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!”

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 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.

John buys Lucy’s Ed’s business

Ed’s is delighted to welcome John Spencer on board. John has just joined Ed’s as our brand new Ed’s Operator in Maidenhead. This is as a result of our veteran Operator, Lucy Williams, selling her business to him.

This is what John has to say about coming on board “I am very excited about being part of Ed’s team and also about taking over Lucy’s business. My background is in sales and I really wanted to get out of that Corporate environment and make a positive lifestyle change for me and my family. I knew that a garden maintenance franchise ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for. I considered several but as soon as I met Ed and the team I could see that Ed’s was a great franchise to be part of. They are very dynamic, professional, clearly know exactly what they are doing and explain everything clearly and in a very supportive and friendly way. They took their time to go through the details of the investment opportunity and it was easy to understand the value of their business model. I knew I would fit right in and that it was definitely the right franchise for me. The opportunity to purchase Lucy’s business was the cherry on top – it means that I’ve got a good bank of high quality customers from day one and that makes me even more comfortable about any business risk. Lucy is clearly a very experienced Ed’s Operator, having joined Ed’s seven years ago, and I have great confidence in the quality of the business I am buying. Lucy will be taking her time in handing over the reins of the business to me, which will ensure a smooth handover. She will also helping with my general Ed’s training, which is great. I feel like I already know Lucy well as the process has been so thorough. We’ve just completed the paperwork and I can’t wait to get started.”

We wish both Lucy and John all the very best for the future.

Mike sums up his first year with Ed’s

Last year, Mike Schofield joined Ed’s to run his own gardening franchise business in Redditch and Stratford-upon-Avon. Mike joined the Ed’s team with twenty-two years of gardening experience working for a charity. This is what Mike has to say about his first year.

“I’ve always loved gardening and when I joined Ed’s I was confident that there wasn’t much you could teach me about cutting a mean lawn edge with a small strimmer! However, I felt that there was a lot I had to learn to develop the necessary skills to running a successful and profitable gardening business. I’d longed to run my own business and build something that was truly mine for quite some time. I wasn’t scared of the risk but I was realistic enough to understand that I would do a lot better with a strong brand behind me. I also felt that I would benefit greatly from the business support and sales and marketing expertise that are part of the package. I was used to having a steady income and by joining Ed’s was doing my level best to make sure that I can sustain that security into the future.”

“Reflecting on the past year, I think I was spot on with my instincts. I feel as if I have developed so much in the area of business skills since I joined Ed’s. I’ve had a lot of support across the board, but especially in the area of financial management which was pretty new to me and I feel that I have accomplished a lot. It has been a steep learning curve but I feel that I have been extremely well supported along the way. What’s more, at Ed’s the support is all very tailored to the individual – Ed himself will take the time to sit with you and explain something you are finding particularly tricky. I really like that about Ed’s.”

“I enjoy the record keeping and have been glad to help trial Ed’s new accounting system. To sum up, I still love gardening but I am also really enjoying the challenge of running my own business whilst being part of a wider supportive team.”

“With regard to the financials, I am very pleased to report (with full confidence!) that my first year’s profit came in very close to the figure we projected in my business plan. I know that’s only one measure of the health of my business, but it really is reflective of how the past year has been, pretty smooth running and no nasty surprises! I have also managed to pay off a good proportion of my set up costs. I think that’s part of the beauty of going the franchise route – you know you are on a well-trodden path and even if it is unclear to you in the early days how you will get there, the experience is there in the background to help you to make it all happen. I’ve now got a healthy profit under my belt for my first year and am looking forward to doing even better in the coming year. ”

Daniel’s first month with Ed’s

Daniel Stockley has just got his first month an Ed’s Operator under his belt. We asked him how it has gone:

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To be honest, it has gone extremely well and has passed by in a flash. I knew I was joining for all the right reasons but still felt a little bit apprehensive before starting. I just wanted to be sure that I would get enough work. I kind of knew that it was unfounded as I could see how busy the other Ed’s Operators were but I guess I just wanted to hear the phone ringing! I honestly needn’t have worried! I have been so busy and have had loads of good enquiries. What’s more, the work has been really interesting and varied and I can honestly say that I have been having a great time. I have been so busy I even had to miss the last Ed’s group training session as I was so busy. In that instance, a lovely school I have been working with needed me in ahead of their important OFSTED inspection to make sure that everything looked great for the inspectors. Important stuff!

“I’ve gotten to grips with the estimating really quickly and also with delivering the different services too. What’s more I’m really enjoying all the different aspects of running my own gardening business. ”

“The Office is always there for me, as is my buddy, Neil, if I’ve got any questions which is a great reassurance too”.

 

Daniel’s busy earning his stripes

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Daniel Stockley’s not letting the grass grow under his feet. He only joined the Ed’s team a few weeks ago and he’s already out mowing some lawns – and quite spectacularly too.  

Here’s a photo of his very first stripes. A natural don’t you think!

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