DEATH OF DIY?

Inside Franchise Business - - Contents -

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

FRAN­CHISE OF­FER?

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

BUY­ING POWER?

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

GAR­DEN­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE?

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

BUSI­NESS?

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.

TER­RI­TORY SPLIT

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.

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