The lawn mowing industry in New Zealand is not just healthy, it's growing and it's thriving. And it's no surprise. It's a great way to get out into the sun, smell freshly cut grass and roses, listen to the birds, and free yourself from 'the boss'.
But before you roll up your sleeves, there's an obvious question to answer: Should I buy a franchise?
If you don't think that's a big question to ask, think again. Going it alone or shopping around for a great franchise is probably the most fundamental thing to consider up front. The answer is more complicated. It depends on your finances, your targets, your skills, experience and confidence.
But if going it alone sounds a bit scarier than picking a franchise model off the shelf, you've probably made a wise and yet still bold and courageous step into the world of lawn mowing. Quite simply, the rate of success is higher for those who buy into a NZ franchise compared to those who start a whole new start-up brand and business themselves.
As for who to pick, there are plenty of options to choose from. We're not going to tell you who to go for, but there are definitely plenty of questions you can ask as you mow your way towards an answer that works for you.
Here are 10 of the best questions to ask before you choose a lawn mowing franchise:
1. How much does it cost?
Just like if you're buying a new pair of shoes, you can't ignore that ticket price. And the price can vary wildly.
But it's also important to recognise that the ticket price isn't everything. There may be fees, commissions, marketing and administration costs, call centre referral fees, and more - so make sure they're all known, understood and weighed up.
2. Does a franchise appeal to me?
You may whittle your selection down to a short list, but that doesn't mean that your cold calculations need to rule you. Is there an option that just appeals to you emotionally? Does the brand match your personality?
They can be key questions that ultimately determine the success of your lawn mowing business escapade.
3. Is your favourite franchise experienced?
With more and more franchise brands on the market in New Zealand, it's important to consider something that is extremely important - do they really know what they're doing?
Peace of mind is crucial when buying a lawn mowing franchise, because while it may seem simple, the lawn care industry is anything but simple. So if the brand's knowledge and experience match up to their business name, you could be onto a winner.
Not tooting our horn, but Crewcut is one of the most established lawn mowing franchises in New Zealand. We've been looking after Kiwi backyards for over 25 years - with that comes great experience.
4. Does my family support me?
All too often, people regard the decision to buy a NZ franchise in lawn mowing an easy alternative to a '9 to 5' job. But it's anything but.
Yes, it's a simple route into the world of business, but it's no guarantee of success. You'll still need to work hard, and lawn mowing may become a big topic of conversation around the dinner table. If everyone is on board, the challenge will be smoother.
5. Is the franchise supportive?
It's all good and well that the franchise model suits you and you can afford it. But what about the level of support that is offered?
The best lawn mowing franchise won't see you as yet another sale, they will see you as an important business partner. They'll train you, mentor you and help with your marketing - and that means guaranteed income!
6. Do you have the finance?
Yes, the headline ticket price of your chosen franchise may look good, but how are you going to go about getting finance to buy and run it?
Most people going into business need to secure finance, and it's just a fact that if you can take a proven franchise name to the bank, your chances of success are higher.
7. Does the franchise have a good name?
One of the major benefits of going the franchise model route is that you're buying into an established image, name and reputation.
And not just that, you want your franchise brand to also have an established network, proven processes and systems, and a clear route to profitability. When we asked some of our customers why they chose Crewcut over other franchises or independents - one of the main reasons is that Crewcut seemed to be trustworthy and a quality service.
8. Does it include marketing?
All of the best franchise options will point you towards the right equipment, accounting support, and training. But that's all nothing if you aren't getting bookings!
Some NZ franchises are simply better at supporting you with one of the most important aspects of running a lawn mowing business - the marketing. Because if you're not sure how best to reach your audience, what's the point of your brand if they won't help you?
9. Have you done all your homework?
If your franchise option is great at marketing, perhaps they've marketed themselves brilliantly as well! But don't fall for the spin. Do your own research.
It's called due diligence, and it means knowing the assets, liabilities and commercial potential of the brand - and test whether the stories you've been hearing are right before you pull the trigger and sign up.
10. How can I find out more?
If you still have questions that need answering, New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has set up a page that is just for you!
And if you still need more support about how to go about setting up a business, try: How to research your market competitors
Ready to get started?
If you're thinking seriously about buying a lawn mowing franchise, remember: you're not alone. There are thousands of others who are moving towards being convinced that deciding to buy NZ franchise is a great step into the exciting world of business.
Whatever you decide, just remember that every option should be weighed up carefully, and if in doubt, get some professional advice. Good luck ... and happy mowing!