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Article : LCDBM November 2009 Random Ditch: Synthetic Franchising

Synthetic Franchising

By Joe DeBaisio, ProGreen International; Marc Samson, DoodyCalls; Terrell Brown, Sunshine Greens.




Look around at the growing number of pet care businesses and you’ll realize a new industry is being born. Why? Well, 40 percent of all American households have a pet, and cat and dog populations are growing. At the same time, Americans have less and less time to spend taking care of their pet. They’d rather play with their dog and let someone else clean up. Courtesy of DoodyCalls

Three Birds LLC Trails West Custom
Sof-Solutions Resource
Cole Lighting Air-O-Lator
Urbanscape Dolphin WaterSlides
Gary Lee Price Summerbeam
John Deere OneSource Aquatics

Synthetic Grass Dealer Program

ProGreen International has dealer and installer opportunities available all over the globe. Most of the dealers work inside the States. You can become a dealer or a certified installer.

Certified installers get everything dealers receive, plus direct leads, one-day product, sales and marketing class for residential, commercial and municipal clients along with hands-on installation training. Cost for up to two people is $2,995 ($2,795 for Colorado).

For a distributorship you can receive wholesale prices less than certified dealers and an owned and protected territory. You have rights to sell dealerships in your area and earn wholesale as well as retail income. Think how many dealerships you can sell in your area (possibly to existing landscapers, contractors, paver companies, pool companies etc.) beside your own retail sales. If you sold only five dealers your first year at $2,995 and they bought only 25,000 square feet of turf from you, it would mean quite a bit of recurring passive income to your company. The cost will be $7,000 to $25,000, depending on desired area.

You may want to use some of you initial turf order to install a show location for potential clients to view ASAP, then sell the rest immediately for profit! Artificial turf grass installation offers several income possibilities: golf course tee boxes, lawns, street medians, athletic fields, playgrounds, dog runs, dog day care play areas, kids day care centers, and of course putting greens.






ProGreen International offers over 30 different types of turf for golf greens, athletic fields, bocce ball, tennis, volleyball, dog runs, landscape grass, playgrounds, trade shows, retail displays and more. Courtesy of ProGreen International


Big Demand for Artificial Turf

Sunshine Greens sells and installs artificial grass for lawns, landscapes, putting greens, medians, parks, and other applications. Clients include government, home developers, hotels and private residents. The business model has been successful, generating profit margins well above typical market returns. Dealership rights have been offered to qualified independent operators. While promoting synthetic turf may seem counter to the traditional landscape maintenance model, a single installation can provide the same revenue as three or five year’s worth of ongoing customer maintenance.

The demand for artificial turf has grown at a double-digit pace since 2000 due to regional water restrictions, economic benefits and the growth of personal putting greens. These trends are expected to continue in both commercial and residential markets. Synthetic turf provides an excellent capital investment option because new installations have a typical payback period of under four years while being warranted for 10 years.

Limited Investment

New dealers can get established with a limited investment. A one-time dealership fee is required and thereafter, dealers are required to meet minimum annual turf purchases. However, there are no additional royalties or licensing fees. Training is hands-on with an actual project and dealers should be equipped to begin installations upon completion.

Successful dealers should be able to tap into their existing residential and commercial contacts and drive consistent business through both economical and leisure-based sales. Most installations can be completed in under a week, and require two to three installers. Limited heavy equipment is needed and can be rented on a per-project basis.






Installing artificial grass for lawns, landscapes, putting greens, medians, parks and other applications could prove to be profitable. Clients include government, home developers, hotels and private residents. Many synthetic turf manufacturers will negotiate for exclusive dealership rights. Courtesy of Sunshine Synthetics


Making it Profitable

The best thing a franchise owner can do to make their DoodyCalls business profitable is to follow the company’s proven system of operations and utilize an extensive network of resources. Many franchise owners operate other businesses in addition to their franchise territory. Each owner operates how they see best fit, but ultimately, the system and its resources make these businesses profitable. The cost to start a DoodyCalls franchise ranges from $39,730 to $63,920, which includes an initial $29,500 franchise fee.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Franchise owners have the advantage of a national sales center that schedules appointments and communicates with clients on behalf of the franchisee; a large and growing collection of professionally designed marketing materials; access to a state-of-the-art scheduling and route management system; and an in-house team of public relations experts to help franchises connect with the local media and build their businesses. New franchises receive hands-on training at the company’s headquarters and continuous support from corporate and fellow franchise owners.

Research and Precautions

Potential franchise owners should speak with a franchise recruitment specialist and research the franchiser independently. They should have conversations with current franchise owners to validate what they have learned about the business opportunity.

What to Look for when Purchasing a Franchise?

The two main considerations a landscape contractor should take into account are compatibility with the franchise system and having a similar customer base. They need to seek opportunities to expand the amount of business being done with current customers, as well as an opportunity to grow a landscape contractor’s customer base with new customers who sign up for service.

Franchise Promotion

A low-cost franchise frees up additional capital to invest in traditional marketing and advertising initiatives. Additionally, branded trucks can serve as mobile billboards and many franchise owners park their vehicles in strategic locations in their regions to generate interest. Franchise owners are also actively engaged in networking with their local business communities.

Look to take advantage of having the benefit of an in-house public relations team that provides a full public relations launch for their new business and helps raise awareness during future events and initiatives held by franchise owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

By Joe DeBaisio, ProGreen International

Q: What’s required to maintain my dealership status?
A: You must actively and consistently purchase turf every year.

Q: Why do some companies charge up to $30,000?
A: Dealership prices vary greatly and most companies charge high entrance fees. We believe that you will achieve greater and faster success by spending more of your start up capital on product and local advertising instead of exorbitant dealership fees.

Q: Do I receive an exclusive territory?
A: Initially exclusive territories weren’t offered. However, when you build a history of consistent sales, arrangements can be made for exclusivity. You have to walk before you can run. It’s possible that you might have another dealer in your area. In the event this happens, you may consider cooperating with other dealers.

Q: Are there any geographic restrictions for selling outside my area?
A: There are a few exclusive distributorship territories. You will be given the areas that are restricted when you sign up. If you encounter a sale in one of these restricted areas you will need to contact that distributor. Feel free to negotiate a deal for a finder’s fee.

Q: Will I receive leads from the corporate office?
A: Leads will be distributed to certified installers immediately and dealers on a merit basis after a proven sales history.

Q: What kind of equipment will I need?
A: You will need to have a truck or work van. Basic installation equipment includes spreaders, landscape edging, utility knives, wheelbarrows and shovels. Additional equipment that may be needed based on the type, size and scope of the installation are a powerbroom, compactor, water roller, sod-cutter and possibly a walk-behind sweeper with nylon brushes. These items can usually be rented until your business grows and it becomes more economical to buy instead of rent.

Q: What steps do I take to become a dealer?
A: The first step is to talk to your manufacturer’s representative about your background and current situation so you can determine what program best suits you. The next step is to sign a dealer agreement and make your first order. That’s it! What are you waiting for? Get in on this established, yet emerging market today!

 


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October 22, 2014, 11:43 pm EST

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