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Monster Tree Service (MTS) is professional tree restoration, pruning and removal service founded in Fort Washington, Pa. MTS provides skilled, reliable tree management experts to assist customers with the best possible tree care solutions, while giving prospective franchisees a rock solid reliable system to duplicate and grow their businesses.
Founded by Josh Skolnick in 2008, MTS quickly became a multimillion dollar business built on fast and trustworthy service customers could rely on for safe and solution-oriented tree care. It has since become a franchise opportunity for business professionals seeking a duplicable system designed to meet the high-demand service of tree care. For further information, visit the website at www.whymonster.com.
MO: The start of Monster Tree Service (MTS) really captures what a strong entrepreneurial spirit can accomplish. Can you share the story of how you ended up in the tree business?
Josh: I started my career as a landscaper and opened a multi-crew lawn care service while still in high school. I was constantly asked by clients to help with their tree maintenance issues, but didn’t have any experience in tree trimming or felling. Finally, to appease one of my clients, I hired a contractor for the day to take down a dead tree in their yard. While the contractor worked, I decided to try to procure some additional business, so I walked up and down the street and sold tree service to nearly every house on the block for the remainder of the day. I quickly realized there was opportunity to capitalize on the tree care business, so I founded Monster Tree Service in 2008.
MO: At what point did you realize that MTS could be a great franchise model?
Josh: The business really took off and I soon realized that this was bigger than just the Pennsylvania market. In fact, customers frequently assumed that MTS was a franchise, based on our strong and respected presence in the area. I wanted to extend my services, but wanted to ensure that the high quality we provide in Pennsylvania remained the same throughout the country, so franchising seemed to be a natural fit. By opening up this opportunity, owners really have their hand in the business and will give customers the great service and attention provide in Pennsylvania.
MO: Can you talk a bit about the process of turning your company into a franchise opportunity for others and some of the challenges you faced along the way?
Josh: The biggest challenge has been taking everything we do on a day to day basis and crafting it into a system and process to hand off to a new franchise owner – essentially creating an operations manual. When I started this business, I had no experience in tree maintenance, but having been in this business for so many years now, it’s all second nature to us. We’ve gone through our processes very carefully and look at it from a non-tree expert perspective to ensure that someone coming to us with no tree maintenance experience would feel confident and find the success that we were able to through this business. It was very important that we create an operations manual that makes it very easy for entrepreneurs who were in the same position I was when I first started, and help them be able to duplicate our process well.
MO: What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and how did it turn out?
Josh: Going into this business altogether was a huge risk because I didn’t know anything about the industry when I first started – I just saw the opportunity in it and didn’t want to let that pass by. It can be intimidating at first, but, as I mentioned before, through the knowledge that we’ve gained over the last few years, we have created a system that supports entrepreneurs who are looking for their next big opportunity, but are new to this particular industry. I made the leap and it turned out very well for me and MTS, and I want to help our franchisees also find that same success.
MO: What kind of questions should customers ask when looking for a tree service company?
Josh: The key things customers should always look into are the amount of experience the company has and if they carry insurance. If someone can’t produce insurance, that is a red flag and they shouldn’t hire that company. Customers should also get a detailed description of the work and estimate. By creating a national brand with MTS, we want to give customers the confidence that they have the backing of a respected and quality company to take care of any of their tree maintenance needs.
MO: Has your definition of success changed or evolved since first launching Monster Tree Service?
Josh: Absolutely. When I first started MTS, I had a specific set of goals which I quickly achieved for myself, much faster than I ever imagined. By offering franchising, my definition of success has shifted to now help others be successful. Our success will be defined by them.
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