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Franchise Options to help you expand your business

By Terrell Brown, Sunshine Greens Inc. and Joe DeBaisio, ProGreens International

The demand for artificial turf has grown at a double-digit pace since 2000 due to regional water restrictions, economic benefits and the growth of personal putting greens. These trends are expected to continue in both commercial and residential markets, impacting your bottom line.

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During challenging economic times it's always a good idea to look at ways to diversify your landscape contracting business. Setting up a franchise could be profitable and also give you a steady stream of income. You need to find what works for you and your business in your region. Although this article discusses synthetic grass installation, the principles could apply if it were installing landscape lighting, irrigation or water features.

Installing artificial grass for lawns, landscapes, putting greens, medians, parks and other applications could prove to be profitable. Your clients could include government, home developers, hotels and private residents. You may want to contact a synthetic turf manufacturer and negotiate for exclusive dealership rights. While promoting synthetic turf may seem counter to the traditional landscape maintenance model, a single installation can provide the same revenue as three or five year's worth of ongoing customer maintenance.

New Dealers can get established with a limited investment. Some manufacturers may require an initial dealership fee and thereafter, dealers are required to meet minimum annual turf purchases. However, there are no additional royalties or licensing fees. Training is hands-on with an actual project and dealers should be equipped to begin installations upon completion. Successful dealers should be able to tap into their existing residential and commercial contacts and drive consistent business through both economical and leisure-based sales. Most installations can be completed in under a week, and require two to three installers. Limited heavy equipment is needed, and can be rented on a per-project basis.

You could start your own installation business as a landscape contractor and receive discounts off the retail pricelist. This could include no start up cost. Another option includes becoming a dealer, which gives you wholesale buying privileges; dealer manual; dealer website with product updates, news and updated installation techniques; print-ready marketing DVD; phone and e-mail support. According to ProGreen International, the start up cost for this package would be $1,795.

Many places in this country have need to deal with water shortages and water conservation. Think about how incorporating the installation of synthetic turf grass could increase you income possibilities: golf course tee boxes, lawns, street medians, athletic fields, playgrounds, dog runs, dog day care play areas, kids day care centers and of course putting greens.

At an additional cost you could become a certified installer with additional training and leads sent directly to you. Owning a distributorship would cost substantially more but also include: lower wholesale prices; owned and protected territory; and rights to sell dealerships in your area and earn wholesale as well as retail income.

Frequently Asked Questions

LCN contacted ProGreen to discuss franchise options. Testing the market and purchasing equipment were the most relevant concerns for our readers.

Q: Can I test the market before I become a dealer?
A: Yes. Ask for a promotional countertop display and brochures for a low cost. Your customers buy direct through the manufacturer. In return, you may receive a finder's fee.

Q: What kind of equipment will I need to become a synthetic turfgrass installer?

A: You will need to have a truck or work van. Basic installation equipment includes spreaders, landscape edging, utility knives, wheelbarrows and shovels. Additional equipment that may be needed based on the type, size and scope of the installation are a powerbroom, compactor, water roller, sod-cutter and possibly a walk-behind sweeper with nylon brushes; these items can usually be rented until your business grows and it becomes more economical to buy instead of rent.

The following companies were contacted by LCN about other franchise and distributorship opportunities.

Landscape Design:,
Landscape Maintenance:
Animal Waste:

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December 6, 2019, 12:38 pm PDT

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