Lawn Doctor, a company that provides lawn treatment and conditioning services, along with pest control, seeding, tree and shrub services in 42 states, is on schedule for major expansion this upcoming spring.
Seven new Lawn Doctor franchises will open up, and this new group of franchisees is eager to get started.
Four of Lawn Doctor’s newest franchisees spoke about their upcoming openings, what attracted them to the brand and what they’re most excited about.
Jim Brown of Hillsborough, North Carolina
Jim Brown is opening his location in Hillsborough, North Carolina, which is located north of Durham and Chapel Hill. His experiences as a Lawn Doctor customer influenced him and his wife to become franchisees. They decided to go the franchise route with Lawn Doctor in September 2017, and their Hillsborough location, which is scheduled to open in February of 2019, will be the first Lawn Doctor location in that particular market.
“We have a rental property and Lawn Doctor is servicing both lawns,” Brown said. “We’ve been able to see for years firsthand the work the technicians do and I’ve received impressive reactions for my own lawn.”
The process is in full swing right now for Brown and his wife. They opted to purchase a new computer system, have remodeled their office and are purchasing the tools they’ll need. They are also using the tools Lawn Doctor provides franchisees, which Brown said is “very helpful,” and they will go through franchisee training in November.
“One thing is we’re kind of taking control of our future, and we’re doing it in a way with a business that we believe provides a good service and helps people because I know Lawn Doctor’s service to my lawn makes me feel this way,” Brown said. “We want to help people feel the same way about the biggest investment they have, which is their house.”
Brown feels that his past professional experiences have prepared him to be a Lawn Doctor franchisee. He previously did inside tech sales for a lab equipment manufacturer, where he honed his customer service skills, and more recently he worked as an intellectual property paralegal doing mostly trademark work.
“That has given me good organizational and project management skills, the ability to work within tight deadlines and problem-solving skills,” Brown said.
Brown and his wife are thrilled they made the decision to become Lawn Doctor franchisees.
“We are almost literally counting the weeks down because we’re very excited,” Brown said.
Tommy Ross of Fort Worth, Texas
Tommy Ross’s family owned a mom-and-pop grocery store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area when he was growing up, and after spending 30 years in the corporate world, Ross was eager to get back to his roots.
His franchise is set for a March 1, 2019 opening.
“I did a lot of research and looked at different franchises and October of 2017 is when I started looking at Lawn Doctor and what it had to bring to the table,” he said. “The brand kept popping up and really standing out.”
He had the chance to dive deeper around March of 2018 and attend Discovery Day. He and his wife were extremely impressed with what they saw.
“It really felt more like a close-knit family business than it did a corporation,” he said. “It had a different feel to it.”
Ross is looking forward to having the opportunity to connect with his community. He’s excited for the grassroots aspect of owning a local, family business and building new relationships.
He’s also enthusiastic that his wife, a professional organizer with whom he’s co-owned her business and is very connected with the community, will be part of this venture.
“I know we’ll definitely bring a lot to the table and I know what Lawn Doctor has already brought,” Ross said.
Ross praised the Lawn Doctor team and noted the “personal touch” the support team gives and how he never has to go through an automated system when he needs to call them.
“I really appreciate that,” he said.
John Seiders of York, Pennsylvania
John Seiders always liked to joke that if he wasn’t an organic chemistry professor he would own his own lawn-care service.
Well, that dream has come true.
Seiders’ Lawn Doctor franchise will be located in York, Pennsylvania. If the weather cooperates, his location should be able to start doing lawn treatments in March or April of 2019.
Seiders researched lawn-care franchise opportunities, and Lawn Doctor, he said, quickly rose to the top. He found the brand to be similar-minded as far as what he wanted to do. Other brands, he said, tried to sell him within one or two phone calls, but with the Lawn Doctor development team, it was a slow and steady mutual evaluation process.
“I never felt like they were trying to sell me a franchise,” Seiders said. “They were providing me with an opportunity I could buy into.”
He has left higher education for now, as he wants to put his entire focus on his Lawn Doctor venture.
“One of the things that always excited me about the start of the academic year was the raw talent of students and seeing that blossom and grow,” he said, adding that he is excited to take a startup franchise market in South Central Pennsylvania and cultivating, growing and controlling it.
His scientific and communication skills will also serve him well in his new venture.
“The analytical side of me will be able to diagnose and come up with targeted treatments,” he said. “Just being a chemistry professor or a professor in general I am very comfortable talking with people on things I have knowledge on and explaining it in a way that makes sense to them.”
Seiders appreciates the straightforward, “as advertised” way in which everything has been handled by Lawn Doctor. He also singled out praise for Lawn Doctor’s Franchise Coordinator, Tara Sanchez.
“I’ve been impressed with the way things have been handled from the beginning,” he said. “Everything has been as explained and spelled out. I haven’t seen any surprises and just have been very thankful and happy to have come across the opportunity to buy a franchise in my hometown.”
Ron and Stacy Roberto of Wylie and Sachse, Texas
Ron Roberto had just been laid off from a job he’d had for 10 years when he came across the idea of franchising. He’d been given a packet of job-related information when he was let go, and within that packet was information about franchising.
He attended a webinar given by franchise consultant Kim Daly and became interested in the idea of becoming a franchisee. Roberto and his wife ended up speaking further with Daly.
“We spent some time with her going through our background, what we’re looking for in life and she tried to match that with franchisors she represents,” he said. “She picked a few options to talk about.”
After doing more research, Roberto and his wife decided to pursue Lawn Doctor. Their two locations are scheduled to open in late January or early February of 2019.
“We liked the passion and energy that the development team had,” he said. “They believe in their model and helped us connect with the brand. We talked to other franchisees and got a good feeling. We also went to a Discovery Day and got an even better feeling, and we decided to take the plunge and get ourselves a Lawn Doctor franchise.”
Roberto can’t wait for franchisee training in November. He looks forward to interacting with customers and servicing them, and also of making his own working hours.
Roberto previously worked in corporate financial management, and he said his experiences in working with people of all levels, from those on the manufacturing line to the CEO, as well as his experiences managing money, will help him in his new venture.
He’s also looking forward to one aspect of the business in particular.
“I’m excited to get the van,” he said. “I’m excited to go drive around and meet people and sell our services.”
The start-up costs for a Lawn Doctor franchise range from $101,840 to $115,890. The franchise fee is $35,000. Lawn Doctor currently has more than 550 locations throughout the United States. For more information about franchising with Lawn Doctor, visit http://lawndoctorfranchise.com/.