Flavio Guimaraes, originally from Brazil, immigrated to Canada in 2002. With a background in mining engineering, he received his bachelor’s from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) and his Masters of Engineering from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Flavio currently has 3 children in University. Flavio became a Jim’s Mowing Franchisee in 2019 to reduce his work travel and spend more time with his family and children. Flavio enjoys the outdoors, hiking, biking and swimming in BC’s beautiful lakes. Flavio also enjoys travelling extensively.
BeTheBoss.ca: What made you choose Jim’s Mowing from all the franchise opportunities you looked at?
Flavio Guimaraes: It was really about lifestyle for me, I no longer wanted to work so much away from home. Jim’s Mowing was also a really affordable opportunity, which was a big part of it for me, but it could also be so lucrative for such a small investment, as they say in English, “it was a no-brainer”. I was also ready to be my own boss and set my own schedule, and I wanted to become financially independent and earn more money than I was earning as an engineer.
I really wanted to start off on the right foot, and I knew I could start off doing the work myself and build my business comfortably without too much stress, knowing that I would get the help and backing I needed. I also wanted the peace of mind that comes from being in a large group of successful people who could show me the way. The brand was really important to me as well, I really didn’t want to spend years struggling to build a business from scratch, I needed security and wanted to know that I was going to be successful quickly. Jim’s Mowing was really the right fit for me
I interviewed a lot of franchisees before making my decision, I spoke with over 10 franchisees still in the system and I also spoke with the same number of franchisees who had retired. The ones who were still involved forecasted a very nice income and a very profitable business for me, they assured me that my success was very likely. What I also liked was that they all came from varied backgrounds, and that many of them had as little experience as I did, which gave me the confidence to move forward. They all seemed to all have a great work/life balance and that was really important to me too. The franchisees also had a lot of flexibility with their time, and they all basically confirmed that they all already had what I was looking for.
The franchisees who had left the system did not worry me, they all had valid reasons for retiring and I knew regardless that this opportunity was right for me.
BeTheBoss.ca: Can you describe the support you got from the Jim’s Mowing head office team as you got started?
Flavio Guimaraes: My training involved 1 week of classroom training at head office in Australia and 2 weeks of field training in BC. This was before Civid-19 so I went to Australia for my week of classroom training, but now it’s done remotely online because travel to Australia is no longer possible because of the pandemic. I received a fully integrated overview of the management a franchise, and a very detailed introduction on the theories of administration of the business. I also learned the fundamentals and core values that I needed to adopt to increases the chances of my success, I really found a lot of value in the training.
During my 2 weeks training here in BC I learned all the technical skills I needed, but also the strategies required to increase productivity so I could be more profitable faster. I also learned skills that I was particularly worried about, like quoting.
I must say that the ongoing support is also phenomenal, it provides me with ongoing learning, guidance and sound business advice to keep my business growing strongly.
BeTheBoss.ca: What have you found to be your greatest key to success?
Flavio Guimaraes: ’m still in my first year so that’s a tough question to answer, but the driving force so far has been seeing all the success of the other franchisees and working with them and learning from them. Also hitting my income goals for the year in less than 9 months. I made more my first nine months as a Jim than I did in a year as an engineer. That’s very motivating.
BeTheBoss.ca: Describe the most rewarding part of owning your business?
Flavio Guimaraes: I really love how satisfied my clients are with my work, and I also love getting compliments from the neighbours even though they’re are not actual customers. And to be honest, the income I’ve been making has really taken a lot of stress off of me. I feel like I took a risk last year going out and starting my own business, and now my whole life is so much more rewarding.
BeTheBoss.ca: What are your goals going forward?
Flavio Guimaraes: I’m getting ready to optimize then expand my business, I’m already looking to hire employees and to double my revenue from this year to next. I’m also looking forward to maintaining the work/life balance I’ve achieved over the past year and rewarding myself for all my hard work.
BeTheBoss.ca: What goals did you have when you joined Jim's Mowing?
Flavio Guimaraes: Financial stability. More time with family, more time to travel and enjoy life. I also wanted to be able to have the time and afford to do the things I’ve always wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to do with my previous career.
BeTheBoss.ca: What advice would you give to a potential franchisee?
Flavio Guimaraes: It’s well worth the journey. It will require work, but the work will make you much healthier and reduce your stress. I wish I would have done this a long time ago, so if this is right for you do it now. Follow the system and the money and clients will flow. It’s very easy and rewarding if you have the proper motivation.
Oh, and don’t buy too much equipment before you need it, I got a little too excited when I first got started and went a little overboard lol.
BeTheBoss.ca: What are the biggest advantages that Jim’s Mowing gives you in your business? (e.g. marketing, negotiating with vendors, support, etc.)
Flavio Guimaraes: Brand recognition, I literally had clients from day one. And because we are recognized as a premium brand, we can do great work and charge fair but premium prices for it. The advertising Jim’s does for us is very powerful and it brings work in. One thing I really liked was that I was immediately recognized as an expert and I had clients from day one. One time I set off an alarm by mistake and when the police arrived, they saw the trailer and me in uniform and they knew right away who I was and what I was doing. Everyone knows us in BC and that’s so powerful!
I feel like I’m constantly learning and improving my business. I have the opportunity to learn new landscaping skills whenever I want, I just need to reach out to the Regional Franchisor and he’ll put me in touch with the Jim who’s best at it and they’ll show me the way. I’ve learned so many skills this year, including landscape lighting, lawn installation, and plant identification.
BeTheBoss.ca: How does Jim’s Mowing help you to differentiate yourself from your competition? (brand recognition, advertising, etc, location?)
Flavio Guimaraes: 100% it’s Brand recognition, we are respected and trusted professionals. We are recognized as the best in the trade and as competent, well-trained technicians. From the first day you have plenty of clients to generate work. If I would have had to build that level of clients it would have taken me a really long time, if ever.
With the lead system through Jim’s Mowing I received qualified leads almost immediately, which helped my business grow much faster than it otherwise would have. And Jim’s Mowing also does all the advertising for us as well. Social media, website development, and Internet exposure are a really big part of how Jim’s Mowing supports us.