Throwback Thursday: October 1999


Weed Man USA graces the cover of our January issue this year, but 15 years ago the company warranted a mere page inside our book—page 16, to be exact.

“Weed Man launches move into the U.S.” headlined the story written by Executive Editor Sue Gibson. The article ran in the October 1999 issue of Landscape Management.

“We’re celebrating our 30th year in business in 2000,” said Des Rice, president of Weed Man. “We were holding back but now we’re psychologically ready, have the people in place and have the systems in place to make the push into the United States. We now have the opportunities.”

Our January 2014 cover story profiles Weed Man USA and centers on Rice’s declaration, primarily hanging on his word “systems.”

I give you a then-and-now comparison of how those systems churned out success in numbers for Weed Man USA from 1999 to 2014.

Franchise territories

Then, given Weed Man was on the brink of its full-force expansion into the U.S., one might assume it had no franchise locations in the U.S. It, in fact, had three, according LM’s October 1999 issue.  They were sited in Rochester, N.Y., Denver and Seattle. Weed Man’s primary clients, of course, were in Canada in 1999—it had 135 franchises there from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Now, the number of Weed Man USA territories has more than doubled the amount in Canada, with around 330 in the U.S. and around 125 in Canada.

Customers, system sales

Then, Weed Man served 350,000 residential homes in Canada, whereas Weed Man USA had an undocumented amount of customers in 1999.

Now, Weed Man USA has around 135,000 customers, from which it procured more than $60 million in franchise system sales in 2013. As a whole, Weed Man raked in $130 million in system sales in 2013.

Expansion goals, systems

Then, the top to-do of its expansion plan in 1999 was to add 100 new territories in the U.S. over a five-year period.

Now, the company operates on a 10-year plan, which projects Weed Man USA to double its licenses, territories and 2013 system sales to $138 million by 2023.

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