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Franchise Players: Don't Jump at the First Franchise You Like

Daniel Schrodt worked as a consultant on forestry and gardening for 20 years before jumping into the world of franchising.
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Franchise Players  is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. After last week's franchisees under 30, this week we're profiling baby boomer franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email

The best part of being a baby boomer in franchising? According to Monster Tree franchisee Daniel Schrodt, you learn how to wait. Instead of just jumping at the first franchise that you encounter, you have a developed eye for marketing and branding. Plus, you know what you're passionate about. For Schrodt, that was working with nature. Here's what he's learned as a Monster Tree Service franchisee.

Name: Daniel Schrodt

Franchise Owned: Monster Tree Service of Cleveland

How long have you owned the franchise?

Since November of 2013

Why franchising?

The financial risk of starting a new small business is minimized by the proven business model, branding and standardized marketing approach of a franchise.

Related: Franchise Players: We Put Our Home on the Line to Buy a Franchise

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner? 

Prior to owning my own franchise, I had been part of management and a consultant for a private equity group in the forestry, horticultural and retail gardening for approximately 20 years.

Why did you choose this particular franchise? 

Monster Tree Service is in a business which I knew I would enjoy due to my past experience and they had a solid business model with a strong focus on marketing.

How did enter franchising later in life shape your experience? 

Entering the franchise industry later in life makes you focus on how important marketing and branding is. It's better to be conscious of this than just “jump” at the first business that you think might be a good fit for you and your future.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business? 

I spent approximately $300,000, of which the majority is used for equipment, franchise costs, insurance, legal, salaries and professional costs.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research? 

I worked with a franchise ownership consultant and relied on my own due diligence based on my past career.  

Related: Franchise Players: Two Businessmen Who Teamed Up to Take On Foundation Repair

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your own franchise? 

Clearly the most challenging step to opening my new franchise was equipment deliveries. It was not due to the franchisor not having a list of good suppliers; rather, it was the unusually hard winter we have had. The second most challenging task is hiring the “right people”. It is easy to hire anyone, but it is tough to hire the right ones.

What advice do I have for individuals who want to own their own franchise? 

The advice I would have for anyone who is considering owning their own franchise is to choose a franchise that is not only a good financial investment, but something you can be passionate about. Personally, I have a passion for working with nature and equipment, which is part of why I chose Monster Tree Service. 

What's next for you and your franchise?

The next step for my business is to grow and deliver a value priced service to customers which results in a good reputation for Monster Tree Service in the Cleveland area.

Related: Franchise Players: How This Franchisee Made Dumpsters a Family Business