Name: April Cannon
Location: NaturaLawn of America in Charlotte, NC
Franchise Owner Since: 2003
FBR: What did you do prior to becoming a franchise owner?
AC: I was actually an accountant by trade. I worked for Addison Airport, the third largest general aviation airport in Dallas, and I worked for the founding family there. They also owned a vineyard in France, and several different little companies. I did the books for all of those. I worked there for about six years, and then prior to that I was in the property management apartment industry in Dallas.
FBR: Lawn care is very different from property management and accounting. Why did you want to leave all that to pursue franchise ownership?
AC: This was originally my husband’s baby. He was an executive VP for a company in Texas and every few years the company would get bought out and for whatever reason he would be laid off. The last time he was laid off we sat down and asked ourselves if we wanted to do something else where we are in charge of our own future and income. He always had a green thumb and enjoyed working in the yard and when researching franchises we found out that Natural Lawn was one of the few companies that used all natural, safe, organic based products that were safer for the environment, pets, children. Our original plan was to open a franchise in Plano, Texas but one day he asks me “what do you think about moving to Charlotte?” That was in 2003.
FBR: How was your business able to survive a recession at the start of your business and now pandemic?
AC: Thankfully lawn care is pretty much recession and pandemic proof. I think everyone’s sitting at home looking at their grass and then they call us. We’ve been fortunate to actually have had our best year in 2020.
FBR: What is the biggest challenge for you in running your business?
AC: The most challenging for us is finding good people to work with us and that is getting more challenging. The good people that we hire generally see us as a fill in job, although we do have a young man now who’s been with us several years and we’re grooming him to go into a more management role. We also have a wonderful office manager who’s been here almost eight years. Thank god for her because she’s the one that allows me to go play if we’re not busy.
FBR: What advice would you give someone starting off in franchising?
AC: I think it all boils down to numbers, You have to track your stuff. If you're going to advertise, track your dollars, how much is it costing you to get that sale. When you advertised over here, did it work? If it didn't, don't do it again next year, try something new.
For more information on NaturaLawn opportunities, call (800) 989-5444 or visit www.NaturaLawnFranchise.com.
Nicole Dudley, Franchise Business Review’s client services director sits down with Donnie Carr, President of Christian Brothers Automotive. Christian Brothers has worked with FBR, surveying their franchisees, since 2007.