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Archive for the ‘franchise’ tag

The ‘Picasso of parking lots’

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We’re proud to say that we knew Chris Couri back when. The landscaper-turned-parking lot painter was featured recently in Businessweek.

While Couri admits that painting lines isn’t “rocket science,” he claims to bring a level of professionalism and organization to an industry sorely lacking in both. As co-owner of a landscaping operation in Connecticut, he had “horrible experiences with line painters.” He soon proposed a new business venture to his landscaping partners, Daniel Rella and Tom Darrow. “One of the things that attracted us about line painting was that it’s largely off the radar,” he says. “There’s virtually no competition. Everybody knows that parking lots have lines, but nobody knows how they get there. There’s no premier provider.”

We profiled him in our 2011 Franchise Guide, and spoke to him about the nature of franchsining in May.

Check him out now that he’s a “Picasso of parking lots.”


October 15th, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Top-down social media

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Lawn Doctor and Scott Frith get a shout-out in this Entrepreneur article about how franchises are using social media.

The nature of franchising — systems, consistency and control — can run counter to the spontaneous spirit of social media. “A franchisor wants to closely manage the brand, but that takes away the point of social media, which is the personal interaction,” says Rich Stark, CEO of Stark Logic, an online marketing agency in Oceanside, Calif.

That attitude is changing, however. Franchise companies are “starting to pay attention because they now realize that social media does impact sales,” Powills says.

It’s got some solid tips for any company considering a jump into social, especially when it comes to letting your employees post and interact on these platforms. You can read the full piece here.

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May 9th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

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Core values

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Core values: A principle that guides an organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world.

That definition is according to the website Your company probably has a set of core values. But are they written down? Do your employees live them? Do your customers know what they are?  Those are important steps a company must take in order to be successful.

Dina Dwyer-Owens is a stickler on core values. She’s the chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group, which has a portfolio of eight companies, including the green industries, The Grounds Guys. The Dwyer Group is successful today because her employees know and follow the company’s code of values: respect, integrity, customer focus and having fun in the process.

To understand how those were being lived, Dwyer-Owens went on the TV show Undercover Boss (watch here). She learned a lot about herself, about her company and about running a lawn mower.

The Grounds Guys was formed in 2010 by The Dwyer Group and the Van Stralen family, which founded Sunshine Grounds Care in 1987. Here Dwyer-Owens shares with Lawn & Landscape The Grounds Guys own core values and how they’re integrated in everyday work:

Today, The Grounds Guys Culture of CARE states:

We show that we CARE, by putting the needs of our

Customers first, by always having a positive and helpful

Attitude, and by treating everyone and everything with

Respect. By living our code of values we

Enjoy Life in the process.


Now, the team learns how to CARE. It is reinforced daily with a quick morning H.U.D.D.L.E to start the day:

Have someone recite the Culture of CARE

Uniform check

Discuss yesterday’s route

Discuss today’s route

Listen and share good news

Energize and encourage each other

The call to action with the culture of CARE and H.U.D.D.L.E. has raised the bar for The Grounds Guys. It’s inspiring to know that the road we have traveled at The Dwyer Group can be an interesting lesson for other businesses on a journey all their own.

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March 5th, 2012 at 4:11 pm