DEATH OF DIY?
Fox Mowing sees the potential for lawn services.
Senior research analyst Hianyan Chan in Euromonitor’s Home & Garden in Australia June 2017 report, says there is a shift toward outsourcing tasks such as home improvement and maintenance – the “do-it-for-me” trend. These services can often be found via websites such as Airtasker or Gumtree.
“The growing number of time-poor Australian consumers is expected to have negative impact on the sales of home and garden products,” says Chan. “This is because of the lack of time and knowledge to pursue an interest in gardening or DIY home-improvement tasks.”
He says this is likely to drive down demand for items such as lawn mowers, and gardening and hardware tools.
It seems like this could this herald an opportunity for franchises that offer home and garden services. To find out, Inside Franchise Business caught up with Fox Mowing & Gardening’s founder and national franchisor Phil Maunder.
1. HAS THE RISING DO-IT-FOR-ME TREND
INCREASED DEMAND FOR SERVICES?
I do agree, but there are other factors as well as just being time-poor. Over the past 20 or so years there has been a shift to smaller yard sizes. While this might suggest less gardening, it actually means people don’t have space for a shed to store their garden tools, so they have to use gardening services. They may also not see the sense in buying a mower and the other tools needed to look after a small yard, so it is easier and makes fiscal sense to use a gardening service. The aging population is another factor.
2. WHAT BENEFITS DOES THE
By joining Fox Mowing & Gardening, franchisees can take advantage of the 25-plus years of experience we have in the industry. Quite simply, this means larger territories, fairer fees, bigger opportunities, and, more personalised service.
3. DO FRANCHISEES HAVE ACCESS TO
We have deals for equipment/insurance and other services, and provide expert knowledge to help franchisees buy the right equipment/services.
4. DO FRANCHISEES NEED BUSINESS OR
No. Depending on their skill set, we tailor initial training to franchisees’ needs. We will sit down to work out the areas in which they need training and provide this, rather than re-train them in areas of proficiency. Our initial training is all completed in a franchisee’s home state at no cost to them.
5. WHAT IS THE INITIAL INVESTMENT?
The initial investment of $16,000 includes a trailer and equipment. We have done our best to make franchises as affordable as possible, but we do have a few financing options that vary from state to state and may also depend on demand. Our state franchisors have also developed excellent relationships with finance brokers.
6. HOW CAN A FRANCHISEE EXPAND THEIR
We expect about half of all Fox franchisees to just want a simple business that generates the income they want, with the hours they want to work and the time they want to devote to the business.
But it is flexible for franchisees who want to develop and realise their full potential.
Most franchisees will find themselves in a position within a few years where they have as much work as they need. They may decide to either stop seeking leads, consider employing people and putting an extra trailer on the road, or sell off part of their business and rebuild.
For many reasons people no longer have the time, inclination or knowledge for doing tasks around the home and in the garden. Welcome the ‘do-it-for-me’ age, which means opportunity is
knocking in the franchise sector.
Selling off part of their business (splitting) is an attractive option for franchisees who do not want to employ people. It is also an excellent way for a franchisee to recoup part of their initial investment. Because of the substantial territory sizes Fox franchisees have, many will split multiple times over a period.
ADDING STAFF, CONTRACTORS, TRAILERS
Some franchisees may hire staff and put extra trailers on the road. Some may even see themselves becoming purely managers of the business and doing little hands-on work. They may quote, help with larger jobs and manage their staff and customers.
BECOME A SPECIALIST
Some Fox franchisees may prefer to develop their skills in a particular area such as lawn laying, irrigation, landscaping or paving. They can do any type of work they want as long as they have the appropriate licence (if required), the correct insurance, and they can complete the work to a professional standard.
Many franchisees find that developing their skills in a specialist area not only increases the profitability of their business, but also adds variety.
Once they have developed these skills, some franchisees may decide to employ a team of contractors to complete the work while they concentrate on quoting and maintaining their regular customer base.