Outdoor Living Franchise

The franchising industry is the doorway to a world of opportunity. Thousands of franchises offer countless concepts, all with varying startup costs. And while many require a storefront and overhead expenses, a large number of them – ranging from pest control to dance fitness lessons to deck and lighting companies and repair services – can be operated right from home. Home-based franchises are becoming viable options for business ownership, enabling many new franchisors to grow their businesses more effectively Franchise Finder Find the right franchise for you! Explore our directory of over 800 franchise opportunties.

The popularity of home-based businesses has been growing for a while now. Home-based entrepreneurship has become so common, in fact, that those running businesses from home have earned their own title, “homepreneurs,” and have become significant pillars in the economy. According to a recent survey conducted by Small Business Success Index and analyzed by Emergent Research, there are currently about 6.6 million home businesses nationwide that generate at least 50 percent of the owner’s household income. These businesses employ over 13 million people; 35 percent of them generate more than $125,000 in revenue, and 8 percent generate more than $500,000.

So what’s driving this trend? There are many factors, one of which is the struggling economy. “Home-based franchising is alive and well and, in this down economy, thriving,” explains Harold Kestenbaum, a franchise attorney who has worked with more than 100 franchise concepts. “More franchise companies have gone to the home-based model, when possible, since the tightness of the credit market has made selling the big-box franchises very difficult. The home-based model opens up the opportunities for prospects with lower budgets, which is a good thing.”

Additionally, as technology becomes more sophisticated, it’s easier than ever to operate a business from home and still portray a professional image. “As technology continues to offer more and more communications abilities, such as Web conferencing and seamless communication systems, home-based franchising will continue to be a viable option for many companies looking for qualified buyers and for buyers who wish to have the flexibility of working at a home base,” says Alisa Harrison, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the International Franchise Association.

Finally, the once somewhat negative stigma associated with working from home is dissipating as the entire image of the traditional workplace is undergoing a metamorphosis. According to data released in January from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who worked at home increased from about 9.5 million in 1999 to about 11.3 million in 2005. Furthermore, nearly half of these home-based workers had college degrees, and nearly half of them earned $75,000 a year or more. As the whole concept of working from home becomes more common, so does the idea of running a franchise from home.

The flexibility and freedom of running a business from home helps franchisees realize their dream of starting a business, but it also enables franchisors to introduce new concepts and grow their businesses. With home-based franchising becoming more widespread, those searching for a franchise may not have to roam too far from home to find – and start – a business of their own. (Sara Wilson)


Recently, I filmed several videos to post on YouTube and my company’s website about Outdoor Living Brands and our franchise modelsArchadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad.   These videos help to describe franchising (hopefully with one of our brands!) as a vehicle for individuals seeking to become their own boss and pursue various personal, lifestyle, business and career goals. 

As researched by the International Franchise Association, franchise businesses enjoy success rates up to three times those of independent businesses.  So, if you are considering getting into business for yourself or if you are tired of the corporate rat race, then consider franchising as a way to take control of your own destiny and increase your chances of success!

I notice an interesting parallel week this week.  In addition to delivering the opening training session in our training class for 18 new Mosquito Squad franchisees, I have been preparing some remarks for a commencement address that I been asked to deliver this week to fall 2009 graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business

In addition to my role as President & CEO of Outdoor Living Brands, I serve on the VCU Business Society Board of Directors, the alumni board for the School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University. I was initially reluctant to accept the invitation to speak to these new graduates. I wasn’t sure what “profound wisdom” that I would be able to offer to these new graduates as they begin their careers in the midst of a recessionary economy and high unemployment.

However, I found it interesting that some of the same themes in my commencement remarks – (1) putting everything you have, all of your passion and energy, into your career; (2) being flexible, being willing to adapt to change in order to take advantage of unexpected business opportunities; and (3) having extreme optimism – were key parts of my advice to new graduates and to new franchisees. 

Then I realized that there are some tremendous similarities.  Both new franchisees and new college graduates are reaching important milestones in their lives. Both are excited, yet have a bit of fear and concern for the future, as they start the next chapter of their lives and careers. Both are proud (and rightly so) at having taken steps to take control of their lives and futures.

Congratulations – both to the December 2009 class of new Mosquito Squad franchisees and the graduates of the VCU School of Business!

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.

Without the risk of failure, many people would likey take more chances in an effort to achieve their personal and business goals. However, unfortunately, eliminating the risk of failing is just not possible.  Failure is a natural part of life.  Everyone fails during their life, sometime many times over. 

However, out of failure comes learning.  Out of failure comes personal growth.  Out of failure comes innovation.  A recent study of large company CEO’s revealed that many had gone through bleak, rough patches in their careers. These leaders didn’t see these experiences as “failures”, rather they saw them as opportunities to learn and get better in their lives and business careers. 

Fear of failure can cause dangerous paralysis – it can lead to inaction and a perpetuation of the status quo.  Feal of failure can lead to inaction which will ensure you don’t achieve the change (for the better) in your life and career.  However, as has been said many times, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

If there are changes you are considering in your career to reach your goals – go for it.  whether it is a new job or investing in a franchise – make it happen.  What do you have to lose except the status quo?  What do you have to lose except the opportunity to reach your goals!

Last week, our senior leadership team at Outdoor Living Brands met for two days offsite in a board room at the School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University for a strategic planning session.  As the franchisor of Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad, we are regularly encouraging our franchisees to “work on their business, not just in their business”.  After all, how will any of us reach our business goals if we don’t first spend time to plan our desired future, then actively managing our progress against the key intermediate metrics in our plan? We “preach” this message to our franchisees, but we are also putting it into action in our organization!

We have spent time this year working with the franchise leadership groups in the Archadeck and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Systems to discuss where we want these businesses to be in 3-5 years. As always, we get great ideas from our dedicated franchisees that serve on the front lines of building their companies everyday! Last week, we began to rollup this information into a long-term strategic plan for our entire organization and franchise systems. In addition to building off the input from our franchisees, we involved both our entire senior leadership team and our board of directors/shareholders. Our efforts were guided by an outside expert that has assisted many companies through a strategic planning process.  

Now, the real work starts!  As our facilitator said, success is 1% strategy and 99% execution. As the company’s overall leader, it is my responsibility to make sure we have clear alignment across our leadership team and organization with our business goals. Once we do, based on the talent we have in place, execution will follow. We are now working to clear set the short- and intermediate-term goals in order to stay on track with our longer-term goals.

While our efforts have been at the corporate level, the process applies equally well to one’s personal lives. If you are not where you want to be from a personal, career or financial perspective, have you set short- and intermediate-term goals for yourself?  Can you reach your goals without making changes in your life and career?  As you ask yourself these fundamental questions, I suggest that you explore if investing in a franchise could be a vehicle for you to reach your goals.  Whether it is one of our franchise concepts or not, franchising is a wonderful way to get into business for yourself, but yet have the support of a proven franchisor and network of franchisee peers to improve your chances of success.  If you want to make positive change in your life and take control over your career and future, I urge you to explore franchising.

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