Husband-and-wife Lawn Doctor franchisees Tommy and Kimberly Campbell are no strangers to challenge. The two recently signed on with leading lawn care franchise Lawn Doctor before moving from Athens, Texas to their new home in Georgetown, Texas, taking on training and the launch of their business 10 miles away in Round Rock all in the midst of the move. For the Campbells, though, it’s all part of the journey.
“When we initially put a timeline on this adventure, we were thinking, ‘Ok, two years from now, we’ll navigate the waters of business ownership,” said Kimberly, a nurse by trade. “And after we put that two-year goal on it, everything happened in about six months.”
Tommy, a 30-year veteran of the construction industry, laughed.
“It really lined up, though. I always wanted to own my own business, and we both had family in central Texas—Kim is originally from Austin and I was born in Athens. We thought, ‘What better place to start a business and take on Act Two in our careers than somewhere close to our families?’” Tommy said. “When we learned Lawn Doctor had a territory here, it felt meant to be.”
With a plan in place, the Campbells launched their business on March 1 of this year. The pair, who met in 2011 and married in 2015, were already well into their respective careers before they began seriously considering a franchising opportunity in early 2018.
“I had a friend who reached out to me a little over a year ago and asked if there was anything I ever thought about doing differently,” said Tommy. “And I said, ‘Yes, I always wanted to own my own business.’ We started talking about business plans and worked through several iterations of franchise ideas. Then I was contacted by a franchise consultant on LinkedIn.”
The consultant worked with FranNet, a leading franchise consulting network committed to matching franchise candidates with optimal concepts. At the consultant’s urging, Tommy and Kimberly worked through a series of personality profiles and listed their business plans, quickly finding that they had complementary skill sets and were aligned on long-term goals. After determining that the Campbells were best-matched with a mobile franchise that would let them spend considerable time outdoors and serve their community, their consultant put them in touch with Lawn Doctor’s development team.
“We really connected with the culture and vision and liked the leadership at the corporate headquarters when we went in for Discovery Day,” said Kimberly. “We especially liked the way they had set up the program for entering franchisees—that had a lot to do with our decision to say yes.”
Indeed, Lawn Doctor is deeply committed to its franchisees’ success, providing a 10-day training program that covers all aspects of the business, from marketing to equipment maintenance, which Tommy completed in January. In addition, after launch, Lawn Doctor continues to provide support with online resources and an on-call agronomist, all offered with the industry knowledge and expertise garnered from over 50 years in business.
“We definitely had franchisor support every step of the way,” Tommy said. “We always knew we could call on the team with any questions we were having.”
The Campbells certainly point to corporate support as being a boon while they made the transition to becoming central Texas business owners, although Tommy doesn’t mince words; asked to describe how it’s gone, he laughed and said, “Ever heard of drinking through a firehose?”
Amidst it all, the Campbells said that they’ve been grateful to have the connection to community that they do.
“We had already decided to relocate from Athens prior to pulling the trigger on our Lawn Doctor business,” explained Tommy. “At the time, we were considering two prospects—one in northern Texas and one here in central Texas. That was one of our harder decisions, because if we had chosen the north Texas region, I think it might have been a simpler life or a simpler transition. But that we wanted to be here long-term, near family, our short-term goals had to change.”
Once the Campbells learned that Lawn Doctor had an open territory in central Texas, Tommy said, the decision was made.
“We’re people of faith, and honestly we believe we’ve been led here,” Tommy said. “When the decision was made to move forward, things moved fast and fell into place pretty easily. Buying a house, starting a new business—”
“—Finding someone to cut my hair…” Kim interjected.
“New everything,” Tommy laughed. “But you learn to prioritize and schedule and plan accordingly. I absolutely have no regrets.”
So what’s on the horizon for the new Georgetown and Round Rock area franchisees?
“I’m planning to go to training this summer,” said Kimberly, who is still working as a nurse at present. “I actually think that [Tommy and I] going at separate times will work to our benefit: Having been in business for about six months before I go, my feet will already be a little wet, and I can expand on what he originally learned.”
Tommy said that he’s excited to build momentum and grow the business.
“I would love 100 customers by the end of May. We’re eight weeks into the program and we have 76 customers, so if we could hit 100 customers, I would feel pretty good. And I think we’re gonna do it,” said Tommy.
With family, dedication and incredible franchisor support, it looks like the Campbells can comfortably say the grass is greener in central Texas.
The startup costs for a Lawn Doctor franchise range from $101,840 to $115,890. The franchise fee is $35,000. To learn more about franchising with Lawn Doctor, visit https://lawndoctorfranchise.com/.