In 2010, Brian Mazzone left his job as an insurance adjuster to buy into his first franchise opportunity, a local Servpro specializing in fire- and water-damage restorations. Since then, Mazzone and his business partner have expanded their operation to five territories in Connecticut. Now, they are adding another franchise brand to the business, Lawn Doctor.
Mazzone started looking for a new franchise brand a year ago and made the decision to pursue Lawn Doctor in November. After a few months of training, preparing and marketing, Mazzone’s Lawn Doctor will begin servicing customers in March.
Mazzone didn’t land on Lawn Doctor by accident. “We were looking for something different, but I knew it had to be involved with homeowner services,” he said. With his Servpro franchise, Mazzone already had the infrastructure in place to service customers at their homes, and his experience with the restoration brand provided him with the sales and marketing skills to quickly grow another service-industry operation.
After he began researching franchise concepts to take on, Mazzone narrowed his search down to two lawn-care brands, including Lawn Doctor. Mazzone said he ultimately chose Lawn Doctor because of the cutting-edge equipment and marketing programs.
“Lawn Doctor’s technology, equipment and marketing structure are what sold us,” Mazzone said. “Lawn Doctor manufactures their own equipment, and it’s all high-capacity, low-labor stuff. The other lawn brand we were looking at was much more old-school; just kids pushing mowers around. We liked that Lawn Doctor was ahead of the curve. Same goes for their marketing; where the other company was out canvassing neighborhoods on foot, Lawn Doctor has a number of really cool digital and social media strategies to draw customers to us.”
Because Mazzone’s Servpro business is already set up to provide home services, he expects his Lawn Doctor business to bypass the early stages of growth that most small businesses endure in their first year. Eric Martin, Lawn Doctor’s Vice President of Franchise Development, agrees.
“When Brian reached out to us and rolled out his game plan, we quickly connected the dots and felt it made a lot of sense. We are excited to see what he can do with the Lawn Doctor brand. I believe there are others in similar situations who are seeking a complementary business and will follow in Brian’s footsteps” Martin said. “For any of our new franchisees, Lawn Doctor has already done so much of the work to set up the business, but someone like Brian has the added advantage of an existing infrastructure. Most of our franchisees work very directly in the business in the early stages before taking a step back to focus on more high-level operations as they grow. Brian is already focused on those high-level operations, and we expect to see big things from him in the future.”
The biggest advantage of Mazzone’s existing infrastructure is his workforce, which includes multiple service representatives and field technicians. Mazzone says he will cross-train a number of those employees to work for both Servpro and Lawn Doctor.
“Training the staff to work on Lawn Doctor is really the only thing we need to do to get up and running,” Mazzone said. “And because Servpro business is a bit slower in the warmer months when Lawn Doctor is busy, it makes it very easy to divide the time for our staff.”
In addition to the complementary seasonality of each business, Mazzone said Lawn Doctor’s standardized schedule will offer some relief from the always-on-call nature of Servpro.
“Servpro is 24/7, 365 days a year,” Mazzone said. “When my techs are on call for Servpro, their phones can ring at any time and they have to be prepared to react. That’s not the case with Lawn Doctor, where you schedule services well in advance and almost always during working hours. It’ll be helpful to have a more predictable and less hectic routine.”
Advanced scheduling offers another advantage for Lawn Doctor owners: a predictable, recurring revenue stream. Most Lawn Doctor customers will have their lawns treated multiple times throughout the year, and many book services for the spring and summer during the winter, providing a consistent revenue stream even during non-service months and giving owners more accurate long-term financial projections than impromptu or emergency services allow.
As Mazzone prepares to open his Lawn Doctor, he’s focusing on making the most of those marketing channels that initially drew him to the brand.
“We’re doing a lot of marketing right now,” Mazzone said. “All of our digital marketing is set up, and we’re doing some business-to-business marketing as well, reaching out to potential partners in the industry, letting them know that we’re here and open to a relationship.”
Though Mazzone undoubtedly has a leg up on most new Lawn Doctor franchisees just starting out in the industry, Martin pointed out that even Mazzone was once new to franchising, and Lawn Doctor can be a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs with many different backgrounds.
“People come to Lawn Doctor with a variety of backgrounds, work experiences and desires,” said Martin. “The only consistencies are that they have a passion for service and they are looking to own and build something for themselves. Brian, like many of our owners, worked in a corporate job before joining the franchise industry. Now he’s expanding to his second brand which is awesome to see. Not everyone aspires to be a multi-unit or multi-brand franchisee, but for those that do, this can be the ideal opportunity.”