A little more than five years ago, Ken Beasley was a successful landscaper in Natchez, Miss. He’d left behind a management career at Walmart, a company he’d served for 16 years, to pursue the dream of owning a landscape business. While still at Walmart, he’d driven two hours each way to the community college in Jackson, earning his degree in Landscape Management. It just so happened that one of his instructors was a U.S. Lawns owner named David Pursell.
In 2010, when Ken’s business lagged, he called Mr. Pursell for advice. After a few conversations with the U.S. Lawns Home Office, Ken was the proud owner of a franchise in Alexandria, La. But the first instruction he received from his RFA almost made him reconsider.
“He told me to get rid of all my residential business,” Ken recalls. “From now on, I was only supposed to handle commercial. And I just about asked if he was crazy, because residential was basically all I had.”
However, Ken claims his willingness to put faith in the U.S. Lawns system was the turning point in his success.
“I figured I had just spent all this money and bought into a franchise. It wouldn’t make sense not to follow the process,” he says.
Accordingly, Ken gave over $300,000 in business to a neighboring landscaper in Natchez, keeping what little commercial work he had. In addition, U.S. Lawns awarded him some Strategic Account work, due to his experience in the industry. After that, it was all about the sales process.
“I found that getting commercial work was easier than I’d expected, because the U.S. Lawns sales process gave me the edge. I knew exactly what to bid, down to the last cent. In a market like mine, with nothing but small businesses, that’s a huge competitive advantage.”
Within one year of losing nearly all his accounts, Ken had recouped his revenue completely. Within two years, he’d doubled it. And after three years, he was inducted into the Million Dollar Club. From operating a small, two-truck operation in Natchez, he has now accumulated 10 trucks, 34 employees, and two territories: Alexandria and Lafayette, LA.
Ken says the support he receives from fellow franchisees like David Pursell, his RFA, and the Home Office, are invaluable to his success.
“I know I can call anyone at Home Office and they’re going to help. Even Mike Fitzpatrick, the Vice President of the company, will talk to me over the phone and give me his advice.”
But it’s the systems and processes that Ken swears are the secret to his rapid growth.
“When prospective franchisees call me, I tell them you have to follow the system. Do what your RFA tells you. They know the business, and they’ve seen what works. If you get scared and hold onto your residential accounts, you won’t do as well. The secret is to take that leap, and go 99% commercial, just like you’re supposed to. That’s how I was successful. That’s how I was able to achieve my dream.”