In our second episode of LCM Lawn Legends, we bring to you another LCM, Jonas Olson of Turf Badger. In this video, he will share his story and drop some gems that can help you expand your business with franchises!
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Hello, Lawn Care Millionaire! My name is Jonas Olsson, CEO and founder of Turf Badger. I’m a Lawn Care Millionaire. Turf Badger was founded in 2019. I would say that’s when I filled out the LLC paperwork, but it didn’t actually launch until 2020. We didn’t start until around June or July. I wasn’t sure what to do with the LLC in Michigan because my old business had been shut down for four months. It forced me to open my eyes to what I was missing.
We were deemed inessential, and Pest Control was essential at the time, so we did a bit of pest control during COVID. I had to think about the future of my company, and what I realized quickly was that what I was doing at the time wasn’t recession-proof, and I wasn’t entirely happy with where the business was. Yes, we were generating millions in revenue, but I couldn’t scale the company the way I wanted to. One, because it was in a small town, and two, it wasn’t the right operational fit for us. It wasn’t what we excelled at.
So, I focused on the two services we were really good at and felt were easier to scale. When COVID hit, it forced me to move my operations from Michigan to Wisconsin. I was waking up at 4:00 every morning, driving to the Green Bay-Appleton area, knocking on doors, and learning how to do it myself. I was extremely nervous, and the first door I knocked on almost made me throw up. But I persevered, and that’s how Turf Badger started. This was in June or July of 2020.
I was by myself for the first few days, but then I found another guy to knock with me. He would sell a job, and I’d service it. Later, I recruited my brother and another friend, and by the end of July 2020, we had a team of four. By the end of 2020, we were already generating around $300,000 in revenue.
When I got back home at the end of the year, I realized the potential of the new business and compared it to what my old business was doing. In 2020, I made the decision to sell my old company and start fresh with Turf Badger. In 2021, we had our first full year, and during the off-season, I honed my sales skills. I got good enough to show others how to do what I was doing. I already had the marketing and operational skills, and I added sales to the mix. I built a sales team, integrated marketing tactics, and saw significant growth. We went from $300,000 to $1.45 million in revenue that first year and crossed $3 million in the second year.
As of today, at the end of 2023, we have six locations and have adopted a franchise model. We’ve sold two franchises and have two more corporate-owned offices opening in 2024. This will bring us to nine locations and two franchises by the end of 2023. We’ve generated over $5 million in revenue this year alone. It’s been a great journey, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
The reason we chose a franchise model was twofold. First, we couldn’t service enough clients by ourselves, and second, we wanted to help other entrepreneurs scale their businesses without going through the same struggles I did. Here are a few quick tips if you’re considering starting a franchise:
- Plan ahead, as it can take five or six months to complete the process, including finalizing your FDD and registering in all the states.
- Ensure you have sufficient cash on hand, as it can be an expensive endeavor.
- Vet consulting companies carefully to find one that aligns with your company’s culture and vision. They can make the process smoother and faster.
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