Have yourself a Merry little Christmas

And may all your

Christmases be… green

It’s been an excellent year for Ed’s Garden Services and we have made lots of progress in many different areas. We are delighted to have welcomed eight new Operators to the Ed’s team since December 2016. We wish them all the very best with their exciting new Ed’s businesses. We are really looking forward to helping them flourish even more in the coming year.

It’s great for us to be the UK’s largest garden services franchise. However, what’s more important by far is the well-being of each and every individual in our team and the health of their businesses. That’s where the real value of Ed’s lies. That’s at the very heart of what we do.

With that in mind, we would like to wish all our Ed’s Operators, past, present and, of course, future, a very Merry Christmas and an exciting and rewarding 2018.

Growing success…the Ed’s way.

Work-life balance is real at Ed’s

Work-life balance is very important to us at Ed’s. In our view, it’s a key measure of a successful life.

Generally, when someone thinks about setting up their own business, the matter of work-life balance often springs to mind. People love the idea of the freedom of running their own business.  However, they are often cautious about getting in over their heads (like Paul, our Garden Operator in Bristol, almost did in the photo above).

The truth is that, at Ed’s,we find that the reverse seems to be true. Once our Garden Operators get their businesses up and running, they seem to get a real sense of reclaiming their lives as well.

We get strong feedback from our Garden Operators that, with Ed’s, they have strong feelings of empowerment and freedom.  This sits alongside security in the knowledge that, as long as they adhere to the business model, the financial results will follow through. Although they work hard, they have more free time than they would have anticipated.  This is underpinned by Ed’s office support and our continuing mission to make their business administration as low-maintenance as possible. The upshot of all this is that Garden Operators can run their own successful franchise businesses and still have a rewarding life beyond their business.

Too good to be true? Well, here’s a snapshot of what some of our Garden Operators have been up to over the past twelve months. Over and above running their own successful businesses of course.

Weddings

Wedding bells have certainly been chiming in Ed’s world. Paul, who runs his Ed’s business in Swindon, got married in December last year. Keeping the theme in the family, his son also got married abroad in the summer of this year.  Paul and his new wife were able to fly out to Santorini for the wedding…and stay on for a great holiday.

Nick, our Garden Operator in Sevenoaks, is about to get married any time soon ( and has already had several excellent stag parties, we are reliably told!)

Finally on the wedding theme, James, our Ed’s North London Garden Operator, recently got engaged.  James proposed towards the end of 2016 while on holiday with his girlfriend in South East Asia. They got married in the Kent countryside in September.

Children

On another celebratory note, Paul, our Garden Operator in Bristol, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of baby number two.  With impeccable timing, this little star is due to arrive on Christmas Eve. Paul already has a soon to be three-year-old son.

Paul says, “ In my time with Ed’s, my whole life has transformed. It’s great to know I have the financial security to tackle the expensive business of having children. Luckily I have a flourishing business to support my flourishing family! I consider myself very lucky to have the work-life balance that I have. I have financial security and the freedom to manage my own diary. Although I work hard, I don’t have to miss out on important family events.”

Furry(ish) Children

Stuart, who runs his Ed’s business in rural Norfolk, also had a new addition this year.  He acquired Monty, a rather dashing Hungarian Vizsla puppy. Monty has established himself as Stuart’s new apprentice, although he decides which days he works depending on the weather! Stuart says “ Monty already has some very good interpersonal skills and, when he decides to grace us with his presence, he charms all of our customers. It’s a bit unfair really because I am the reliable, conscientious one who does most of the work but Monty always seems to win the popularity vote!”

Anniversaries

Clive, our Garden Operator in Hampton, recently celebrated his ten-year anniversary with Ed’s. Not one for a lot of fuss, when asked how he’d like to celebrate, Clive opted for a pub night out with Ed. Rumour has it that this went on into the small hours.  Nevertheless, ever the professionals, they were both on the job, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the following morning.

A move to the seaside

Other life changes have been afoot within Ed’s. John, who previously ran his Ed’s business in Norfolk, decided, with his wife, that a move to the seaside was in order. Consequently, John has recently relocated his business to Christchurch, Dorset.  John says, “We’ve always loved that area and I know that you can make an Ed’s business work anywhere, so why not live exactly where we want to.”

Hobbies

On a sporting achievement theme, Steve, who runs his Ed’s business in Hersham, recently won a prestigious award for his commitment to his local cricket club. Steve does many things for the club, from coaching juniors, to being groundsman (a good fit!) and even running the bar.

Steve was recently presented with  his OSCA (Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) at a glitzy event at the Oval.  He beat stiff competition to be the overall winner for the whole of the cricket-loving county of Surrey. Steve says “My business is very important to me but I also love my cricket. I find it really rewarding in a different way. I am so lucky that I can have both in my life. In my previous job, I would never have had the flexibility to invest so much of my time in my cricket.”

Holidays (and more holidays!)

Moving on to the important area of holidays, believe us, there have been lots over the past year. However,let’s focus on one very special one. Mark, our Garden Operator in Bournemouth, had a great summer business-wise but still found the time to take a three-week holiday of a lifetime with his wife. It started with a trip to Vancouver before they set off on an amazing Alaskan cruise.

Mark says “ When I told friends I was taking three weeks off, they were incredulous. How on earth could I do that – as a gardener, running my own business AND over the summer!! The truth is that it was all quite straightforward. I planned my workload in advance and, with effective backup from a fellow Operator and the Ed’s Office, everything was under control. In fact, if you look at my financials, the impact was minimal. On the other hand, the memories, we’ll have forever.”

Finally, and very sadly, one of our team – who will remain anonymous – is having to miss our Christmas party this year because he is going to be on holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. And it’s his 8th week of holiday this year!

So there you have it – the proof is in the pudding,  as they say.

Ed’s Garden Operators do get a lot of fulfillment out of running their businesses but it certainly doesn’t have to be all work and no play. There’s a lot more to being happy than just work.  At Ed’s we firmly believe that people run better businesses when they feel that their life is in balance.

Grow yourself a better life with Ed’s.

 

 

 

Dave’s Stars and Stripes

Dave Laing joined Ed’s Garden Services in the Spring of 2017 to be an Ed’s Garden Operator in Andover. Prior to joining Ed’s, Dave had been a Works Manager for an engineering firm.

At Ed’s we pay a lot of attention to reviews and Dave has had some excellent ones from his customers. So, here goes – Looking back on your first six months, how did we do, Dave?

“Well, I was totally sure that I had made the right decision for me when I joined Ed’s. I’d really taken my time in my fact-finding phase. I had looked at lots of general information about franchising as well looking at other garden franchises. Ed’s were very open and honest.  They were always available to talk anything through and there was no pressure to take things to the next stage. I felt I was making my own decision to join and doing so with my eyes wide open.”

“My Ed’s experience has more than lived up to my expectations. My tailored training package was great. I particularly enjoyed learning from established Garden Operators, Mark and Paul, who did everything in their power to make sure I got off to a great start.”

“I’ve had excellent support from the Ed’s Office Team. One of the things I really like about Ed’s is the low-key professionalism. They just do exactly what they say they will. They also guide and support you to do as you set out to do, but not in an overpowering way.”

“I found the support of the office to be invaluable in dealing with all my early concerns. Sometimes you are looking for practical advice and sometimes it’s just moral support. It’s reassuring to know that there are people who have a lot of experience to help you along the way. Looking back, I think that if I had gone it alone with my business, I would have found this initial period extremely stressful but, with Ed’s, I have never felt out there on my own.”

“And the acid test…I had my first business review a few months ago. My performance has definitely exceeded my expectations.  Also, reviewing things objectively made me realise just how much my business had developed in a short period of time. All things considered, I’d have to give Ed’s a five star review!”

“I really enjoy the gardening too and feel fitter than I have for years. I get great satisfaction from transforming gardens. Quite apart from the stars, just take a look at my stripes!”

Wisley time again!

 

The Ed’s team is looking forward to another great training session at RHS Wisley this week.

No matter the season, Wisley is always an inspirational place to visit and the quality of our Wisley training sessions is excellent, with access to the best expertise in the gardening sector. We try to organise our sessions to coincide with the change in seasons to give our Operators the very latest expertise to help them plan for their season ahead.

Our Wisley sessions cover all things horticultural, with topics ranging from the latest in lawn technologies to planting techniques and a whole lot of others in between. We usually wind up with an open floor question and answer session. For the record, we STILL haven’t managed to come up with a gardening question that our expert can’t answer!

 

We always schedule for an early start for Wisley but without fail we get a great turnout of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Ed’s Operators. This ranges from our newest to our ten-year veteran Ed’s Operators, all fired up to develop their ever-growing gardening wisdom. The feedback we get is that all our Operators find the training sessions really beneficial and interesting.

Before we leave, we are usually treated to a guided walk round the most interesting initiatives at Wisley, before their gates officially open. What better way for a gardener to start their day!

Ed’s bids a fond farewell to Adrian and welcomes Peter

Peter (left) and Adrian sealing the deal

Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest UK garden maintenance franchise, with a network of 44 Operators.

Ed’s is delighted to welcome Peter Dixon to our team of Business Operators. Peter has just signed up to buy Adrian Thomas’s established Ed’s business in Southampton.

At Ed’s we encourage Operators to create value from their investment for the whole of the lifecycle of their business and that includes at the end, when they decide to hang up their gardening gloves. With careful planning, Operators can sell their businesses on to new Operators and leave Ed’s with a significant cash sum. It’s a win-win situation for all parties:-

  • the established Operator moves on to retire or do something different having realised a good cash sum for their efforts.
  • the new Operator acquires a business where they do not have to start from scratch as they start with a bank of customers to service
  • Ed’s gets a new Operator to replace the exiting Operator.

Adrian says ” I’ve really enjoyed my time with Ed’s and after five years, and reaching age 65, I have decided to retire and take the opportunity to realise some capital from the business.  Indeed, the real potential of building a readily saleable business was a major consideration in my decision to join Ed’s in the first place.  The way the business model works means that you can build value into your business by establishing a regular customer base and on top of that you have the intrinsic value of the Ed’s brand to sell on. Having decided that I wanted to achieve a good sale at some stage during my fifth year, I took advice from Ed’s on timing, valuation and marketing the business at an early stage and followed their guidelines about how to sell a business to the letter. The results have come through and I’m delighted to be handing my business over to Peter.”

Peter says “I am very excited to have bought an established garden maintenance business from Adrian. I look forward to developing the business further and enjoying the lifestyle.  Adrian has been very supportive, teaching me the ropes of the business and making sure that the handover of customers goes well.  I am confident that owning a franchise in the gardening business is the best way to go and taking over an existing franchise is an added bonus.”

We wish both Adrian and Peter all the very best with their future plans.

Ed’s scores a hat trick of three brand new Operators

Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest UK garden maintenance franchise, with a network of 44 Operators.

Ed’s is delighted to welcome three brand new Operators to our flourishing Ed’s team.

Pete Henchey has joined our ever-growing team of Operators to run his own Ed’s business in Sutton Coldfield. Pete was previously a college lecturer.

Dave Laing has joined Ed’s to run his own garden maintenance business in Andover. Dave was a works manager for an engineering firm before joining Ed’s.

And hot off the press… Bob Dulieu has just signed up to run his Ed’s business in Horsham. Bob was previously Managing Director of a Risk Management consultancy.

Whilst Pete, Dave and Bob have joined Ed’s from diverse career backgrounds, they all have the common goal of wanting to fully leverage the Ed’s brand to grow successful garden maintenance businesses.

And finally, here’s what Ed himself has to say…

We are delighted to welcome Pete, Dave and Bob into our team.  These are really exciting times for Ed’s and our brand is gathering a lot of momentum and is performing well. It is great to be bringing high-calibre individuals on board to share the action. We know that with the right attitude, armed with the Ed’s business model and brand, these businesses can really prosper as is demonstrated by many of our established guys.  We look forward to supporting our new Operators to realise the goals and aspirations they have set for their businesses.”

 

Ed’s welcomes Paul

Here at Ed’s, we are delighted to announce that Paul Wellington has recently joined Ed’s to set up his garden maintenance business in the Thurrock area.

Ed's Garden Maintenance - Paul Wellington

Paul knows the turf (excuse the pun!) very well already, having previously been a black cab driver in the area. He is now fully operational and is delivering a full range of gardening services including hedge trimming, grass cutting, lawn turfing, pressure washing and garden tidy ups.

Paul is rearing to go with his new business. Here is what he has to say about embarking on his new venture:

“I have a lot of customer service experience from working as a cabbie and I know how important it is to go the extra mile to make your customers really happy. For me this is all about delivering excellent garden services and building a strong reputation in the community. I’ve spent time learning the ropes with other Ed’s Operators and the training I have had has been second to none.

“I feel very well prepared to take on the challenges of running an efficient business. Prompt, reliable and efficient is our mantra and it is at the core of our business. It is a bonus that I really love the outdoors and am thrilled to be behind a lawn mower rather than a steering wheel.”

“I’m just at the starting post with my Ed’s business but it is fantastic to look around and see established Ed’s Operators running thriving garden maintenance businesses. I look at them and think – That will be me in the not too distant future!”

Neil nails it

We are delighted to announce that Neil Collis, our Ed’s Operator in Sevenoaks, has just been announced as a British Franchise Association Franchisee of the Year 2017 Finalist. We know that Neil is a great franchisee but now it’s official!

The BFA have just written an article on Neil. Here’s what they have to say:-

bfa franchisee news release

LOCAL BUSINESSMAN PAVES THE WAY TO SUCCESS WITH AWARD NOMINATION

Local business person, Neil Collis, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year category at the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2017.

As the owner of an Ed’s Garden Maintenance franchise in Sevenoaks, Neil provides a range of garden maintenance services including mowing, hedges, turfing and patio cleaning for the local area.

The birth of Neil’s twin sons sparked his decision to return to the UK from Australia. Looking for a flexible career that would allow him and his wife, Lyndsay, to look after their young boys, he approached Ed’s Garden Maintenance with the hope of setting up his own franchise.

Since then, the business has thrived. Neil’s now following in the footsteps of his father – who ran a garden maintenance franchise over in New Zealand – and couldn’t think of a better way to earn a living than owning his own business and working outdoors.

Running for nearly 30 years, the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2017 celebrate franchisees across the nation that show dedication, commitment and a passion for both their brand and the franchising industry.

The category highlights the benefits of becoming a franchisee to achieve a better work-life balance. Neil was shortlisted due to his enterprising nature and determination to succeed – making his franchise stand out from the crowd amongst other small business owners.

Neil commented: “My business has been going from strength to strength in the past year and we have been chalking up a number of milestones and successes. However, when I heard that we’re a bfa Franchisee of the Year finalist, I was stunned. It really made me step back and think just how far we have come. When I joined Ed’s just over three years ago, I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that I would even be considered for such a prestigious award.”

Pip Wilkins, CEO at the bfa said, “With so many inspirational stories from our members’ franchisees, it’s always a tough task to narrow it down to our 15 finalists. These outstanding business owners have so many different reasons for taking control of their business lives, and to hear the diversity in these stories is always so empowering. All of our finalists this year are an excellent example of how the franchisor’s collaborative approach, combined with the go-getting attitude of the franchisee, generates success at both individual and network levels.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchise at HSBC, added, “Judging is a hard task at the best of times, which only becomes harder every year when the difference in best in class is paper thin. Each highlights how focus and drive, when supplemented by the support of a franchisor, results in the growth of a sustainable and profitable business. HSBC is delighted to play a pivotal role in meeting the financial challenges of this dynamic and important market sector.”

 

Neil splits his business and Ed’s welcomes Warren

Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest UK garden maintenance franchise, with a network of 42 Operators

Ed’s is delighted to welcome Warren Emsden on board. Warren will be running his Ed’s business in Petts Wood. Warren has joined us as a result of Neil Collis, our Ed’s Operator in Sevenoaks, taking advantage of the opportunity we have in Ed’s for Operators to split their businesses.

Splitting businesses is an innovative concept within Ed’s whereby established Operators can package up a grouping of regular customers and sell and hand over this business on to a new Operator.  The rationale for this is that it is a great way to create value across the board.  This is because it demonstrates a three-way win for all the parties involved:-

  1. Neil realises a substantial cash sum and in the process streamlines his business to increase his focus on his core geographic area, which we know maximises ongoing financial returns as travel time is greatly reduced.
  2. Warren buys a franchise including the foundation of a group of high quality customers, with Neil nearby to help him with any transitional issues.  As a result he can be profitable from day one and further reduce the risks of start-up.
  3. Ed’s gets a new Operator in Petts Wood. This is another building block in growing the Ed’s brand, which we know has far-reaching benefits across the whole of the network.

Warren says “What a great way to start with Ed’s! I have a bank of profitable customers from Day One, which is just brilliant. It totally eliminates the apprehension of having to start something from scratch.  Also, before I go off on my own, Neil will spend time teaching me the ropes of the business and making sure that the handover of customers runs really smoothly.  I’m feeling hugely positive about the whole venture and am looking forward to working hard to build even more value into this business.”

Neil’s view is as follows, “There were lots of reasons underpinning my decision to join Ed’s, but the business splitting facility was really the icing on the cake. I’ve built up a really robust business since I started through a combination of hard work and discipline to follow Ed’s business model to the letter. This gave me a brilliant platform to carry out my first business split in September 2016, when I sold a bank of customers in the Sidcup area to Karl Husher.  I really enjoyed working with Karl on making it all happen and Karl is now doing really well with his Ed’s business.  The success of my first business split motivated me to do another one and I have every confidence that Warren will make the most of this opportunity.  I don’t know of any other franchise where you get the scope to do deals such as these and I’m certainly making the most of it. I feel like I’m really getting into my stride in splitting businesses now and am already thinking about doing some more.”

We wish both Warren and Neil all the very best with the future development of their businesses.

Annette receives her BFA Qualified Franchise Professional status

We are delighted to announce that Annette, Ed’s Strategic Development Manager, has been successful in achieving her British Franchise Association Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) status.

 

This qualification, which was launched at the beginning of 2010, provides formal recognition of an individual’s professional knowledge and experience in franchising and their commitment to ethical franchising practice.

 

Ed himself achieved his QFP in October 2013. Ed says “It is very important to us as full BFA members to strive to uphold the values of responsible and ethical franchising. This not only lies with me but with other key members of our management team. Annette has significant involvement in a range of Ed’s key functions, from franchisee recruitment to network coaching and PR. As such we felt it would be a very valuable qualification for her to achieve.”

 

Annette will be presented with her qualification at the BFA Annual Conference in June 2017.