Father Nature Landscapes has announced it is launching its national franchise program, which is designed to help professionals create a unique customer experience in the landscape design and construction industry.
The company was established in 2006, first in Tacoma, Washington, by brothers Andrew and Daniel McCurry, 10 years after they started out with a small-scale gardening, maintenance and installation company.
In 2008, a family friend of the McCurrys left Tacoma and settled in Mobile, Alabama, opening a Father Nature Landscapes there. By 2009, Father Nature had opened a third corporate location in Birmingham, Alabama.
Andrew started considering franchising the business in 2008 after setting up the location in Mobile. He had met with SCORE, which is a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring, to see if it was feasible at the time.
They told him that the company wasn’t ready at that point, so when Father Nature opened its third location in 2009, Andrew took advantage of the opportunity to document the company’s processes.
“All the processes that they wanted us to have ready essentially were all the operations and all the administrative elements, like how do we go about getting a new customer and what are all the touch points with that customer throughout that whole process, whether it be in admin or actually getting a job executed from the initial proposal phase to the final thank you letter,” said Andrew McCurry, COO of Father Nature Landscapes. “So, everything that we do and all the touch points in the office or out of the office just needed to be documented on how do we go about serving someone in a process-oriented way.”
The program is initially being launched across the South and East Coast, and the brothers hope to eventually spread the branch across the country.
“For the past 10 years, we’ve worked to develop a brand and business model that is unlike anything else the industry,” said Daniel McCurry, CEO of Father Nature Landscapes. “By prioritizing the customer experience and creating an innovative design program, we’ve done exactly that. Now, we’re looking to spread that expertise across the region and change the culture of the landscape industry.”
The initial franchise fee starts at $30,000 and can go up depending on the market size. Andrew notes there are other costs to starting up a franchise, so a good line of credit is crucial for financing. He encourages those interested to call and engage with the sales group in a conversation to find out if Father Nature is the right fit for them aside from financially.
“For one, they need to be hungry, have a good amount of ambition and also just passion for the industry,” Andrew said. “They’re going to have to bring passion. We can bring processes. We’ll be able to continue to fuel their fire through just some of the ongoing conversations that we will have.”
Daniel McCurry adds that the right people for the franchise are those who like people and want to help better their lives.
As for what makes Father Nature Landscapes different from other franchises, Andrew says it’s one of the few companies that offer installation in the U.S. He says part of this is because most people think of McDonald’s when they think franchises.
“Yes, you want to have consistency, as many things as you can actually put your fingers on, but what’s cool and unique about our brand and what we’re trying to do in the franchise world is you still have to leave room for creativity,” Andrew said. “You can’t franchise creativity because then you lose all the innovation.”
Andrew stresses that franchising isn’t about creating cookie cutter landscapes but providing the business systems that help landscapers focus on what they’re really good at.
“We feel like a lot of landscapers never reach their full potential because they don’t understand business, and we’ve trained ourselves in business so that we can help other people to maximize their effort,” Andrew said.
For Andrew, what makes Father Nature different is not one major thing but the company as a whole and its commitment to its brand.
“Honestly, I know our people, our culture and our processes are a lot of the reasons we’re doing the franchising, but if we didn’t have a good brand to stand behind, I don’t even think people would give us the time of day,” Andrew said. “We’re blessed to have a pretty good, strong brand. It takes a group of people to build that brand daily for it to mean anything.”
Part of what Daniel says makes Father Nature unique is its staff’s culture and its commitment to innovation.
“We ask why, and we try to flip the norm on its head and do things that more connect with the family that is going to be using it,” Daniel said. “(We) do things differently and hopefully cooler and more efficiently, more durable and using unique products. I think that both the design and how we do things and the community are our two biggest unique selling propositions.”
For those interested in the Father Nature franchise, click here or call (205)774-1342.