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Weed Man Success Profiles

David Thompson

Weed Man Maritimes

Operating Since: March, 2009 
Service Area: Maritime Provinces, Canada  : Weed Man Halifax, Moncton, Truro, PEI, St John
 
Career Background: Prior to taking over the family business, David Thompson was a lawyer for 15 years, focusing on advising small/local business owners on a variety of legal issues. Thompson received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University and his Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University.  

With his father becoming a franchisee in 1992, Thompson saw the positive impact Weed Man had on the community first-hand. When his father decided to retire, Thompson jumped at the opportunity to take over the family business. He had helped his father for years with behind-the-scenes work, and he was ready and eager to be in the driver’s seat. 
 
Thompson has been committed to executing Weed Man’s business plan and keeping a focus on serving his community since day one. In the era of online communications, Thompson knew that staying active on social media and up-to-date with his customers, digitally, would make or break his relationships with them. His innovation did not go unnoticed and resulted in him receiving Weed Man’s 2019 Online Outreach Award. The award recognizes the franchisee who has enthusiastically embraced technology as the fourth marketing pillar. Through an active online presence and regular engagement with customers, using various Internet mediums, Thompson and his team have become trendsetters within the Weed Man organization.
 
From his dedication to his employees and customers, to his transparency online, Thompson is a great example of an engaged and caring franchisee in the Weed Man system.  

Q: What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise? 
Do your due diligence and research. Figure out what the franchisor will need from you and what the financial investment is going to be. Before you make your final decision, talk to existing franchisees in the system and learn what they love about the brand or things they wish they would’ve known prior to investing. As a franchisee, you will need to understand the company from an operations standpoint, because you cannot run a well-oiled team if you are not knowledgeable in all aspects of the brand. Whether you are a hands-on or hands-off type of franchisee, it is important to have a grasp on every role to ensure you have hired and trained team members for each department.

Q: What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
For me, it’s not about winning awards…it’s about being able to help my employees. There is no feeling more fulfilling than when a team member simply thanks me for having the opportunity to work in this business and provide a living for his or her family. As an owner, I know the most important daily task is to be there for my staff, and we have some amazing staff members. So, when they tell me they love it here, as much as I love working with them, I can’t help but be proud of what we do together. 

Q: What habits have made you successful? 
There are three habits that have made me successful. The first being doing my homework. I had lots of experience from my earlier career dealing with a host of business issues but there were some areas I had to learn, in particular sales and marketing and managing a large and diverse team of people.  Secondly, obtaining advice and support from those around me – including friends, others in the industry or fellow business owners. Lastly, it has been crucial for me to understand the “people side” of the business. It’s fine to understand business operations and finance, but if you cannot effectively communicate with people – whether it’s staff or customers – then none of it matters. In order to be a successful business owner, I’ve learned that you must demonstrate a proficiency and willingness to interact with others. 

Q: Do you do any community involvement? How do you connect with your customers and the community you serve? 
It has always been important to me to support groups trying to make a difference in the Maritimes.  As a company, we try to be as involved as we can with our community. For most of my team, we were born and raised in the Maritimes, so there is no better feeling than giving back to the community where you live, work and play. We do everything and anything we can, from sponsoring local sports teams and arts programs to supporting programs for people with disabilities.  We have been long time sponsors and supporters of arts groups like the Dartmouth Book Awards and Halifax Theatre for Young People.  We also support Dartmouth Adult Services Centre, an employment program for adults with disabilities, and Halifax Sledgegrinders, a sledge hockey team.

We also regularly support our local food bank, Margaret’s House. Every year, our team puts up Christmas lights at their location and have been a significant financial supporter over the years.  

We also try to support our community at large when possible. For example, last year there were severe floods in New Brunswick which affected many of the communities we serve.  We sent out crews to help the community effort laying sandbags to prevent as much water damage as possible. 

This year, while COVID-19 is impacting our communities, we gave all full time staff a bonus. This was our way of thanking our staff for coming to work each day and doing an excellent job during difficult times.