Welcome to the Million Dollar Club: Rodney Franchise Owner, Sandy Lochhead
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Welcome to the Million Dollar Club: Rodney Franchise Owner, Sandy Lochhead

Without any direct landscaping experience prior to joining Zones in 2022, franchise owner Sandy Lochhead’s Rodney charter has surpassed the $1M mark in annual trading income, earning her a spot in the Million Dollar Club. Here’s a look back on her journey so far. 

No experience required

Before joining Zones, Sandy worked in the software industry, building software for corporate travel. While there’s seemingly little overlap between landscaping and corporate travel software, Sandy’s skill set was undeniable and, as a member of the leadership team tasked with delivering value to their customers, completely transferable. 

“When I left corporate employment, I had time to reassess my plans for the future. I was looking into different ways I could start a family business that I could pass over to my children,” Sandy says.

Sandy started her Rodney franchise in March 2022 after talking through the process with a Zones representative and engaging in her own due diligence, remarking that we offered “good systems and processes.” Comprehensive training is provided to all new franchisees–no formal experience is required, as business acumen and leadership skills are what truly make a successful franchise owner. 

 A comprehensive toolkit to support operations

Building a business is intimidating in the best of circumstances. One of the biggest draws to Zones for Sandy was the established support network for new and existing franchisees. 

“There is a large number of resources available, and it’s been a great help, especially at first when you’re starting out. It’s hard running a business on your own, so it’s good to have other people to bounce ideas off of and to approach for advice,” Sandy advises.

Although Sandy works closely with her son, Kyle Lochhead, she utilises the support offered within the franchise too. But Kyle has been a huge influence on their success with his experience being instrumental in helping Sandy connect with the right professionals to build her team.

Client response and lead generation

When you’re entering a new industry, lead generation can feel like an uphill battle before you start gaining momentum. But at Zones, we never want our franchisees to feel like they’re going it alone. Sandy certainly didn’t!

“I thought the marketing engine with the national website would provide a good source of lead generation, so we weren’t starting from scratch,” recalls Sandy.

Of course, leads are only the beginning. It’s Sandy’s dedication to her clients that closed each deal and pushed her team into Million Dollar Club territory. Her clients love that they can see their designs up front, visualise the outcome, and make decisions according to budget, scope, and materials. 

“Clients can make changes to the plan before any work starts, which saves costs up front. When there are multiple elements within a large-scale project, that’s important,” advises Sandy.

From Sandy’s perspective, she loves working with Zones' custom built Customer and Project Management Software. It gives her a high-level overview of where both her potential and existing clients are in the process and what stage their projects have progressed to, “whether they need to be called, followed up with, or whatever I need to be doing to keep track of the project.”

Talking numbers

Sandy’s Rodney franchise began in March 2022. That means she achieved Million Dollar Club status in 2023, her first full year of operating. “It was totally unexpected. We were just focused on getting the little things right and tried not to compromise on our margins.” Let's break it down:

Total Gross Income


It sounds like they got more than just the “little things” right!

Parting words of wisdom

As we mentioned, Sandy has mastered the little things and that’s what’s important. She recommends following up with every lead because you never know what can happen. Oftentimes she found a site visit led to a scope far beyond their initial inquiry. 

“Even if a lead doesn't immediately translate into a project, offering valuable advice can guide them in making informed decisions about their future plans. This positive experience and the information you provide may lead them to return for future projects,” Sandy says.

Sandy also advises utilising the Zones process as much as possible. 

“Your unique advantage lies in overseeing the project from inception to completion, providing invaluable assistance along the way. This comprehensive approach becomes a key selling point during your briefing meetings,” adds Sandy. 

But success doesn’t come if you only focus on the active project stage. Keeping in touch and following up with both your clients and your team is essential. “Do a retrospective on the projects and see what small changes you can make to improve on the next project,” advises Sandy.

Finally, Sandy leaves anyone interested in becoming a Zones franchisee the following advice:

“Just keep doing the little things, try to maintain your margin, follow the process, and  don't sell yourself short. It’s OK to not know all the answers. You are there to facilitate the right people for the project, and your team will be able to answer some of those questions. It’s not always about how you start but more about how you finish that counts,” Sandy says.

Congratulations to Sandy, Kyle, and the rest of the team at Zones Rodney for their spectacular success in 2023! 

Want to join the Million Dollar Club?

Sandy and Kyle are the latest to join the Zones Million Dollar Club, and we’re sure they’ll be catching up to the franchisees out there turning over three million dollar years in no time! But the first step for you, is to get in touch with the Zones team so we can learn more about your journey and how we can set you up for success.

**Some quotes in this article have been edited for readability. 

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