Four years ago, repeated customer inquiries about tree services prompted landscaper Josh Skolnick to make the move into the tree maintenance business.
Without ever felling a tree himself, Skolnick launched Monster Tree Service, an executive-style model that gives budding business owners an opportunity to hire experts in the trade. It also gives local professionals the option of marketing their services under a brand.
“You don’t have to know how to cut trees or climb trees,” Skolnick said. “You have to be willing to learn and manage a business.”
Growing out of the Philadelphia area, Skolnick said he expects the eastern part of the state to be the core of the franchise system. With national goals, his target markets includes the midstate — Harrisburg, Lancaster and York — as well as Delaware, New Jersey, New York and up into New England.
Upfront investment in a franchise can range from $95,000 to $450,000, depending on the startup size a franchisee is looking for, Skolnick said. The franchise fee of $39,995 is part of that, with the balance expected to be used as a down payment on equipment and initial operating costs, he said.
Skolnick, 29, said his goal is six to eight franchises by the end of the year. In five years, he hopes to have up to 60 units in the system, he said.
“The target market for this will (come) through the trade shows,” he said, adding that interested entrepreneurs can be paired with arborists and other work crews through the company’s national hiring program.
Monster Tree Service locations can be up and running within 30 to 60 days, Skolnick said, as franchise owners are not required to have a retail location. The company prides itself on quick response and service times and competitive pricing.