Franchise recruitment

The home that Lisa and Steve share with their family is on one of the busiest thoroughfares in West Des Moines. But in their newly configured and private backyard, the rest of the world seems light years away.

“We wanted a space where our family could spread out and live, along with an enjoyable place to entertain,” Steve explains.

The couple opted to work with Harold Cross of Archadeck of Central Iowa to complete the transformation. Cross, who normally comes up with the plans for such projects, had a surprise when he met them “Most often our clients have a general view of what they want but aren’t down to specifics. Steve and Lisa, however, were extremely detailed in what they envisioned and already had created plans for the project.”

Their plans for their backyard meshed into an overall design scheme, which created their version of an “outdoor room.”

Cross says he tweaked a few details but primarily worked with the couple’s plans. “The two-level outdoor living space with the pergola and stonework really breaks up the space and gives it energy.” He started working with Steve and Lisa in February, when there was still snow on the ground, and started construction in July. The detailed project came to completion in October.

“With this project, the whole focus of our home moved to the back,” Steve points out. The cedar pergola will be allowed to age naturally to a silvery patina, he says. Just for fun, there’s lighting under the seating, providing soft, indirect light on the deck surface, which glows for evening gatherings.

Another low-maintenance aspect is the stamped and colored concrete on the lower-level patio, an aspect that Archadeck is incorporating into more of its designs and projects.

“We really wanted to avoid having a big open deck space,” Steve says. “With this angled configuration outside, we feel we have added visual appeal and usable space.” Inside, the family has added touches of the Arts and Crafts influence, which they appreciate. Steve laid subtle textured and plain carpet tiles in a checkerboard pattern to give interest, but also practicality, underfoot. To read more, see full article


I have never been afraid of the dark – until now.  Growing up with multiple siblings and having more pranks played on me than I can remember, it is surprising that I was never afraid of the dark.  It was only a few days ago when I realized I am now afraid of the dark.  What brought this fear to life?

I picked my daughter up from after-school care and when got home, it was already dark.  We went into the house to begin our evening routine.  A friend of mine called. As I was speaking with her, I walked outside, down the sidewalk to check my mail.  I flipped the light on the stoop before I went down the sidewalk, so I could easily see to get to the mailbox and back.  As I started back up the walkway, I caught a glimpse of something from the corner of my eye.  I quickly looked up to see a man I had never seen before standing before me on the sidewalk. 

He was standing between me and the house – the house where my five year old daughter was waiting for me.  In an instant, panic swept over me.  I began to run through a million scenarios in my mind.  With my friend on the phone, I asked the man “Can I help you?”  He gazed at me for a minute and said “My car broke down up the street, and I was wondering if I could borrow some tools.”  I am not sure if he really was looking at the phone in my hand, as I was looking into the light from the stoop, or if it simply appeared that his eyes were fixed upon it.  I said “I don’t have any tools, but my husband should be home any minute and I am sure he would be happy to help you.” 

After saying this, I walked past the man and into the house.  I could feel his eyes watching me as I walked past.  Cold chills ran over me.  I was so scared.  I went inside, closed and locked the door.  The next ten minutes seemed like an eternity.  When my husband arrived, I asked him if he saw the man outside.  He replied “I didn’t see anyone outside.”  I described what had happened and he said “There are no broken down cars on the street, and no man anywhere to be seen.”

With the economy being what it is, many of the homes in my neighborhood have undergone foreclosure or have been rented.  I am really not sure who is in my neighborhood anymore.  I realize this entire scenario could have been avoided if only the front of my house had been properly illuminated.   I spoke to a professional at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and scheduled a consultation.  Now I don’t have to be afraid of the dark.

Fewer than half of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, the lowest level since record-keeping began 22 years ago, said a report released on January 5, 2010.  What are people waiting for?  Franchising is the vehicle for people to make the changes in their careers and in their lives!

As published on today:

The Conference Board’s survey polled 5,000 households, and found that only 45% were satisfied in their jobs. That’s down from 61.1% in 1987, the first year the survey was conducted.

Even though one in 10 Americans is out of a job, those who are employed are increasingly dissatisfied.

“Through both economic boom and bust during the past two decades, our job satisfaction numbers have shown a consistent downward trend,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center of The Conference Board, in a prepared statement.

“[That] could spell trouble for the overall engagement of U.S. employees and ultimately employee productivity,” she added.

The report notes that job satisfaction has steadily declined over the years despite big improvements in the work environment, such as a reduction of workplace hazards and an increase in vacation days.

The drop in satisfaction over the past 22 years spans various aspects of employee life, including interest in work (down 18.9 percentage points) and job security (down 17.5 percentage points).  And employee satisfaction dipped across the board; workers in every age group and income levels showed a drop, but workers younger than 25 were the most unhappy in their jobs.

Almost one-quarter of respondents said they didn’t expect to be at their current jobs within a year. 

Again, with all of this dissatisfaction, I believe 2010 will be a strong year for franchise recruiting.  The economy is starting to recover which offers the perfect backdrop to launch a new franchise business.  If you are one of those 55% that is unhappy with your current job, what are you waiting for?

Yesterday, Mosquito Squad, one of the franchise systems owned by Outdoor Living Brands, completed the training of its largest class of new franchisees ever. 

We are delighted to welcome this group of new franchise owners into the family of Outdoor Living Brands.  We look forward to supporting their efforts to pusure their personal, business and career goals by growing vibrant Mosquito Squad franchise businesses in the years ahead!

As the leader of an outdoor living franchise company, we are always looking for qualified and properly capitalized franchisees to join our franchise systems – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad.

I am delighted to announce a record setting new class of Mosquito Squad franchisees will be starting their initial training in Richmond on December 7, 2009. This is the largest training class ever for Mosquito Squad and Outdoor Living Brands; it completes our efforts to more than double the Mosquito Squad franchise system in 2009. The new franchisees will be preparing to launch their franchise operations in 2010 and will start protecting families from both the annoying bites and the dangers of insect borne diseases next spring. 

MSF 3560 December 2009 Record Training Press Release – Final

I (and our entire team) look forward to supporting these new franchisees to help them to reach their personal, business and lifestyle objectives that led them to invest in and launch their Mosquito Squad franchise businesses!

Wow, we are experiencing some strong building momentum with our Mosquito Squad franchise business, part of Outdoor Living Brands!  Since acquiring the company in the first quarter of 2009 with approximately 17 franchise locations, we will more than double the company by the end of the year – in fact, we are likely to have more than 40 franchise locations at the beginning of 2010. 

Despite the economic climate, 2009 was a very strong season for the Mosquito Squad franchise system and demand is running extremely strong from individuals seeking to join this rapidly growing franchise system.  We are working on finalizing plans for a very large December training class and expect continued rapid expansion in 2010.  It is fun and rewarding to be part of a dynamic growing franchise system that is helping our franchisees to reach their personal and business goals.

Are you preparing for the holiday season?  Perhaps you are getting out those holiday lights.  Whether you think of a season as being dictated by weather, or events, we are all impacted by seasons.  As individuals, consumers, parents, homeowners, and business professionals, seasonality is something we all face.

Working as a Franchise Recruiting Specialist for Outdoor Living Brands, a very common question from potential franchisees is “How does seasonality affect your business?”  Stop and think for a moment the impact of seasonality on everything in our lives.  Few businesses are not impacted by seasonality.  Tax preparers are impacted by the “tax season”.  Bulk mailing companies and tourist destinations are impacted by the “vacation season”.  Toys retailers, gym memberships, and magazine gift subscriptions are highly impacted by the “holiday season”.   Construction companies are impacted by the “rainy and snow season”.  And lets not forget the hot chocolate companies – it is getting colder you know.  Teachers – the “school season” is in full swing.   Doctors and nurses prepare for the “flu” season.  Just how many seasons are there?

Whether dictated by weather, geographic location, employment, holidays, or vacations, there will always be a seasonality factor.  If everyone simply stopped what they were doing during the “off season”, nothing would ever get accomplished.  The best answer I can give anyone to the question “How does seasonality affect your business” . . . we spend our “off season” preparing for “next season”.  Perhaps Henry David Thoreau said it best “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”

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