Are we cutting the mustard?

Marcus has now been with Ed’s two months, getting his business up and running in Streatham, South London. We asked him to take a quick break from his busy schedule and give us the lowdown…

So, Marcus, how are we measuring up?

“ I’m still absolutely loving being an Ed’s Operator.  It is super busy and there is so much more work for the taking than I had anticipated, even with the knowledge of the strength of Ed’s brand. The challenge is meeting demand, never ever whether there is enough work. That thought doesn’t even cross my mind.”

“I feel much fitter already. I am tired at the end of a long day’s work but it is a good kind of tiredness. It feels like I have really achieved something and my energy levels are high because I feel very positive about what I am doing. The gardening is great and I love having the freedom to build my business up how I want to, with the support I need right at my fingertips.’”

“Another aspect I really enjoy is building relationships with my customers. I thrive on the fact that my business is such a personal one and is very service-oriented. It is so satisfying to get great feedback and reviews – very validating. Everyone loves a job well done, but my customers are so appreciative of what I do.”

“Have I made the right decision? Yes, one hundred and ten percent. I’ve got two months under my belt now and I’m actually even more enthusiastic about it all than I was when I first started.”

Ed’s just got funkier

It’s true that Ed’s  Operators are ‘happy gardeners’ enjoying the wholesome life but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t embrace the digital age to our advantage.  

In  Ed’s we do cherish good, old-fashioned values such as  great customer service, reliability and respect for our customers. However,  we are also very focused on being at the cutting edge (excuse the pun) in our sector and use technological advance to our benefit as much as we possibly can.  We find that combining the two gives us superb competitive advantage in the market place.

What’s new at Ed’s?

It is an ongoing mission at Ed’s to embrace change and keep at the forefront in the technology revolution . We have been focusing on this constantly since Ed’s started business fifteen years ago. We put a lot of resource into this and we find that it is  effort well spent.  In fact, we believe that it is a key factor in us growing to be the Number One Garden Maintenance Franchise Business in the UK.  Over the years, we have been single-minded about taking the Ed’s brand from strength to strength.  Our Operators have been able to leverage this to the significant benefit of their businesses and this  is the essence of why we have put so much effort into it.

As part of keeping pace with change, we’ve had a bit of a brand refresh recently.   Nothing’s changed in our values, we’ve just spruced (sorry another pun!) ourselves up a bit.  We’ve now got a whole new website, logo and much more.

Our old look…

 

 

Our new look…

 

Please take a  look at our  website https://edsgardenbusinessfranchise.co.uk to see the overall effect. We are still the same Ed’s, but  we just got a little bit funkier!

 

Growing success, the Ed’s way…

 

 

 

 

 

Marcus reflects…

…on his first month with Ed’s

Marcus Phillips joined Ed’s just over a month ago to run his business in Streatham, South London. Here he reflects on his first month and tells us how it has all gone …

How did you feel on Day One?

“ I absolutely knew I’d made the right decision to join Ed’s when I committed to join. As I’ve gotten a bit longer in the tooth, I know my judgement has improved a lot. As soon as I spoke with Ed and his team, I knew they were really professional and good at what they did. That reinforced the all-important quality aspect of Ed’s for me. I then took my time and looked at the detail. I also  sounded out established Ed’s Operators on the nitty gritty of it all before making up my mind. It was a good feeling to start out without any doubts about whether I had done the right thing”

And when you got started?

“That said, I still felt that I had a lot to prove to myself. Yes, the business model worked but I needed to make it work for me, with a lot of help of course! I was immediately encouraged by just how much help and support there was for me in Ed’s.  There was  even more than I had anticipated. I’ve been so impressed by Ed and his team’s passion and drive to help me to be successful and to achieve my early goals. It really is turbo-charged support!“

How are you feeling now?

“It’s still early days for me as I’m only a month in. However,  already I feel that everything is really starting to come together. I love the gardening, as I knew I would. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birds are singing and I’m my own boss – what could be better! The work is starting to flood in now and I’m feeling more confident in my abilities. I’ve already acquired a number of regular customers and it’s all very exciting. I can actually see my business taking serious shape right before my eyes. I’ve still got a long way to go on my journey but Ed’s is definitely the right path for me.”

Ed’s welcomes Marcus

We are delighted to welcome Marcus Phillips to our ever-growing team of Ed’s Operators.

Marcus has just joined us to run his own Ed’s business in Streatham, South West London.  He  brings many skills that are transferable to running an Ed’s business as well as lots of enthusiasm. We are sure that Marcus will fully embrace the Ed’s business opportunity.

We asked Marcus to tell us a bit about  his decision to join Ed’s:-

The background…

”I previously worked for fourteen years in the management of a 27 acre family-owned estate in London.  In this environment, I was able to do an interesting job within  a beautiful natural environment. Redundancy led me to seek an opportunity where I could be challenged professionally but also keep the outdoorsy context that I love.  I was attracted by the challenge and freedom of  running my own business and I also  knew that a good franchise framework could help me to have a scale of business to generate decent earnings. ”

The decision-making process…

“ When I came across Ed’s, I knew immediately that the fit was good.  The gardening aspect was hugely appealing. It was also clear that Ed’s has a very strong brand presence that  I knew would serve me well.  I could also see that the Ed’s franchise offering is the best in class. 

The Ed’s Team…

 As I had more dealings with Ed and his Office team,  it was clear that there is a lot of experience and professionalism underpinning their success story.  I found Ed himself very inspiring, with clear strategic vision and a lot of focus.  He is very ambitious to keep taking Ed’s to the next level of success.  I was also struck by how friendly and approachable everyone was, from Ed himself and the Office team to the Operators I met. No question was considered too silly.  I felt at ease to take my time and find out everything I needed to know to make the right decision for me.

My instincts told me from early on in the process that Ed’s was right for me. However,   I followed the discovery process to the letter to make sure that all the facts backed up my instincts.  I made my decision having done my due diligence!”

The future…

“I’m  in the process of doing my training so I can be up and running in the next few weeks.  I know I am starting my business at a great time of year, just as spring is starting to spring forward.  I’m getting myself in pole position to keep pace with it!”

We wish Marcus all the very best with his new Ed’s business.

Ed’s Garden Services welcomes Graeme to the team

We are delighted to welcome Graeme to our growing team of Ed’s Operators…

Graeme has recently moved with his family to the UK from Zimbabwe to invest in an  Ed’s business in Worcester Park, Surrey.   Anita, our Ed’s Operator in Wimbledon is co-investing in this well-established business, which our Ed’s Operator, Tim, has built up over a period of almost ten years. However, Graeme will be at the helm, running the garden services business on a day-to-day basis. We have been very impressed by Graeme.  We feel that he certainly has the right qualities to be a successful Ed’s Operator.

 

Here is what Graeme has to say about his decision to join Ed’s:-

The background…

”I have spent all of my career to date in the transport sector in Zimbabwe. We have had plans to move to the UK for some time. However,  I have been waiting for the the right business venture to come along in order to make that move.”

Taking the plunge with Ed’s…

“I have known Anita for many years and found out about Ed’s through her. It was clear to me that she had developed quite a scale of a garden services business. She also clearly really enjoys what she does.   When the chance to buy Tim’s business arose, I had no doubt  that it was the right move to make.”

“It was clearly a very good business to invest in, within a respected and well-established garden services franchise business.  It also fitted perfectly with my aspirations for a healthy, outdoorsy job.  I am used to wide-open spaces in Zimbabwe. I couldn’t  stand the thought of a job where I was cooped up in an office all day.”

“I’ve had lots of support through the buying process from Anita, Tim and Ed’s of course.  I feel very well supported and I have found the buying process  a lot less scary than one would imagine”.

The future…

“I am very excited about taking this venture forward. The business is already strong and I love the challenge of taking it to the next level of success. We’ve only just signed the deal but I’m really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting on with running it.  I love the fact that I will have a healthy, outdoors lifestyle. It is a  big bonus.  I may miss that African sunshine for a while though!“

We wish Graeme all the very best with his new venture.

Ed’s Garden Services welcomes Ade to the team

Ade Hiley - Sheffield Gardener

We are delighted to welcome Ade Hiley to our ever-expanding team of Ed’s Operators.

Ade has just joined Ed’s Garden Services to run his own Ed’s business in Sheffield. This is an exciting step for Ed’s as well.   Ade’s business will be the first Ed’s business in the north of England.  We have been really impressed with Ade as an individual. He has taken a very structured approach whilst working out if Ed’s was right from him. With that focus and Ed’s established business model, as well as the support we will give him, we are confident that Ade will make the most of the business opportunity he has before him.

Here is what Ade has to say about his decision to join Ed’s:-

…The background

”My last job was a director in the financial services sector. I’ve spent most of my career in that sector and recent work developments have given me the opportunity to take my career in a different direction. After the initial excitement at the prospect of having real freedom to choose my next job, I’ve taken a very pragmatic and objective look at what to do next. “

“A franchise business appealed to me from the start but there are lots of different ones out there and I wanted to be 100% certain that I was selecting the right one for me.”

….The selection process

“First of all, I found gardening more appealing than all the other franchises.  Beyond that, Ed’s hit me straight away as standing out from the competition by a long way.  I got a strong sense that Ed’s had the balance right across the board.  I found them very professional but totally approachable right from the start.  They gauged things just right by giving me ALL the information I needed to make a really informed decision but without ever being pushy or making me feel that I was asking too much.”

” I never got the feeling that the process was moving quicker than I wanted it to. What’s more, I really liked their ethos and felt that I could fit into Ed’s really well from the word go. Everything is geared to the individual rather than a ‘sausage machine’ approach. This runs from everything from finding the right people right through to their training and support.”

.…Looking forward to the future

“The business model clearly works very well and it has been tried and tested time and again in different parts of the country. I am delighted to be their first Operator ‘up north’ although I am sure more will follow. It is clear that I have a brilliant opportunity right here on my doorstep. I just need the right platform and support to leverage it fully.  I am certain that Ed’s will give me that.”

“The freedom aspect is really appealing as well. After a very long time in Corporate life, I feel really energised to be striking out and doing something so enjoyable on my own. However, I will still be  part of a successful team.”

We wish Ade all the very best with his new venture.

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!