Weed Man’s Terry Kurth recently spoke to us about his former role as a golf course superintendent and why he decided to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit and make a major career change.
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975 with a B.S. degree in Agronomy with a specialization in Turf Management. I worked at Nakoma Golf Course in Madison while going to college, which gave me incredible experience in caring for turf. I was hired upon graduation to become the Golf Course Superintendent at Peninsula State Park Golf Course in NE WI.
- Explain your transition into lawn care. Why lawn care? Why did you decide to leave the golf course industry?
After two seasons of being a superintendent, I realized that my chance for substantial advancement in that industry was limited and wanted to broaden my experiences. I was then hired by the Scotts Company in Ohio to give educational seminars around the country to golf course superintendents, landscape contractors and lawn care operators. While working for Scotts, I moonlighted in sales in the summer of 1977 for their former spinoff, Barefoot Grass Lawn Service in Columbus, OH. I had substantial success selling for them and felt I could go back home to the Madison, WI area and open my own Barefoot Grass franchise, which I did in March of 1978. I grew it and my expansion areas to over $3,000,000 in sales and ultimately sold it to TruGreen in 1997 after they had acquired my franchisor.
- Why Weed Man?
Though set financially after selling my Barefoot Grass franchises, I was only in my mid 40s and certainly looked forward to more business challenges in my life. After I honored my non-compete agreement, I looked into starting anew with Weed Man. When I did my due diligence on their systems, branding, ethics and quality of people, I felt that it was a no-brainer in terms of joining forces with them. So I started over in January of 2001 with Weed Man in Madison.
- a) How has franchising helped you succeed?
Most people will spend way too many man hours trying to reinvent the wheel that a quality franchise system has already created. The training, systems, marketing concepts, support people and in-house consultants prove invaluable over time. I would bet that if a business study was done, it would be found that a franchisee in a given industry generally will outperform an independent in that same industry in the same market.
b) How has Weed Man helped you succeed?
It simply delivers what it says it will and goes beyond what it promises. The systems are unbelievable and the business planning is like no other. These two mandatory ingredients of success are exceeded by the people involved. The mentoring by all involved from the Weed Man franchising support staff is typified by great, caring attitudes and a desire to participate in your success. We now have reached about $5 million in sales for our franchise network in 14 years.
- What advice would you give to anyone considering making the transition into franchising?
Do your homework. See how the particular franchise you are looking at is rated by their current franchisees. Entrepreneur magazine does this for you. Talk with current franchisees and see if they are happy, are they buying more franchises, etc. Go to the headquarters of the franchisor and see if your culture and goals mesh with theirs. Once the decision is made, don’t look back. Bring a tremendous passion to succeed, make sure you can manage time well, compete with yourself in the initial year or two so you keep driving forward with your goals. The Brass Ring is there for most — you just need to have the intestinal fortitude to make the first step and then decide that failure is not an option.
To hear more from Terry, listen to his latest podcast HERE.
Looking to expand your current business or make a career change? Find out if Weed Man is right for you: call 1-888-321-9333 or visit www.weedmanfranchise.com.