Eastern Montana native Travis Petrik always has the greenest yard on the block. It’s kind of his thing.
And now, as a franchisee with Lawn Doctor, he’ll have to step up his game even more—because thanks to his services, his neighbors’ yards are going to be healthier than ever, too.
Petrik began working at Kmart after high school. The company bounced him around the state, eventually sending him to Idaho and then California for a decade. Eventually, he was promoted to district manager in Billings, Montana, where he has resided for the last 15 years.
Upon his retirement in February 2019, Petrik began looking for a new career. “After being on the road for Kmart and working independently, I didn’t relish the idea of having a boss, per se. I wanted to be my own boss,” he explained. “If I don’t get paid, I want it to be my own problem.”
Petrik decided to look into franchising in order to maintain his self-sufficiency and build a business for himself. He met with a franchise broker and was presented with several options to explore. He narrowed down the pool and had phone calls with five different brands.
In the end, he followed his heart—and Green Thumb.
“I have this thing about green lawns,” said Petrik. “Whenever my wife and I move, I have a secret battle with our neighbors to have the best lawn. I don’t brag or challenge them—I just want the best-looking yard in the neighborhood.”
That’s what led him to Lawn Doctor. “The more I heard, the more it felt right,” said Petrik. “It really was a no-brainer that Lawn Doctor was my cup of tea.”
Petrik and his wife met with the Lawn Doctor team for a discovery day and the rest is history. “We walked through the whole process and took a tour of the facilities,” he said. “The marketing presentation was so impressive that it blew my mind.”
Lawn Doctor has introduced several new programs and tools this year to support franchisees. The franchise has centralized its marketing efforts to leverage its buying power, driving down the cost per lead/sale and increasing customer awareness. For example, the brand launched a new in-house call center, which helps sell annual programs while allowing new franchisees to focus on building local relationships and increasing customer retention.
The friendly Lawn Doctor team was also a refreshing match for Petrik. “Just hanging around the corporate offices, you really pick up on a vibe,” he said. “The first thing you see when you walk in is a putting green. It’s professional but casual. Everyone seems to really, truly enjoy working with each other.”
Petrik was part of the June 2019 training class along with four other new franchisees getting ready to launch their Lawn Doctor businesses.
“What stood out the most was the proprietary equipment. That definitely gives any Lawn Doctor franchisee a distinct advantage over the competition,” said Petrik. “The other thing that stood out during training was speaking with an agronomist as high-caliber as Chris Sherrington.”
Thanks to Lawn Doctor’s quick ramp-up period, Petrik is already off to the races with his franchise in Billings. He’s looking forward to merging his passion for lawn care with his gift for working with clients.
“I have 37 years of experience in customer service. That’s really all I know: providing a service and taking care of customers,” he said. “I also really get into the lawn care. The Lawn Doctor people got me on the straight and narrow with the things I didn’t already know. I’m excited to go to a yard covered in dandelions and make it look nice and green. I want to come back and be like, ‘Wow.’”
Of course, he’s also excited to keep his own Best Yard streak going. “I’ve already bought the stuff. I’m just waiting for a dry day to put it on my lawn,” he said. “If you’re a Lawn Doctor, you better not have a weed in your lawn, huh?”