Dave and Dawn Mlotkiewicz first met 25 years ago. They were both working for a lawn care service company—Dave as an assistant branch manager and Dawn as an accountant. Both Dave and Dawn didn’t know it then, but that encounter would eventually determine the path that led them to where they are today.
By 1990, Dave and Dawn got married, had their first child and decided to embark on a new business venture. But this time, they would do so as owners and it would be with another fast-growing lawn care franchise—Lawn Doctor. Fast-forward to present day and their business is thriving. Today, Dave and Dawn own eight franchises across Southern New Jersey—and they couldn’t be happier with the life Lawn Doctor has afforded them.
Coming from a previous career with another lawn care company, it’s easy for Dave to point out exactly what makes the franchising opportunity with Lawn Doctor so unique. For starters, each Lawn Doctor franchise has geo-specific agronomy programs, which allows them to custom-tailor their offerings based on a lawn’s specific needs. This means that every lawn expert will analyze all aspects of the type of grass covering the property to make the right decision on how to proceed. This ensures that the customer gets the best results possible, rather than being provided a less-effective one-size-fits-all approach.
Having proprietary equipment doesn’t hurt, either. When Dave first joined the Lawn Doctor corporate team, he saw firsthand how the equipment is engineered specifically for the brand. From lawn fertilization, seeding and aeration to outdoor pest control, he believes that no other brand has access to such top-level equipment that’s 50 years in the making.
“I can do in one pass over a client’s yard what would take multiple trips to accomplish using another company’s equipment,” Dave said.
But beyond Lawn Doctor’s unparalleled services and equipment, it was ultimately the brand’s unique semi-absentee model that made this franchising opportunity so life-changing for him and his family. As Dave and Dawn’s kids got older, they realized just how important it was to not miss the important moments and milestones in their lives. From watching his son become a part of the Lawn Doctor business to taking his family out on camping trips, Dave had the freedom to be with his family while managing a thriving business at the same time.
“It feels good to get up every morning and go to work, come home, and when we want to do something with our family, we can make it happen,” Dave said. “For me, being successful in life is about having the time to do what you want. I don’t want to be married to my career, and Lawn Doctor has allowed me to do everything I’ve ever wanted.”
That’s Lawn Doctor’s semi-absentee model at work, says Eric Martin, Lawn Doctor’s Vice President of Franchise Development.
“Our semi-absentee model is a great option for families like the Mlotkiewiczes, who prefer a more hands-off approach to business ownership,” Martin said. “This model allows owners to oversee the franchise operations from afar, and owners have the opportunity to find the right people to manage the daily operations. The end result is more freedom and flexibility—something that everybody wants in their lives.”
For Dave, the challenges of being a franchisee for several Lawn Doctor locations has also been rewarding. He wears many different hats, and the semi-absentee model has helped Dave learn how to adjust and tweak his management style to increase growth and efficiencies. And at the end of the day, both Dave and his wife are beyond happy with the path that a career with Lawn Doctor has lead them down.
“It’s been an amazing life. I’ve shared so many incredible experiences with my family and my Lawn Doctor family, and I couldn’t have planned it any better,” Dave said. “Years ago, I never thought we’d come to own eight successful businesses. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”