People tend to try their hand at entrepreneurship for a variety of reasons. Quite naturally, making lots of money ( or profits, there is a difference ) always seems to be the number one driving force. For others, enjoying the satisfaction and self gratification of building a business venture from a zero base- from the ground up and transforming it into a company that is profitable, and will benefit others is a motivator. And of course, most astute folks understand that a successful and profitable business may someday play a major role in their roadmap for retirement. Whatever the driving force is in starting your own business, there are some tried and tested principals that will help you succeed.
Have you ever thought about some of the traits that most successful business people all seem to have in common ? I like to call them the 3 F’s – FAITH, FAMILY, AND FAIRNESS!
FAITH-Most successful people are a type A personality . Outgoing , confident, energetic, ambitious, and yes, maybe a little cocky ! But deep inside, most people who have succeeded in the world of entrepreneurship, realize that their achievements are not only a product of their long hours and hard work, but also their faith in a spiritual being that has given them hope through the tough times guided them throughout their careers! A wise man once said ” a man of Courage is a man of faith ” It takes courage to be a business owner, and the ones who success do have faith !
FAMILY-One of the most difficult things for entrepreneurs to do is balance their time between family and business! If you are married and have children, it is important to budget your time wisely between your business commitments and your family obligations ! Breaking away from business stress by spending quality time with your family will actually improve your ability to lead and help make you a better business manager. Keep in mind that your family might also be your greatest support team while growing your business. Advice, understanding and encouragement from parents, spouses , and other family members can be a huge asset in helping you achieve your business goals.
FAIRNESS– A business owner who is well respected by their peers, ,employees, business associate’s, and even competitors will always have a distinct advantage in the world of entrepreneurship ! People want to be a part of a team that has a leader who is respected and is admired for their integrity, fairness and business savvy! How you conduct yourself in the business world may determine who wants to form a business relationship with your brand because at the end of the day, you as the leader of the company are the brand !
Implementing, growing, and maintaining a successful business requires many different attributes and each one of us will develop our own unique management style . Remembering the 3 “F”s and applying them into your daily routine will certainly give you that competitive edge in the business world !
The Story of a woman owned franchise.
Being a woman in a predominantly male oriented industry such as professional lawn care hasn’t deterred Kathleen Smith, owner of Freedom Lawns of Charleston, SC, from achieving success with her organic based lawn care franchise!
At a young age, you could find her on the court and on the green with the rest of the guys. She loved sports and was always outside. When her brothers were too young to play golf, she played in a “father and son” golf tournaments with her dad. Never did Kathleen feel out of place or at a disadvantage because she was a girl. “I was just another one in the game, trying to win! That’s how I even feel now in the business world,” said Kathleen. As one would assume, lawn care of any type is not a job you would expect to see a woman in a leadership role. Never has she viewed herself as different from the guys she works with.
In owning a Freedom Lawns USA Franchise, Kathleen found that her greatest challenge is not working with men, but rather juggling all her responsibilities. “Owning a business means that there are many times in which business bleeds into your personal time. I get behind on my own lawn work, things around the house and even having quality time with my daughters,” stated Kathleen.
She has also faced challenges in her family life all while trying to run her own business. In the same year that Kathleen started her Freedom Lawns her husband was diagnosed with ALS. In a year and a half her husband’s ALS progressed and with it came adjustments during his illness and after he passed. To make matters worse, a couple of years later her business partner decided to pursue other interests.
These events, however, did not discourage Kathleen from growing her Freedom Lawns business. “I wouldn’t have believed I could overcome all the hurdles. I don’t ever stop and think about it. I just stay in the present and try to keep moving forward,” expressed Kathleen.
When starting the business, Kathleen stated that the corporate office really set her up for success. “The franchise gave me the framework to build my business. By following the guidelines they created for success, I was able to adapt to the world or entrepreneurship.” She also mentioned that during those difficult times in her life the corporate office was there to guide her. “It never goes without bumps in the road, but the corporate office is there to guide me through those too,” added Kathleen.
So, in her advice to woman who want to become business owners she states that, “as in everything in life, things don’t always go as planned. Don’t give up, just adjust to the situation and find a way to keep moving forward.” Kathleen also mentioned that you must take the time to find something that will be fulfilling to you and to know your strengths and weaknesses. “Make sure you understand what you can expect out of your business at start up and aim high but anticipate the struggles that will surely come along with such a journey. Sometimes setting yourself up for success can take years. You have to decide the path that will work best for you.”
Kathleen has certainly found her path and now her Freedom Lawn operation is one of the finest lawn care companies in the Charleston area. Great work Kathleen!
Freedom Lawns is an organic based lawn care franchise company based out of North Carolina.
Other than being undercapitalized when starting a new business venture, the greatest challenge that most folks face when contemplating a new business startup is the fear of failure!
Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the fear factor, many more people would take a shot at entrepreneurship! As one of our former presidents once said” we have nothing to fear except fear itself”. This is very true when starting a new business venture.
Having a fear of failure when developing a new business is a very natural emotion and may be an asset. If your fearful that your new business will not succeed it should drive you to work harder, smarter, and encourage you to put all your energy, time, and resources into insuring that your new business reaches its financial and personal goals!
One of the most important ingredients in overcoming fear, is to make sure that you thoroughly enjoy the type of business that you have chosen. Select a business model that makes you want to jump out of bed each morning, run to the office, and begin to get things done! You should have a burning passion for your new business. The other ingredients that will help you to overcome your fear is enthusiasm of ”I can do it” attitude! Finally, statistics demonstrate that the success rate for a new franchise business is 90 % compared to a new independent business startup which has only a 15% success rate.
To learn more about our Freedom Lawns USA franchise partnerships call us today at 910-270-1525.
I have seen enormous changes in Professional Lawn Care during my 44 years in the Industry! Improved product efficacy and safety, advancement in equipment, and of most significance, the dynamics of technology driving the marketing aspect in today’s service industry, just to name a few!
However, there are many characteristics of the lawncare industry which really haven’t changed at all. It is still an industry that offers great residual income for reputable lawn care companies. And the opportunity for growth in most markets remains strong. This will continue as there will always be a never-ending supply of home owners who are seeking that perfect thick, green, lush, weed free lawn! The professional lawn care industry (making lawns thicker, greener, happier and healthier – not mowing), remains an extremely profitable business if properly performed.
As is the case with most industry’s today, there are several franchised lawn care options available for those who are looking for a business that offers a relatively low startup cost, and the potential for attractive returns. The lawn care industry is, however, quite competitive in most markets. If you are a landscape firm, mowing company, pest control operator, or just someone who would like to enter the lawn care industry, a franchise partnership will without a doubt offer you a simpler and quicker pathway to success> Trying to open a new lawn care business yourself from zero base ,may be possible , but the outcome is likely to produce less than the desired growth and profitability your hoping for !
SELECTING THE RIGHT FRANCHISOR TO PARTNER WITH
There are many things to consider when entering into a franchise agreement with a franchisor. First and foremost, you must develop a comfortable relationship with the people that you will be working with. A franchisor/franchisee relationship really is a partnership with both entities working as a team to reach a common goal which should be – your success and profitability! You must get that” warm and fuzzy feeling” knowing that the franchisor team is working with and for you!
Second, investigate their model. The public today is looking for services that will produce the results that they expect, will provide A-1 customer care, are focused on environmental stewardship and a safer approach to providing them with a great looking lawn and landscape!
Third, what will you get for your franchise fee and ongoing royalty? Does their business model offer ongoing support in turfgrass and plant care management with the latest, products that are result oriented, safer for the public, and cost effective? Are they on the cutting edge in technology with a strong marketing and online presence that will offer you the tools needed to drive and brand your new business?
And finally, speak with a few existing or even former franchise owners if possible. Find out what their experience with the franchise corporate office has been! Franchise owners are typically very candid and willing to share their experiences and opinions with a potential franchise candidate.
Remember that a franchise model is simply a playbook for success. If you are not willing or able to follow the blueprint as directed, you will not realize the value that a relationship with a reputable franchisor can offer!
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton