Request your Free Brochure
Learn why entrepreneurs choose Weed Man for business
Watch our Franchise Video
Weed Man Keeps Growing in Albion, N.Y.
Customer retention and growth leads to business expansion.
This article originally appeared in The Daily News, N.Y.
When Ken Bieber and his Weed Man lawn care business outgrew a former greenhouse on West Avenue, he faced a decision this past summer: He could move the business from Albion and be more centrally located to his customers in Niagara and northern Erie County.
But Bieber, a lifelong Albion resident, decided to keep running the business from Albion. That’s home for him and most of his nine employees.
“I like living here and I like being close to my business,” said Bieber, 42. “I like the small community.”
He moved Weed Man in July to a former meat market on Route 98, a site that tripled his space from West Avenue. Bieber expects to add another truck to his fleet next year and could add staff as well. He will be up to six vehicles by then.
It’s quite a trajectory for Bieber who opened the Weed Man franchise in 2003 and ran it the first three years out of his house and a shed. He moved the business to West Avenue in 2006, and outgrew that site, expanding from two trucks to five.
His new setup, a building renovated by owner Rick Stacey, gives him rooms for training, a sales department and a receptionist, as well as offices for Bieber and a manager. Weed Man also has more room to store supplies and equipment.
It has Bieber looking to grow the business. He already has 2,350 customers in the three counties and he wants to push that to 2,600 next year. Bieber said he maintains a nearly 90 percent retention rate with customers, the highest rate for a Weed Man franchise in the country. In 2008, he was picked the top Weed Man franchise in the U.S.
He said he keeps customers by doing a good job at reasonable prices. Most customers receive six lawn treatments from April through November at an average annual cost of $300. The company also provides tree and shrub care.
The business hasn’t been hurt by the recession because Bieber said a slowing economy tends to keep people home, and they devote money that used to go for traveling and other discretionary spending to improving their homes and property.
Many Albion community members have told him the business has improved the looks of 3847 Oak Orchard Rd., a site with a lot of turnover through the years. Bieber would like to stay long-term at the location.
He is trying to make the business more customer friendly by embracing technology on the Internet. Customers can pay their bills online and monitor their lawn-care program, sending questions to Bieber.
He has become a bit of a local celebrity in recent years showing up at parades in a Weed Man superhero costume. Bieber, wearing a cape and bulked up muscle-man outfit, passes out Weed Man stickers to children along the parade route.
“It’s fun and it’s exposure for the business,” he said about the parades. “We’re out there being part of the community.”
Bieber said he may add more parades this year as part of his marketing outreach.
“There’s still a lot of potential for growth,” he said.