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Weed Man Success Profiles

Stephen Hillenmeyer

Weed Man Lexington, KY / Nashville, TN / Cincinnati, OH

Name: Stephen Hillenmeyer

Markets: https://lexington.weedman.com  https://nashville-ne.weedman.com  https://cincinnati.weedman.com

Number of Locations: 2

Education: BS in Horticulture from the University of Kentucky

Career BackgroundI grew up in a family nursery business (Hillenmeyers). Next year will be our 175th year in the organization, which will make us the second oldest continuous nursery company in the United States. The house I grew up in was surrounded by the nursery. We didn’t have iPhones or iPads, so I grew up playing in the dirt. I started working when I was 10 years old. My dad took me and my siblings out in the field and had us picking wild onions for 25 cents an hour! I worked for the family business throughout the summers and during Christmas break when I was in college. That was always my fallback job. I have two other brothers and six sisters; I’m the youngest of 9. Eventually, ownership of the business was passed down to us. My two brothers and I first bought out my uncle and his half of the business (he owned 50%), and after my mother passed away we bought out my six sisters. That was kind of how we got into the business on a full time basis. I eventually bought out everyone.I went to school for horticulture, but my biggest interest has always been running a business. I’m just happy to be in the green industry! That was always part of my drive – to keep growing the family business, whereas my brothers were a lot more conservative in this regard than I was. I also wanted to grow in different ways than they did.

How did you hear about Weed Man? Through the trade publications. I had read that Roger Mongeon purchased the franchise rights for the United States. Business-wise, Weed Man just made a lot of sense to me. We already had a lawn care business at that time, but we really had no idea what we were doing. People asked us to perform services and we did, but I knew there was a better, more systemized way to expand our service offerings. What really interested me about Weed Man when I read the article was their intent focus on the business side of operations: the processes and the systems. That was my cue to pursue the franchise.

What Are You Most Proud of So Far As a Weed Man Franchisee? I’m most proud of the overall success that Weed Man has had in my organization. We struggled with our franchise initially, mainly because we didn’t follow the processes that I bought it for! I wasn’t as committed as we are now. But what I’m proud of is that we’ve learned from Weed Man. We’ve been able to adopt the mindset and processes behind running the business and made a commitment to them. As a result, we’ve grown and grown and grown. It’s that commitment that’s also helping the other parts of our organization. I’m proud of the fact that we were willing to learn, change and adapt. The success that we’re having because of that is very rewarding.