Business Profiles

by SmartGrass

last updated 31/03/2022


Only The Best

by SmartGrass

last updated 31/03/2022


That’s the promise SmartGrass makes its clients – and it applies to franchisees, too

That’s the promise SmartGrass makes its clients – and it applies to franchisees, too

She’s a hard road creating the perfect lawn, as anyone who has tried it will know. Sculpting the perfect contours, laying the subsoil, sowing the seed evenly, keeping the birds away, watering and feeding, killing the weeds … then there’s the ongoing maintenance, the mowing and trimming, the brown from drought and the cracks from frost. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of money.

That’s why the owner of this Merivale home decided to use SmartGrass – artificial grass which not only provides an authentic lush look and feel,  but drains well and always looks immaculately trimmed.

‘The project provides a good example of what’s in store for SmartGrass franchisees as the company expands throughout the country,’ says  founder Jack Kennedy. ‘It’s one of the fastest-growing areas in the construction sector, with no product supply issues – so could you see yourself in this business?’

A perfect solution

The Merivale job began after the owner got fed up with the hassle of maintenance around his pool and art pieces, not to mention the dead grass on the designated dog lawn. He looked for solutions and his architects recommended SmartGrass.

‘Rather than just sending samples, we made the time to go and see him, find out the problems, suggest solutions and show what we could do,’ Jack explains. ‘While we were there, we measured up the lawn so that we could provide an immediate quote via our specialised software. That’s why this business is so suited to franchisees – they can follow up local leads in person.

‘This particular client was very discerning so he looked at our video reviews and testimonials, then arranged to visit a couple of our previous jobs to see for himself. After that, he quickly booked us in. If you start a landscaping business on your own, you’re going to struggle because you don’t have the tools, the examples, the experience to put before a client – even if you can find one. SmartGrass can provide all that, and a unique product, too.’

Not on the tools

With the quote accepted, the project then became about delivery. ‘Franchisees will employ a team which includes an installation manager and one or two installers,’ explains Jack. ‘The franchisee doesn’t have to be on the tools themselves, although they might choose to roll up their sleeves sometimes – their role is more sales and management.’

In the case of Merivale, the whole job took about six days to complete. There were five stages:

1. Dig out the existing lawn.

2. Install new garden edging.

3. Create base construction with compacted rock, which gives a solid foundation and drainage.

4. Lay Earth Series grass, a product exclusive to SmartGrass which is 100 percent recyclable. It comes in rolls which are cut to shape, joined, then fastened at the edges.

5. Grooming with a fine layer of sand then brushing to make it stand up like real grass.

‘This ensures the product lasts for years,’ Jack explains. ‘That’s another reason why we want local franchisees – proper installation makes it look awesome, last well, drain well, and ensures it doesn’t sink or undulate over time. And our specialised equipment does the job two or three times faster, and to a better standard, than could otherwise be achieved.’

Three revenue streams

Installation is not the end of the job. ‘Supply and installation provide two revenue streams for franchisees, but a third is ongoing maintenance,’ explains Jack. ‘While the lawns are low maintenance, many clients book annual servicing with our special grooming machine to keep them looking their best. That ensures customers are always satisfied and leads to more referrals, too.’

As far as the business side goes, Jack says the franchise offers many advantages.

‘For a start, there is massive demand. This is a fast-growing sector and SmartGrass are the specialists. We have four installation teams in Christchurch alone, more in Wellington, and  demand for more all over the country.

‘It’s not a seasonal business, because we can install the product pretty much all year round and there are also indoor jobs such as pre-schools, gyms, sports centres and the like.

‘There’s good cashflow, too. We take a deposit on each job and generally have two or three months of work in the pipeline, which de-risks the business.’

Six-figure profits

SmartGrass franchisees need no experience in landscaping or laying either ordinary grass or artificial grass. The investment is around $200,000 +gst, which includes the cost of a suitable vehicle and all the required machinery, as well as an exclusive territory. Jack says experience suggests six-figure profits can be generated in the first year, and franchisees will be able to scale this significantly after two years.  Finance options are available  through Westpac.

‘We are currently sitting on a ton of sales enquiries from all over the country, with real hot spots in Hamilton, Tauranga, Nelson,  Dunedin and all parts of Auckland.  If you are looking for something truly exceptional, contact me now.’   

See this advertorial on page 21 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 1

Contact details for SmartGrass

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