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An amazing day of fun, comradery, and education for all Franchise owners!
2016 Freedom Lawn Franchise Annual Meeting
The Freedom Lawns organic based lawn care franchise organization held their annual owners meeting on December 9, 2016. The meeting was held at the Hilton Riverfront hotel in historic downtown Wilmington, NC .
Everyone who attended agreed that the meeting was by far the most enjoyable and educational owners meeting to date. A plethora of topics were presented including calculating costs and profits on various services, improving customer service skills, the role out of our new Freedom Lawns mobile App and website banner, analyzing website activity and much more.
Guest speakers included a certified public accountant David Kingman, president of Kingman, White, and Associates. David enlightened everyone on some of the new corporate tax legislation that could affect business owners, plus an end of year checklist that all businesses should review for tax purposes.
Representatives from First Citizens Bank also gave a presentation on commercial lending for small businesses, where the banking industry may be heading, and some of the services available to our owners through First Citizens Bank.
The 2016 “Franchise Of The Year “ award was presented to Andy and Penny Dixon, owners of the Pitt County, NC franchise. The award is given to the franchise that demonstrated excellent growth and service during the year.
The next meeting will be in the summer of 2017, and will focus primarily on the technical aspects of Turfgrass Management and Plant Care.
Company Franchise Owners & Employees Attend:
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Many of our Franchise owners and employees from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Maryland participated in our summer turf and ornamental class on July 29th, 2016.
The classes focused on sound fertilization management, insect and disease identification on turfgrass and landscape plants, and their control. A segment on the proper utilization of the Freedom Lawns products and implementing sound integrated pest management techniques were also included in the day’s session.
Freedom Lawns is a professional lawn and plant care company that firmly believes in providing continuing education and updated information for all their franchise owners a
Freedom Lawns Expands Into Georgia & Maryland
Hampstead, NC- Freedom Lawns organic based lawn and plant care company recently added two new franchise locations according to President and Founder Mark A. Tamn. The two new Freedom Lawns locations are in Atlanta Ga., and Frederick County Maryland. Both of the new operations are scheduled to officially open in April, 2016.
Freedom Lawns is an organic based lawn and plant care company which has designed their own proprietary organic blended fertilizers for lawns and ornamental plants. The company currently has 11 franchise outlets in four states, with their corporate office located in Hampstead, North Carolina.
Freedom Lawns USA was selected as the Coastal Entrepreneur award winner in the business service category in 2009. The company was also the proud recipient of the Pelican Award for environmental stewardship from the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
Freedom Lawns franchise owners recently convened for their winter owners meeting at the beautiful Wilmington convention Center on the water front in Wilmington, NC. . The event featured some lively guest speakers, new and exciting information for 2016, and as always, an amazing lunch Buffet!
Joe Grady and Kathleen Smith from Charleston SC, were awarded 2015 Freedom Lawns “franchise of the year “for their outstanding performance and growth.
Glenn Houser an executive sales representative from Spectrum Marketing Company presented some innovative marketing concepts as our franchise owners plan for their 2016 marketing campaign.
Flamboyant Comedian and Professor Brooklin Green gave our owners an entertaining and interactive presentation thinking acting outside of your comfort zone when working in a sales or service environment!
The winter franchise meeting was a huge success and enjoyed by all!
The Freedom Lawns summer owner meeting was held July 24, 2015 at our Hampstead Corporate office.
The day included some very useful information on managing employees, creating budgets, direct mail marketing for 2016, and roll out of the new Freedom Lawns animated video, new product information and presentation of some enhancements to our Freedom Lawns websites.
All franchise owners enjoyed a wonderful day of learning, sharing information with fellow Freedom Lawns owners, and some good fun!
The future is bright for natural and organic lawn care options.
Mark Tamn, president of Freedom Lawns, didn’t start out in the natural lawn care business. For decades, he worked for national lawn care firms and even owned a large traditional lawn care firm himself.
Then, in 1999, Tamn decided to take a different approach to lawn care.
“I believed there was a better way that was more sustainable,” he says. Tamn also thought “going green”—i.e., using fewer synthetic inputs—would give him a marketing niche to help his Hampstead, N.C.-based firm stand out among other lawn care companies.
It worked. Today, his company employs 40 to 50 workers, serving predominately residential clients, and it offers franchises opportunities for others who want to do business his way. He has nine franchises operating in the Carolinas.
As he likes to put it, “We were green before green was cool.”
You could say the organic, natural and/or biological lawn care business is growing and is likely to stay that way. Suppliers and end users say they’re seeing increased demand, increased sales and more products available than ever, a trend they expect to continue.
Take Bill Hoke, for example. He started his company, NexGreen, in January 2013 with three trucks and a warehouse. Now, he expects 2014 revenue for his lawn care firm to hit $1.6 million at his Columbus, Ohio, location and $800,000 for the Frederick, Md., office, with both locations offering lawn care and tree and shrub services to an 80/20 mix of residential and commercial customers.
“Green” looks good on smaller firms, too. In 2013, Nathan Brandon started Pure Green in Franklin, Tenn., after selling his interest in a traditional lawn care company. Today, he has three full-time workers, one part-time worker and serves both residential clients and commercial properties. He’s seeing more clients asking for a more natural approach.
WHY GO "GREEN" NOW?
Many lawn care firms say customers are requesting natural approaches to fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, the choice of organic, natural and biological products are better than ever, says Barrett Ersek, CEO of Holganix, a supplier of bionutritional products headquartered in Glen Mills, Pa.
In the past, natural products were smelly, clumping or inconsistent, Ersek says. In the last 10 years, more “bridge products” have been developed, providing lawn care firms with the ease of synthetics and the benefits of organics. Founded in 2010, Holganix was recently named to Inc. magazine’s 500 list, a ranking of the country’s fastest growing privately held firms.
Long gone are the meager offerings of compost tea or dried manure. Options are available from a range of suppliers and include products that strengthen the plants and amend the soil, including kelp, sugars, humates, polymer gels, amino acids, bacteria and fungi such as mycorrhizae.
The products and the forms available are improved, says Bob Bauwens, manager of national and international accounts at Lebanon Turf, based in Lebanon, Pa. Lebanon Turf has been manufacturing fertilizer products since 1947 and distributes worldwide.
For example, Bauwens notes, fungi (mycorrhizae) can be provided in granular or dry soluble form, making it easier for lawn care professionals to use the new offerings.
Clare Reinbergen, president of Growth Products in White Plains, N.Y., agrees there are more options on the market that fall into the “natural” category than ever before.
“There are so many new things we can source,” she says. Growth Products, founded in 1984, has seen sales double in the last five years and now distributes to all 50 states and exports to 40 countries.
HOW THE NEW PRODUCTS WORK
Some of the new products strengthen the plants so they can withstand stress, pests and drought or take up nutrients more effectively. Other products improve the soil ecology, putting bacteria, fungi and other substances into the soil so plants can make more effective use of the nutrients in the soil.
Often the products are added to traditional lawn care programs, with suppliers touting their ability to cut down on the amount of synthetic inputs needed.
Yet, lawn care firms say organics aren’t money savers, at least in the short run. They often cost more than traditional products.
Companies going this route look at it from a bigger picture point of view.
For example, Hoke says his company’s hybrid natural/traditional approach has resulted in an industry-bucking 93 percent client-retention rate, allowing his firm to spend less money on marketing and more on putting out a good product.
NO SILVER BULLET
Despite the new and improved organic, natural and biological products, no one recommends a one-size-fits all or even an all-natural approach.
“We’re not 100 percent organic,” Tamn says. “We do use some synthetic products, but we use the safest products that lead to the best end result.”
Like most firms, he recommends a hybrid approach, which typically echoes a traditional approach in terms of the number of applications.
Yet, going organic does call for extra effort in terms of communication and training, Tamn adds. His workers have to be ready to coach customers about proper mowing and watering and teach homeowners to notify Freedom Lawns when they see something that may need to be nipped in the bud, literally.
“You also need a very strong IPM (integrated pest management) policy,” he says, with workers well trained so they know when to pull out the pesticides and when to let nature take its course, such as when a disease shows up but may soon be restrained by a change in seasons.
When it comes to marketing organics, whether to lawn care firms or homeowners, the message needs to be honed and simplified, Reinbergen adds. “It’s not like you can say, ‘Here’s a bag of fertilizer,’” she says. “It takes awhile to educate consumers. It’s so hard to explain what’s in it.”
Though a number of drivers could boost the trend toward natural lawns, including regulations, the biggest factor, lawn care pros say, is consumer demand.
“There’s more awareness,” Tamn says. “First-time homeowners have more information than 10 years ago. And green is cool.”
Freedom Lawns president Mark A. Tamn, was recently a host to two promising entrepreneur’s from NC States Poole College of Business and Jenkins Business School.
The NC State students were invited to gain a better understanding of how a small business gets started, develops, grows, and can become profitable. The students asked many great questions concerning operations, marketing, branding, purchasing, franchising, and profitability.
One of the most interesting questions was asked by Daniel. His question was “if you had to compare being an entrepreneur to a movie, what movie and what character would you be? Mark’s answer was “Rocky “Because anyone can be successful regardless of where you came from or your means “however, it takes great personal commitment, perseverance, and determination to reach your goals!” Rocky certainly had what it takes.
When asked who would play in the supporting role in the movie, Mark’s answer was “my wife, cause she is a real life Adrian“
Freedom Lawns was honored to be asked to help a few of our future business leaders.
We had a very positive experience in purchasing a Freedom Lawns franchise. Freedom Franchises was very open with providing the information we needed to make the business decision to purchase the franchise. While we are still new to the Freedom Lawns system, we have been please thus far with our growth and financial results.
Dick & Connie Hahne, Freedom Lawns of Wilmington
Even from our initial inquiries into potentially purchasing a Freedom Lawns franchise, we have received stellar customer service and support from Mark and his staff. They were willing to accommodate and support us in a variety of ways, even offering on-site support here in Charleston.
Joe Grady, Freedom Lawns of Charleston
Since purchasing a Freedom Lawns franchise I have received continuous technical, marketing and field training support. The corporate office really does care about the success and prosperity of their franchises!
Wesley DuRant, Freedom Lawns of Georgetown
With the "no-pressure" sales tactic before us, we decided that this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. From the start, the support we've received has been top-notch. Everyone in the Freedom Lawns family is willing to help us in any way possible, with great attitudes & positive outlooks!
Andy Dixon, Freedom Lawns of Pitt County
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A word from our franchisees!
The Freedom Lawns winter owners meeting was held December at the Hilton in downtown Wilmington, NC.
Freedom Franchise Inc. host annual training meeting!
Coastal Entrepreneur Of The Year For Outstanding Customer Service.
UNCW Cameron School of Business
Business of the Year
Outstanding Environmental Services
NC Coastal Federation
PO Box 1037
Hampstead, NC 28443