Multi-Unit Franchise Experts

Franchise Evaluator™: Conserva Irrigation

Founded in 2017 on the principles of water conservation, Conserva Irrigation delivers environmentally responsible irrigation services to both residential homeowners and commercial property owners. These services include repairs, maintenance, system redesigns, upgrades of existing irrigation systems, design and installation of new irrigation systems, and drainage projects.

Conserva’s environmentally responsible approach to irrigation reduces water use from sprinkler systems by up to 60%, fostering healthy lawns and landscapes and increasing ROI for both property owners and franchise owners. Conserva – the first franchise in the irrigation industry – is a national brand that prides itself on professionalism and customer satisfaction. 

Conserva Irrigation
Franchise at a Glance

Corporate Address

Conserva Irrigation
2426 Old Brick Rd,
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Year Founded: 2017
Year Started Franchising: 2017
Franchised Units: 180
Business Description:
Conserva Irrigation is on a mission to change the way people water their lawns and landscapes. With a variety of innovative services, the home-based, B2B irrigation business is disrupting the industry with its eco-friendly approach. Conserva is looking for entrepreneurs who are motivated, service-oriented, and can scale a business. The irrigation franchise is under the Empower Brands umbrella along with Bumble Roofing, Canopy Lawn Care, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, Archadeck Outdoor Living, and more.

MARKET Factors

1

What population does the brand serve? Is the market broad, niche, or somewhere in-between?

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Market Size

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global sprinkler irrigation market size was worth $2.57 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $2.91 billion by 2027. The market is mostly served by a patchwork of independent contractors, lawn & landscape service providers, and other home service businesses.

8

We categorize the market size as a large market.

Scale

Small to Large Market Size
2

Is the overall industry growing, that is creating new customers who have never used these services before, or mature where most population segments are already using these types of products and services?

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Industry Trend

About 1.5 billion of water is wasted every day due to irrigation system runoff. Increased encouragement – and in some cases via regulations – from state and local governments to switch to or improve sprinkler irrigation systems for businesses and homeowners as a means to conserve water is expected to grow the industry further. In addition to commercial and residential sectors, the agricultural industry has shown an increased interest in conserving water due to the significant amount of water required to grow crops.

8

We categorize the Industry Trend as high growth trend.

Scale

Low to High Growth Trend
3

What drives the purchase of the product or service? Is it a “need-to-buy” or a “want-to-buy”? How are customers drawn to your business?

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Product and Service Drivers

Conserva Irrigation offers a variety of services, including free sprinkler system inspection, sprinkler repair and installation, irrigation repair and installation, drip irrigation systems, and summarization and winterization services. CLIA-certified Conserva technicians perform an audit to help clients identify problem areas. The brand offers two packages: Nice ‘N Easy (winterization, summerization, and 10% off all upgrades) and Full Season (summerization, winterization, one to two mid-season inspections, and 10% off all upgrades.)

9

We categorize the product and service drivers as mid to high drivers.

Scale

Low to High Drivers
4

Are competitors a major factor in operating your business? If so, is competition sparse or saturated? Will it matter to your business?

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Competitive Climate

Conserva is an innovator and has established itself as the first franchise in the irrigation industry. Competitors in the industry are generally “mom-and-pop” businesses that don’t benefit as much from national recognition and established systems and may not even have irrigation as a core service. This irregular patchwork of irrigation service providers makes the Conserva Irrigation opportunity attractive in any market they enter.

10

We categorize the competitive climate as mid-high competitive pressure.

Scale

Low to High Competition
5

Are the business’s products or services regulated, or do they require licensing? Will you or your employees require special licensing? If so, is the regulatory climate strict or lax? Will this affect recruiting employees?

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Regulatory Climate

Irrigation laws and regulations, as well as certification and licensing, vary depending on the state. Franchise owners should be aware of their state’s specific regulations and laws before opening up for business.

7

We categorize the regulatory climate as high regulation.

Scale

Low to High Regulation

MODEL Factors

1

This is one of the most important factors of all. To understand it you have to look beyond what the business physically does, the services performed or products sold and ask how does the franchise make money? Where does the revenue come from? How is it generated? Are financial performance representations made? Coupled with External Factors 1, 2 and 5 – Market Size, Industry Trend and Competitive Climate and the next Internal Factor 2, Franchisee Role – the true nature of the franchise starts to take shape.

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Revenue Model

Franchisees benefit from multiple revenue streams. These include free inspections and estimates, new system installations, commercial service, repair and upgrade, year-round and seasonal services, drainage solutions, and more.

8

We categorize the Operational Model as Simple.

Scale

Simple to Complex Model
2

How developed are the systems on which you will rely to operate your business?

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Operational Systems

The team at Conserva wants franchise owners to have the best protocols. It uses a System Efficiency Score, or SES, to give every system a grade on its ability to efficiently move water and conserve it simultaneously. Additionally, Conserva uses its own proprietary technology and has a Commercial Site Assessment, or CSA, that moves clients from estimates to services in little time.

9

We categorize the Operational Systems as Comprehensive.

Scale

Basic to Comprehensive
3

In this highly diffuse world, creating, managing and projecting a Brand is essential for the health and vitality of a franchise system. How well does the Franchisor manage this? How well positioned is the brand among competitors? Is it differentiated enough? How well would potential customers recognize the brand? How is it projected into new markets? What is your role and obligations in this process? How is the Brand’s digital footprint managed?

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Brand Management

Franchising since July 2017, Conserva surpassed 100 locations in less than 3.5 years and has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2019 and 2020. This growth can be attributed to the brand’s proven business model and quality of services. Franchisees are provided with everything they need to succeed, including ongoing support from an assigned business coach and marketing coordinator and preferred vendor programs (irrigation products, vehicles, insurance, payroll, digital marketing, etc.).

10

We categorize the Brand Management as High Engagement.

Scale

Low to High Engagement
4

What role is the franchisee expected to play in starting, ramping and the ongoing operation of the business?

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Conserva Irrigation Franchisee Role

The ideal Conserva candidate is service-oriented, has a sales and marketing background, and enjoys building relationships and networking. These individuals should also be motivated self-starters who want to build a scalable business. On a daily basis, an owner-operator drives marketing and residential sales, builds local trade alliances with referral partners, cultivates B2B sales opportunities, and hires, trains, schedules, and motivates employees. They also manage operations and financial performance.

Franchisees who decide to become semi-absentee owners hire and train an operations manager or general manager. They also set clear expectations and provide oversight, hold the team accountable, and capitalize on the resources provided to them.

8

We categorize the Franchisee Role as Business Manager.

Scale

Service Executor to Business Manager Role
5

What type of location, if any, is needed to deliver the product or service? If real estate is needed, are the requirements flexible or stringent? Is real estate essential to the product or brand experience or required for services to be performed onsite?

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Real Estate Needs

Conserva Irrigation is a home-based franchise opportunity that doesn’t require a brick-and-mortar location. The business can be run from a mobile unit that is wrapped in appropriate branding and meets the proper standards.

10

We categorize the regulatory climate as basic need.

Scale

Basic to Essential Needs

ORGANIZATION Factors

1

How experienced is the franchisor at being a franchisor?

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Franchising Experience

Conserva is backed by the resources and management depth of Empower Brands (formerly Outdoor Living Brands and Lynx Franchising), an exterior home services, multi-branded franchisor of franchises including Bumble Roofing, Canopy Lawn Care, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, and Archadeck Outdoor Living.

Conserva’s franchise operations business coaches have a combined 100+ years of industry experience and have earned ASLA Backflow and other industry certifications.

10

We categorize the Franchising Experience as Extensive.

Scale

Limited to Extensive
2

What is the tenure, background, and commitment of the franchise’s leadership?

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Business Leadership

Russ Jundt is the founder and vice president of Conserva Irrigation. As brand leader, he drives the overall priorities and focus of the company. He has a B.A. in Business Management from Saint John’s University. Scott Zide, CEO and president of Empower Brands is a passionate entrepreneur with over 15 years of franchising experience.

10

We categorize the Franchising Leaders as Highly Experienced.

Scale

Limited to Highly Experienced
3

How often and how well does the franchisor engage franchisees? What assistance is provided in starting and operating your business.

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Franchisee Engagement

Conserva’s new franchise training approach includes a Quick Start Program, a 5-day Virtual and 5-day Classroom, and In-the-field Training. The Quick Start Program assists new franchisees in launching their businesses. With approximately 200 specific tasks, the program is initiated immediately after signing a Franchise Agreement and before attending classroom and field training.

Conserva uses the software tool, Teamwork to coordinate and sequence these launch tasks to ensure that new operators have taken care of all of the details in order to have their business fully operational after the training is over. Regular meetings with the assigned Quick Start Coordinator allow for progress to be made each week.

9

We categorize the Franchisee Engagement as Highly Engaged.

Scale

Low to Highly Engaged
4

In what kind of financial shape is the franchisor?

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Financial Health

Financial performance data from Conserva’s latest FDD shows that the brand’s financial health is robust. Of the 13 franchisees with gross revenues greater than $1 million, all of them operated in more than one territory. There were 11 franchise owners with gross revenue between $500,000 and $1 million, and nine (82%) operated in more than one territory. Nineteen of the 21 franchisees with gross revenues between $250,000 and $500,000 are multi-unit franchisees. Nine of the 14 franchisees with revenue less than $250,000 operated multiple territories. The top franchisee reached $3.4 million in total revenue, with average revenue reaching $759,687 and average gross profits totaling $415,503.

*From the 2023 Conserva Irrigation FDD. Always consult your financial and legal counsel before making any investment decisions. The information presented here does not constitute endorsement or validation, nor an offer to buy a franchise. For information purposes only.

10

We categorize the Financial Health as Sound.

Scale

Weak to Sound Financial Health

Key Points

Investment Range
$84,800 – $110,000
Cash Investment
$50,000
Minimum Net Worth
$250,000
Franchise Fee
$49,500
Single Territory. Second territory is $40,000
Royalty Fee
Tiered

8%, 7%, 6%, 5% (royalty goes down as revenue increases)

Ad Fund
1.5%
10% off initial franchise fee
Item 19

$777,701

average gross revenue (all locations)

$437,576

gross profit (56%)
Average Number of Employees
2-3
Semi-Absentee Model
Yes
Home Based
Yes
Veteran Discount
Yes
10% off first territory franchise fee
B2B
Yes

Total Evaluator Score

126
0 – 24

Missing fundamental, internal or external factors

25 – 49

More investigation is needed

50 – 74

Worth exploring further with caution

75 – 99

Add to consideration set

100 – 140

Sound opportunity and likely a great fit

Learn more about Conserva Irrigation

Meet with one of our experts for guidance and to answer any questions you have regarding Conserva Irrigation.