Since the brand was established in 1967, Lawn Doctor has grown to become the largest lawn-care franchise in the country, and they’ve done so without a single mower. Instead of cutting grass, Lawn Doctor has made a name for itself by providing fertilization, aeration, weed-control, pest-control, and organic-growth-and-maintenance services.
As part of the franchise’s growth strategy, Lawn Doctor is planning an aggressive push to establish new franchisees in the Cleveland, Ohio market. The lawn-care brand already has nearly 550 locations throughout 40 states, including Ohio, so new franchisees in every market benefit from high brand awareness and inter-system support, but Lawn Doctor’s vice president of development, Eric Martin, sees a potential for Cleveland to become an especially lucrative market for franchisees.
“Cleveland is really the perfect market for Lawn Doctor owners in many ways,” said Martin. “The demographics and geography allow us to fire on all cylinders.”
Martin’s optimism is supported by Lawn Doctor’s success in near-by markets, such as Cincinnati, Sandusky, and Dayton, where Lawn Doctor has flourished.
“There’s a high demand for our services throughout Ohio, where you have a lot of middle-class, dual-income families trying to take care of their lawns on a budget. We tend to see a lot of support for personal, customer service-oriented businesses like the ones our owners run.”
The Ohio markets also tend to attract some of Lawn Doctor’s strongest owners, who have a passion for the outdoors and are eager to own a hands-on business.
“As the Ohio markets are growing, we’re seeing a lot of interest from people who are looking to own a business for the first time or find something that is flexible,” said Martin. “And in the Midwest, we always find new owners who enjoy working outdoors being mobile.”
According to Martin, the seasonality of the business is also a big draw for prospective franchisees.
“Unlike our warm-weather markets where owners are out on the job year-round, our seasonal markets like Ohio provide a unique and appealing model for franchisees who want to own a business and spend more time with their family,” Martin explained. “Because demand for our services is so high in the spring, summer and fall months, our owners are able to earn a full living in that time and then spend the cold months doing the less intensive work of servicing their equipment and strategizing for the next season. That model allows many Lawn Doctor owners to take a breather, enjoy the holidays, travel and focus on family prior to the beginning of the busy season.”
Equally appealing to new owners is Lawn Doctor’s operational model, which has been refined and optimized across dozens of markets for nearly 50 years. That means that new Lawn Doctor owners can get their business up and running quickly, without having to do market research, find vendors, establish brand awareness, or clear any of the other hurdles that most new businesses require.
Martin is confident that Lawn Doctor’s push in the Cleveland market will attract strong candidates, who in turn will run some of the brand’s most successful stores.
“We know we’re going to find some great partners, and I’m excited to work with them,” Martin said. “Cleveland is a family-oriented city, with a lot of folks who appreciate great customer service and love working with people, and those are the two essential requirements of any Lawn Doctor owner. I think in the near future we’re going to see amazing things in Cleveland.”
Startup costs to open a Lawn Doctor range from $101,890 to $115,940. To learn more about franchising opportunities, click here.