Ah yes, the million dollar question! Should you buy a lawn mowing franchise or should you start a lawn mowing business on your own?
There’s really no right or wrong answer. It will depend on your own personal financial situation, goals, timeframes, skills, experience, knowledge and confidence.
We can’t advise you what to do, but we’ve collated some general information hat might help kickstart your thinking.
Lawn Mowing Franchises in Australia
Ever since Jim Penman became a household icon for building Jim’s Mowing into a successful lawn mowing franchise brand, there has never been any shortage of lawn mowing franchises to buy.
But interestingly, Jims Mowing wasn’t the first lawn mowing franchise in Australia. Bill Vis started the first lawn mowing franchise for V.I.P Home Services in 1979. Jim Penman only started his first Jims Mowing lawn mowing franchise in 1989.
Jim’s Mowing and V.I.P. Home Services are the oldest (and up until recently, the largest) names in the lawn mowing franchise sector and the only ones named in the annual IBIS Report. However, Express Group co-founder Reece Arcon recently told us that Express Group is now bigger than VIP. Very, very interesting!
Here is a list of some lawn mowing franchise names you might find when doing your research into the Australian lawn care market:
- Jim’s Mowing
- VIP Home Services
- Express Lawn Mowing & Gardening
- James Home Services
- Fox Mowing & Gardening
- Andrew’s Affordable Mowing Service
- Graham’s Garden Care
- Mark’s Mowing
- 1300 4 Gardening
- Boring Chores Property Services
- Select Lawn Mowing
- Top Cut Lawn Mowing
- Grey Army
Disclaimers: This list is not exhaustive. Our listing does not imply endorsement of any brand whatsoever. Brands are listed in no particular preference order.
How much does a lawn mowing franchise cost?
Lawn mowing franchises in Australia typically cost anything from $5,000 to $50,000 upfront, plus ongoing fees or commissions for costs such as marketing, administration, call centre referrals and more.
Most franchise territories are sold as new. This means that no one else has already run that particular franchise in that particular area. But another option is to buy an existing franchise (known as a “franchise resale”) with an already-established territory and customer base. The price might be higher, but that’s because you’re usually paying for the privilege of having customers from day one.
Questions before you buy a lawn mowing franchise
The Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal suggests you ask yourself the following questions before buying any type of franchise:
- Do I have the ability, commitment and personality to run my own business?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What type of business appeals to me?
- Can I work within the limits of a franchise?
- Am I prepared to go into debt to buy a franchise?
- Am I prepared to work long hours and make sacrifices?
- Do I have the support of my family?
“Franchising is seen by many as a simple way to go into business for the first time. But franchising is no guarantee of success and the same principles of good management – such as informed decision-making, hard work, time management, having enough money and serving your customers well – still apply.” Qld Government Business and Industry Portal
Advantages of buying a franchise
- Franchises offer the independence of small business ownership supported by the benefits of a big business network.
- You don’t necessarily need business experience to run a franchise. Franchisors usually provide the training you need to operate their business model.
- Franchises have a higher rate of success than start-up businesses.
- You may find it easier to secure finance for a franchise. It may cost less to buy a franchise than start your own business of the same type.
- Franchises often have an established reputation and image, proven management and work practices, access to national advertising and ongoing support.
Disadvantages of buying a franchise
- Buying a franchise means entering into a formal agreement with your franchisor.
- Franchise agreements dictate how you run the business, so there may be little room for creativity.
- There are usually restrictions on where you operate, the products you sell and the suppliers you use.
- Bad performances by other franchisees may affect your franchise’s reputation.
- Buying a franchise means ongoing sharing of profit with the franchisor.
- Franchisors do not have to renew an agreement at the end of the franchise term.
Disclaimer: To avoid bias, we deliberately took the lists of advantages and disadvantages directly from the Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal.
How can I find out more about buying a franchise?
If you’d like to learn more, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provides information on their site about the Franchising Code of Conduct, how to tell if a franchise is genuine, franchise agreements, ending a franchise agreement, resolving franchise disputes, acting in good faith and franchising penalties and infringements. They also sponsor free franchise training. Please visit their website for details.
There are also various franchise directories in Australia that you might like to review – both for listings of franchise businesses for sale and also for helpful articles and FAQ.
The Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo is held each year in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. If you are thinking about buying a lawn mowing franchise, the Franchise Expo might be a useful stop on your decision-making journey.
Do many people buy franchises?
The Franchise Council of Australia reports that there are more than 1,000 different franchises in Australia (this includes every type of franchise business, not just lawn mowing franchises) and 50,000 franchisees.
So if you buy a lawn mowing franchise, you’re not alone, there are thousands of others out there that have also invested in a franchise rather than start a business all on their own.
But on the flip side, there are thousands more Australians who have never bought a franchise who are successfully running their own businesses.
Which lawn mowing franchise to buy?
Our article about Which lawn mowing franchise should I buy? might be of interest.
What if I don’t buy a lawn mowing franchise?
In terms of a lawn mowing business, buying a franchise is not the only option. There are other ways to get customers. For example, 20 ideas to get customers for a lawn mowing business.
If you already have your own ABN and lawn mowing business, you can also sign up with GreenSocks to pick up extra lawn mowing jobs. Here’s our FAQ for lawn mowing providers if you’d like to learn more.
Whatever you choose to do, you’d be smart to weigh up your options carefully and seek professional advice.