Interview with Peter Szeli - President of Grand Oak Lawn & Landscape

Date: AUG 18th, 2010

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Peter Szeli is president and founder of Grand Oak Lawn and Landscape. He has over 25 years of experience in property maintenance, lawn care and snow removal. He developed Grand Oak to be a profitable thriving business in today’s challenging market. His understanding of customer’s needs and unique approach to customer care is what set’s Grand Oak apart from the rest. He has developed a system of doing business that works whether the economy is positive or in a downturn. His passion is to train and help others become successful.

BeTheBoss - What’s behind the name Grand Oak?

Peter Szeli - The word “Grand” means impressive, dignified and very enjoyable and “Oak” implies strong and durable and so in 1984 the name Grand Oak was chosen to symbolize our commitment to be a strong impressive business with quality and exceptional customer care as our focus.

BTB - What made you franchise?

PS - Over the years we have experienced exceptional growth in the industry as we have continued to develop our concept. In 2008 the decision was made to franchise the business as a way of ensuring that our high standards of service and unique approach to customer care would be maintained while the business continued to grow.

BTB - Tell us a little about the Landscape market?

PS - Last year an estimated 4 Billion dollars was spent on lawns and gardens in Canada and the landscape industry continues to be one of the fastest growth segments of the service industry.

BTB - What have some of the challenges been in growing your franchise?

PS - Our greatest challenge is seeking out qualified franchisees that have the right combination of entrepreneurial spirit, relevant skills, required financial resources and share in our commitment to quality service and exceptional customer care.

BTB - Who has been your greatest inspiration?

PS - My greatest inspiration was my father in whose footsteps I followed. In his over 40 years in the industry I learned how important it is to develop and relationship of trust with customers and to provide them with a level of service that is over and above the competition.

BTB - What are some of the advantages of being a Grand Oak franchisee?

PS - Grand Oak franchisees will receive professionally prepared operational manuals, comprehensive in-class and on-site training, expert advice and on-going support as well as business planning assistance and so much more. Our success is based on the success of our system and our commitment is in assisting our franchisees to develop to their full potential.

BTB - What gadgets can’t you live without?

PS - Without question the gadget I can’t live without is my Iphone. It helps me stay on top of customer calls and emails and helps me to stay organized.

BTB - What do you do in your spare time?

PS - In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family at the family cottage, enjoying the company of friends.

BTB - What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

PS - My advice to those seeking to buy a franchise is do your research and learn as much about the franchisor as you can such as their values and commitment to their franchisees as you will have an ongoing relationship with them. Make sure that you are buying into an industry that is strong and has good growth potential.

BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that Grand Oak would be a great opportunity for someone?

PS - Grand Oak has a proven business model that has survived the test of time. With our 25 years of experience, we are committed to providing our franchisees with the training and support they will need to develop their own successful Grand Oak Lawn and Landscape business.