Posted 11/12/2012 12:00 am
As a soon-to-be new father, Danny Williams, 28, of Conway said he was looking for a way to raise his 3-year-old landscaping and lawn-care business to new heights, so in August he purchased the Grounds Guys franchise serving Faulkner County.
“After working in my business for a few years and realizing it took every ounce of energy and time that I had, I was looking for something to help me balance things out a little bit,” Williams said.
Most of his existing clients from One Source Lawn & Landscape Maintenance LLC were residential, so he knew he needed a better mix. But he needed some help breaking into the commercial landscaping business, and that’s where Williams thought the Grounds Guys franchise system, with its specialization in high-end and commercial landscaping, could help make a difference.
“Most people think if you can do the work and you can do it well, then you can own and operate a business effectively. That’s definitely not true,” Williams said. “I’ve learned that there are a lot of business systems you need to put in place and really stay on top of.”
From financials to accounts management, he said, there are a lot of things one needs to know and do to grow a business.
“Having a specialist in each of those departments to train you in the franchise system makes all the difference in the world when you’re trying to run your own business,” Williams said.
Throughout the process of purchasing the franchise, which took him about six months, Williams said, he has already learned what it would have taken him 20 years to learn through trial and error.
The Grounds Guys franchise fee was $30,000, and although Williams already had most of the equipment he needed, he said, he spent an additional $25,000 for branding, advertising and other items such as uniforms.
Currently, Williams has two employees and works out of his home, but depending on sales volume, he said, he hopes to add another four employees and find an office space this spring. In five years, Williams said, he would like to see a shift in the makeup of his clients to 70 percent commercial, and he hopes to open another Grounds Guys franchise in the Jacksonville-Cabot area.
His advice to new business owners is something he said he has always tried to do himself: “Watch how other successful people do things and try to put as many of those things into practice as possible.”
“And from day one use an accountant, because a good accountant is worth his weight in gold.” Williams said his accountant is Harwood Ott & Fisher in Conway. “They’re terrific.”
For more information or to book services, call (501) 513-7576 or visit Conway.GroundsGuys.com.