The scale of support was enhanced. Every year, usually in early September, the Dwyer Group holds a ‘reunion’ where all of its systems’ franchisees meet together on the first day for motivational speeches and the group-wide vision, then break out into their branded groups for three more days to discuss and learn about issues that are pertinent to their specific businesses. We all stay in the same hotel and you find the people around you share the same drive and values. We’ve made friends from all over North America this way.
The franchisor produces all of our marketing materials. They have a relationship with a website design company, Scorpion, part of the ProtradeNet, which has done a tremendous job for us. They’ve really increased our online presence for when people are searching for landscaping services in Abbotsford.
Between that and our truck and trailer, which you can read from a kilometre away, we have very strong brand presence here. And as a result, we’re getting more work than I can handle. Our business has grown 10 to 15 per cent year-over-year, always easily matching or even exceeding our expectations. And this year, we’re looking forward to more than 25 per cent growth!
We hold the territorial rights for not only Abbotsford, but also part of Langley, which is bigger, and Chilliwack, which is smaller. Yet, I don’t really need to branch out there. I gave up trying to work across Langley because it was unprofitable, so I’ve been weaning off of those clients and concentrating on Abbotsford and Mission, B.C. We still do one day of work a week in Chilliwack, but I’ve considered selling off that franchise territory because of the distance.
Chris does want the business to keep growing. The customer awareness is there. If he’s ever standing still, it’s only because he’s looking around for the next thing to do!
There’s so much work to be had. The easiest part of the job is finding it—we have more than 60 regular clients and could continue to grow our business tremendously within this territory alone—but the hardest part is hiring enough people to do the work. Right now, that is what’s holding us back.
Chris and Juanita Draaistra are co-franchisees for The Grounds Guys in Abbotsford, B.C. For more information, visit www.groundsguys.ca/abbotsford.
THE GROUNDS GUYS
Established: 1987 (as Sunshine Grounds Care)
Date of first franchise: 2010
Franchised/corporate units: 180-plus
Investment range: $73,470 – $200,070
Initial franchise fee: $35,000