The Ed’s team had a great training session at RHS Wisley today. We had a really good turnout of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Ed’s Operators, all fired up to develop their ever-growing gardening wisdom.
As always, our Ed’s expert on all things horticultural, led a brilliant session, covering topics ranging from the latest in lawn technologies to ladders and a whole lot of others in between. For the record, we STILL haven’t managed to come up with a gardening question that he can’t answer!
We were delighted to welcome some of Ed’s most recent Operators to their first ever Wisley session. Neil Miller (Rustington), Haydn Jones (Southbourne) and John Spencer (Maidenhead) all joined Ed’s over the last few months and they have just finished their induction training and are rearing to get started with the gardening season ahead.
And it’s not only our newer Operators who enjoy being back in the classroom listening to the pearls of wisdom. Our seasoned Operators enjoy the sessions just as much, always find out lots that they didn’t already know.
Here’s our veteran of veterans, Ed himself, looking very attentive in class…
It may be winter but at Ed’s we’ve been really busy getting our ducks in a row for another successful year.
In the New Year, we’ve been putting a lot of effort into Ed’s Operators’ business reviews and plans for the forthcoming year. This involves helping those who want, by reviewing how the previous year went for them and planning what to do next year to make things even better. We are delighted to say that Operators’ businesses have performed better than ever in the past year and a substantial number of our Operators are recording annual operating profits in excess of £30,000. What’s more, our star performers are earning significantly more than that and delivering new ‘personal bests’ in their profitability.
As always, we’ve enjoyed getting together for business reviews (we are quite a sociable bunch!). However, most importantly, the result of all our efforts is that Operators have a clear understanding of where they are at with their businesses and are fired up to start the new season knowing exactly what they want to achieve in the coming year.
We’ve got a really great team at Ed’s. When you put that together with a proven business model and strong training and support, you get quite exceptional results.
No hype, no hidden catches just growing and sharing our success. If you would like to be part of our success story, do get in touch and grab your own piece of the action.
Edâ€™s is delighted to welcome John Spencer on board. John has just joined Edâ€™s as our brand new Edâ€™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 â€œI am veryÂ excited about being part of Edâ€™s team and also about taking over Lucyâ€™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 Edâ€™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 Lucyâ€™s business was the cherry on top – it means that Iâ€™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 Edâ€™s Operator, having joined Edâ€™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 Edâ€™s training, which is great. I feel like I already know Lucy well as the process has been so thorough. Weâ€™ve just completed the paperwork and I canâ€™t wait to get started.â€
We wish both Lucy and John all the very best for the future.
Last year, Mike Schofield joined Ed’s to run his own gardening franchise business in Redditch and Stratford-upon-Avon. Mike joined the Edâ€™s team with twenty-two years of gardening experience working for a charity. This is what Mike has to say about his first year.
â€œIâ€™ve always loved gardening and when I joined Edâ€™s I was confident that there wasnâ€™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. Iâ€™d longed to run my own business and build something that was truly mine for quite some time. I wasnâ€™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 Edâ€™s was doing my level best to make sure that I can sustain that security into the future.â€
â€œReflecting 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 Edâ€™s. Iâ€™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. Whatâ€™s more, at Edâ€™s the support is all very tailored to the individual â€“ Ed himself will take the time to sit with you and explain something you are finding particularly tricky. I really like that about Edâ€™s.”
“I enjoy the record keeping and have been glad to help trial Edâ€™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.â€
â€œWith regard to the financials, I am very pleased to report (with full confidence!) that my first yearâ€™s profit came in very close to the figure we projected in my business plan. I know thatâ€™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 thatâ€™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. Iâ€™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. â€
Ed had a great day today, escaping from the Ed’s Office and getting out doing what he loves most – gardening (the practice as well as the theory!) and meeting Operators in the Ed’s team.
The working day, started at Wisley, where Ed’s go-to expert once again dazzled the Ed’s team with his extensive knowledge of all things garden related. We all had a wonderful time learning about plants, new regulations and the latest developments in gardening equipment. The classroom training ended with an open floor Q&A session. It’s a standing joke in Ed’s that to date nobody has ever managed to catch him out with a question that he can’t answer. This morning was no exception, but we’ll keep trying! We wound the training session up with a lovely walk around the Wisley gardens as we always find this inspirational to apply to our own garden endeavours.”
Ed’s Operators at RHS Wisley training session
Next, it was off to Bournemouth for Ed to visit Haydn, who signed his operator agreement to join Ed’s. Ed says “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Haydn to the Ed’s team. Haydn will running his Ed’s business in Southbourne and will be officially open for business within the next couple of weeks. It was great to sit down with Haydn today and get everything in place to get him up and running as smoothly as possible. Today was a big day for Haydn and it’s great to be there to share his enthusiasm for his new venture.”
Haydn – Ed’s brand new Operator in Southbourne
And after all that, was it back to the office for Ed? “Well, yes, I did wind my way back to my desk towards the end of the day but first I stopped to mow a lawn and cut a hedge. I still have a few customers of my own from way back when I started Ed’s. The truth is that I just find gardening really therapeutic. I get a real satisfaction from doing a good job and seeing the results right in front of me. It’s what attracted me to this business in the first place and I still find it rewarding. And the tea and cakes my lovely customers tend to feed me are pretty good too! “
Daniel Stockley has just got his first month an Ed’s Operator under his belt. We asked him how it has gone:
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 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!
Ed’s is the largest and fastest growing UK garden maintenance franchise and we’ve just grown a bit more!
We are delighted to welcome Daniel Stockley to the Ed’s team. Daniel has just signed up to run his own Ed’s business in Essex. We are thrilled that Daniel has chosen to come on board with us and really look forward to him being part of the Ed’s team. Over to Daniel….
“Running my own business is not a new thing for me. I have been running my own golf club catering management business since I was twenty-one years old. Although I made a very good living from it, I had got a stage where my job was getting in the way of my life. I really enjoy golf and going to the gym but could hardly find any time for myself to do those things. I knew I wanted to get out but the big question was what to do instead. I wanted my next venture to be fun but I also wanted to be earning enough money to make it all worthwhile. I was really open-minded and looked at all sorts of businesses and franchise offerings, from lawn care to chimney sweeping over quite a long period of time. Ed’s really appealed to me as soon as I found it and I kept being drawn back to it. The information was all really clear and I had heard that they had a strong reputation in their field. Their business opportunity just seemed to tick all the boxes.”
“My views were reinforced when I started to speak with the Office team. They were engaged, open and professional and it was clear that they really knew what they were talking about without being at all overbearing. There was also clearly a great support structure for people joining. Another thing I really liked was that Ed’s has a good track record of people selling on their businesses when they decide to do something else. I think a lot of franchises claim that you can do that but at Ed’s the hard evidence is there.”
“The next stage was going out with one of the Ed’s Operators, in my case it was Neil. I was even more convinced once I met Neil. He is really dynamic and is clearly running a great business, loving his lifestyle and yet is really approachable and down to earth. Neil had already run his own gardening business before joining Ed’s a couple of years ago. He told me that he knew how to run a business before joining Ed’s but that it was still the best thing he could ever have done to grow his business quickly and that he had had great support along the way. It was clear that he was just telling me how it was without being scripted and I really liked what I heard.”
“Although I was pretty sure already, I still did some more research to find out more about Ed’s reputation. I wanted to have covered every angle before making my decision. Everything I found out about Ed’s backed up my feeling that they were a really good company to be part of. Having made up my mind that I wanted to run a gardening franchise business, it was a bit of a no-brainer that I should go with Ed’s.”
“To sum up, what did it for me was pretty much everything – the quality of the Ed’s franchise offer, the opportunity to run my own business with a lot of the hassle taken away, the proof that I could sell it later on, the Ed’s values, most certainly the people (both in the office and on the front line), the comprehensive training and letâ€™s not forget that amazing lifestyle. I just can’t wait to get outdoors and make it all happen for me.”
“I’ve also just found out that my ‘Ed’s buddy’ is Neil and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about how to grow an Ed’s business like his.”
Ed had a great day on Friday, escaping from the Edâ€™s Office and travelling up to Norfolk to meet Edâ€™s Operators John Marshall, Stuart Thackery and Ian Waters, who all run their Edâ€™s businesses in that lovely corner of England.
Ed loves days out like these and says â€œ It is always great to get out on the road and meet our guys on their own turf (excuse the pun!) I find it really rewarding to go to see them to catch up face to face on whatâ€™s going on in their lives. The guys get lots of opportunity to get together with the whole Edâ€™s team but they have a real hub established in Norfolk and it makes a lot of sense to get together with them to focus on their specific region. Although there is always lots to do in the office, I make a point of freeing my diary and having days out such as these in different locations as they are really worth the effort.â€œ
(Left to right) Edâ€™s Norfolk Operators Ian Waters, Stuart Thackeray and John Marshall with Ed Mauleverer
John Marshall says â€œThere is real value in getting together like this and chatting through local matters. I think itâ€™s great to be part of the whole Edâ€™s team but at the same time have a really supportive local Operator network. One of the great things with Edâ€™s is that the protected areas are so clearly structured, you are never in direct competition with another Operator â€“ you work alongside each other and help each other out when you can. In Edâ€™s there is a great buddying system where established Operators are paired up with fledgling ones to give them practical and moral support. I am an experienced Edâ€™s Operator but last year moved from the South East to Norfolk. It has been great to tap into local area Operator knowledge.
Furthermore, the fact that Ed has grass roots (another pun, sorry!) experience of running his own gardening business like us as well as excellent business skills is hugely helpful and makes you feel like every angle is covered. You get great support from the Edâ€™s Office generally and it always feels very personal rather than Corporate. Being a gardener can be quite a lonely job but itâ€™s just not like that at Edâ€™s. You get the best of all worlds really â€“ lots of freedom and great support from all sides. In my region, the Edâ€™s Operators know each other really well now and it is great to meet up socially. What better way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon!â€
Edâ€™s is the UK garden maintenance franchise market leader with 37 Operators. We are also the fastest growing UK garden maintenance franchise.
Weâ€™re thrilled with our success but never arrogant or complacent about it. We attribute this success to a whole mix of factors but we firmly believe that our values are at the core of our success. At Edâ€™s we place huge value on integrity and authenticity â€“ thatâ€™s to say, good old-fashioned honesty and â€œkeeping it realâ€. These values are at the very heart of Edâ€™s and run right through our business. It is simple; we deliver what we say we will at every turn. At the coalface, itâ€™s what differentiates us from a lot of the competition. Our Operators consistently deliver excellent garden services with integrity and a smile. Our mantra is â€œprompt, reliable and efficientâ€ and thatâ€™s what our Operators are. We do exactly what it says on the can (or the van in our case!)
Itâ€™s precisely the same principle when it comes to recruiting new franchisees. We are very clear about what we offer in our package and are completely ethical and transparent in our approach. We create no illusions and tell it exactly as it is. In Edâ€™s what we offer is purely the opportunity to run your own business delivering excellent gardening services whilst having fun, freedom and flexibility to shape things as you wish. We provide a great business model, which if followed properly, gets good results and we work closely with our business owners to support them to get it working right for them. We go the extra mile to support our Operators and they know that we are always there for them. The result is motivated Operators who feel that they have the best of both worlds as they have their own successful businesses but still feel secure as part of the Edâ€™s team. Thatâ€™s it, pure and simple.
When someone is considering joining Edâ€™s, we do our best to portray life as an Edâ€™s Operator for exactly what it is. Itâ€™s not absolutely perfect 100% of the time (life never is) but it does tick a lot of boxes. We feel that by giving people the true picture, they are far more likely to make the right choice for them and, if they do decide to come on board, stay committed to being part of Edâ€™s. Itâ€™s one of the reasons we welcome potential franchisees going out on the road with established Operators and give them carte blanche to ask whatever they want. More importantly, we give our Operators carte blanche to tell them the whole truth – no script, no hype, just honesty.
Training is another area where it is easy for franchisors to say they will deliver lots and in reality not do that much at all. At Edâ€™s we value our Operators above all else and train and support them to make their garden maintenance businesses as successful as they can be. We donâ€™t just say that we are committed to training – we really are. Why wouldnâ€™t we be given that a successful Operator network is the key measure of the success of Edâ€™s? We offer excellent initial and ongoing training, bespoke business coaching and have a great buddying system which pairs up our new Operators with established ones. The investment fee we receive from new franchisees is not sent away somewhere to be stashed in our coffers â€“ indeed we invest a substantial part into the development of the franchisee. The investment fee funds the training and support that we consider to be critical to Operators realising their full potential.
Finally we are full members of the British Franchise Association (bfa), which is the voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector. In a nutshell, the bfa promotes ethical franchising practice in the UK. In order to quality for this membership status, the bfa demands very exacting and stringent standards of business ethics and transparency of business practices. Many franchise businesses choose not to become members of the BFA but at Edâ€™s we welcome being held to account and having to conduct our business to these high ethical standards. Indeed, we wouldnâ€™t have it any other way.