Born and raised in Cincinnati, Cathi DeBurger spent 30 years working her way up from teller to manager at a local bank. After company reorganization left DeBurger with the choice to return to banking or start her own business, she knew it was time for a change. That is when she found Lawn Doctor.
“I always knew I wanted to run my own business,” DeBurger said. “I wanted more control over what I do every day and how much I could earn. If I work hard, I want to be rewarded for that. As I looked for new opportunities, Lawn Doctor checked all the boxes.”
Since 1967, Lawn Doctor has provided superior lawn care services to communities across 42 states. The company has expanded to nearly 600 franchise locations through its proven recurring revenue and scalable business model. In addition, the brand grants its franchisees the freedom to create their own schedule.
“One of the boxes I wanted to check was the ability to work outside,” DeBurger said. “At my old job, I’d walk through this huge parking lot on a beautiful day and know that I’d be trapped inside all day. I’d think, ‘What job will allow me to work outside when it's nice out, but not when it’s raining cats and dogs?’”
DeBurger met with Lawn Doctor CEO Scott Frith, along with the leadership team and support staff at the company’s home office and was enthralled by the positive atmosphere and attitude of Lawn Doctor. Soon, after plenty of soul searching, DeBurger and her husband decided to take the leap and sign on in May of 2019. In June, she spent ten days with the corporate team participating in in-class training.
“The experience was invaluable,” DeBurger said of Training. “They cover everything, including marketing, the call center and even information about the grass and weeds. They allow you to get hands-on with the equipment, which is vital to me as I am a very visual learner. The head of operations was gracious enough to stop and answer any of our questions. The more I learned, the more I knew I had made the right decision to join Lawn Doctor.”
As DeBurger saddles up for her new endeavor, she is confident that her hometown is just the right place for the job. According to DeBurger, Cincinnati offers the perfect market. There are already two Lawn Doctors in operation which gives the brand great name recognition. This, along with the wide-open east side market, positions DeBurger for success in the city.
“Cincinnati is very neighborhood-oriented,” said DeBurger. “Every house features a small lawn in the front. While the size ranges from a few acres to the size of a postage stamp, everyone wants their lawn to look as good as possible. While there are plenty of lawn care businesses here, I plan to differentiate myself as a hometown girl.”
Though DeBurger claims that Lawn Doctor is a male-oriented service, she doesn’t see herself as limited by her gender. In fact, she is proud to showcase her confidence and knowledge to clients who may doubt her abilities.
In terms of the upcoming year, DeBurger has high hopes and clear plans. “By the end of this season, my personal goal is to have one hundred customers,” she said. “I’ve been driving the truck around town to get my name out there and even participated in this year’s Fourth of July parade even though we aren’t open yet.”
Regardless of what the future holds, DeBurger is just happy to be moving in a different direction than her past. “In comparison to what I was doing before,” she said, “Lawn Doctor is a real breath of fresh air.”
The startup costs for a Lawn Doctor franchise range from $100,015 to $116,065. The franchise fee is $35,000. To learn more about franchising with Lawn Doctor, visit https://lawndoctorfranchise.com/