buy into a proven method and be trained in all aspects of running such a business by an experienced franchisor, giving you that extra helping hand when starting your business.
Most people who start a business from scratch make a whole barrel of mistakes before hitting upon a formula that works. When you buy a franchise, your franchisor has gone through this process already, meaning you can hit the ground running when you start. But is that enough?
Running a business is made even easier by Green Man Lawn Care, which has taken the old fashioned franchise model and given it a technology fuelled upgrade. The upshot of this is that its franchisees see a fruitful return on their investment much sooner and that customers receive a better, more effective lawn care service.
So how does it work? Director Howard Abramson explains: “The aim of our service is to help keep our customers’ lawns looking lush and green whilst weed, moss and pest free.
“Green Man Lawn Care’s franchisees carry out five seasonal treatments throughout the year at each customer’s property. They also carry out additional lawn treatments and services when required, and offer advice and tips on how their customers can get the most benefit from their lawn care service.
“This effective business model creates a high rate of customer retention and a great profit margin.”
So far so good, but the big difference between your average franchise and Green Man Lawn Care lies in the support offered.
Director Tom Le Friant says: “Many franchisors expect you to do everything from day one - scheduling and rescheduling, credit control, dealing with customer queries, payment handling, setting up your individual debit and credit card processing facilities, and everything else that goes along with running your own business.
“For a business novice, this to-do list can reach epic proportions and give you a headache to match. Meanwhile, customers expect to experience the same level of customer service as you would find in an established business. They don’t want to get through to answering machines or wait days for their queries to be returned.”
The team at Green Man Lawn Care have recognised that when expectations are this high, the pressure can mount and have implemented a system to make things easy for their franchisees from the very first day.
Their branch support team handle all the administrative tasks on behalf of their franchisees, which allows them to concentrate on growing their customer base and servicing their customers, comfortable in the knowledge their customer queries are being handled by an experienced support team.
On top of this, they handle the tasks that slow most other franchisees down - scheduling and rescheduling, taking payments, credit control and much more. They will even follow up on any quotes that have been carried out or any recommended treatments their franchisees have made.
Bespoke mobile app
Green Man Lawn Care franchisees manage their business using a bespoke mobile app. The app offers a range of different features, including business data, daily and future schedules and customer data.
“When you’re new to an industry, we know how daunting it can be to turn up to a potential customer’s property and try and sell them a service you’re new to selling,” Howard says.
“On our first visit to a potential customer’s property, our franchisees carry out a ‘lawn analysis’. This analysis provides the customer with information relating to the problems their lawn is suffering from and gives our franchisees the opportunity to explain the solutions we have on offer to remedy these lawn problems.
“The lawn analysis module of the app carries the franchisee through each area of the lawn and the associated problems and creates a solution in the form of a lawn treatment plan based on their findings.”
Tom adds: “This not only gives the franchisee the immediate confidence they need at the start of their franchise, but it also gives the customer the confidence to go ahead with our service over our competition.
“Our franchise model has proven to be successful in many ways - our franchisees aren’t tied to a desk in the evening, which gives them more time with their family, and their growth has been phenomenal.
“One of our newest franchisees turned over £8,420 in month 13 of their franchise agreement and continues to exceed their initial growth forecasts.”
Finally, although Green Man Lawn Care offers more support than you’d find in your typical franchise, its fees have not been hiked up to match. In fact, the management service fee (MSF) is a fixed 10 per cent of franchisees’ monthly income, which is more or less in line with other franchisors.
“Our experience of the industry and the technology we’ve implemented has been the key to keeping our MSF in line with other franchisors,” Howard says.