Marcus goes global!

Marcus, our Ed’s Operator in Streatham, had high ambitions for his business when he joined Ed’s early this year. However, not even he thought he would be expanding his business overseas before the year was out!

Marcus told us all about his latest venture as follows…

“I’ve done quite a lot of work for a lovely customer with a stunning house. They have a beautiful garden and I absolutely love working in it.  They have been very pleased with the results of my labours and are now one of my firm regular customers. I know they really appreciate my work and I get on very well with them.”

“However, I was stunned when they asked me if I would be prepared to do some gardening for them in France!  It turns out that they have another lovely property in the Dordogne region of France. That garden needs a bit of care and they think I’m just the man for the job! They’ve offered me an all expenses paid trip there in springtime if I would be happy to go and sort things out for the season ahead.  They even invited me to fly my family out and tag a few days holiday on to the end of it to explore the region. What an opportunity!  I was really flattered that they were so happy with my work that they are prepared to go to those lengths.”

“Of course I said Yes and will manage my workload to fulfil my commitments to my other regular customers”

“So we are all good to go. All that remains is for me to brush up on my French. My tools are all very well maintained but, I have to admit, my French is just a little bit rusty!!”

Adding another string to our bow

The Ed’s office was an exceptionally busy hub  last week. We hosted an advanced lawn care course for our Ed’s Operators.

We came up with with the idea for the course in our last group training session back in September.  A number of Operators thought it would be really useful for their businesses.  Although mowing is our core service, we love to support our customers to have the best lawns that they possibly can and looking after lawns properly is a big part of this.

Mark, our Ed’s Operator in Bournemouth, volunteered to take the idea away. Mark then did some research to establish what kind of course would fit the bill, found a good provider and passed the details on to the Ed’s Office to make it all happen. Steve, our Ed’s Operator in Hersham helped out with some of the hosting arrangements. We did the rest in the office and…hey presto, we had a course.  More than twenty Ed’s Operators signed up for the course so we ran the course over two days.  We had Operators with 10+ years with Ed’s and others, who are less than a year with us.  The feedback from our Operators was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone was saying how much they were looking forward to turning the course into something practical to add to their businesses.

It’s great having our Operators visit the Ed’s Office.  Wellington gets  very excited about seeing them too… especially at lunch time!

 

At Ed’s we are extremely committed to great training. We believe that the best training is focused on adding tangible value to our Operator’s businesses. Our mantra is to keep training real and interesting.  It has to be well worth our busy Operators taking time out of their businesses for.

Smashing September

The Ed’s Operators are making the most of the excellent September weather and their diaries are full of varied jobs.

The extreme summer heat has taken its toll on gardens and there is a lot of work going on restoring gardens to their glory. Once again,  we are seeing green lawns and mowing is in full swing.

In July, we posted regarding how things were going for Dave our Ed’s Operator in Andover.  We asked him how things are going now it’s September. This is what he had to say :-

“ High Summer felt quite different business-wise this year, with the extreme heat and its impact on mowing. However, with the way the Ed’s business model works, I found it really easy to cross-sell other services and my figures were on track even when the thermometer was hitting 34 degrees. “

“What it’s meant though is that much of the ‘normal’ summer demand is kicking in now. There is a lot of mowing going on at the moment  . September is usually  a fairly busy month but this year has been amazing.”

“I’m not complaining about lots of mowing though. It’s great to see lawns looking green and lustrous again. And I enjoy nothing more than creating some mean stripes!” (Just a reminder of what Dave’s stripes look like…)

“It’s not just lawns though. I’m really busy with lots of varied jobs at the moment. With all the sunshine, punctuated by some showers, everything is growing like crazy at the moment!”

“Here’s a hedge I recently did too. I tried my best not to disturb its inhabitants too much!”

“I enjoy being an Ed’s Operator all year round but this is an especially fun time of year. The weather is lovely but not too hot and the late summer growth spurt gives us a lot of opportunity to make gardens look great again. I love seeing them transform before my eyes. It’s very much looking like the current activity levels will continue through to October too. I’m just hoping I manage to get my diary clear for Christmas!  To be honest, I’m only half joking. Last year some of our Operators were working right up until Christmas Eve. Seasonality – what’s that?!”

 

Is everything in the garden still rosy for Dave?

Dave Laing joined Ed’s Garden Services in the Spring of 2017 to run his Ed’s business in Andover.

On paper, it certainly looks like Dave is doing well. However, at Ed’s we always believe that financial performance is only one measure of success. What’s equally, if not more, important is how happy you are running your business.

It’s easy to be really enthusiastic and enjoy your new lifestyle when you set out.  However, the real test is if your satisfaction stands the test of time.

So, one year in, we asked Dave whether being an Ed’s Operator has lived up to his longer-term expectations?

The short answer?

“Well, the short answer is that I’m still thoroughly enjoying running my Ed’s business. Although my wife is thrilled that I am now doing something I love, I think she secretly hoped that the novelty would wear off just a little bit. I still enthuse about it rather a lot. However, with a year under my belt, I am getting better at knowing when to change the subject!”

Can you elaborate?

Balancing the risks

“I think what has made it really enjoyable for me is that I’ve been able to get all the positives of running my own business whilst minimising the negatives. Before I looked at the Ed’s franchise route, I had loads of enthusiasm to run my own business. Yet I also had a real fear of failure and being out there on my own. ”

Balancing my life

“I was also worried that I’d get totally sucked into my business and lose perspective. There was a fear of ending up working long days and then coming home in the evening to tackle piles of admin.  I was concerned that I’d never get any lifestyle benefits as I would find it all too stressful. That hasn’t been the case at all.”

Support, support and more support

“I’ve always got exactly the right level of support from The Ed’s team. They are so good at providing support in any functional area, or even just moral support, whenever you need it. The early days in a business are always challenging but you really are guided along your learning curve. I’ve always got as much reassurance as I’ve needed. The office team is very experienced and professional but in a low-key way.  You always feel that things are always under control. They have helped Operators build up strong businesses many times over but they never lose enthusiasm and are never disparaging about your doubts. ”

Zapping the admin

“The slick but simple bespoke systems Ed’s provides you with means that you can keep all your admin to the absolute minimum. This is a significant thing for me because (a) I don’t like admin and (b) computers aren’t really my thing either (c) I’d much rather be sitting in my own garden after a long, hot day rather than dealing with either admin or computers!”

Value for money

“Even now, when the days of insecurities seem a long way off, I still feel that I get really good value from being part of Ed’s. The strength of the brand, the marketing and the amazing systems justify the investment alone. That’s without even taking into account all the ongoing support you get.”

A healthy business

“I am now in a position where I have got a strong bank of 35 regular customers.  It’s a real pleasure to work with them.  It’s also easy to arrange things so I have the option of taking on interesting new or one-off jobs when I want to.”

“I feel that already I am already in refinement mode with my business. I am now doing all the extra little things to add value to the bottom line. For someone who didn’t know very much about gardening or running a business to get to where I am today in just over a year is nothing short of amazing!”

A healthy new me

“My figures are looking good. And speaking of figures, the icing on the cake is that I look and feel fitter than I’ve done for years.  I’ve lost more than a stone with my new healthy lifestyle and I’ve got a pretty good suntan at the moment too!”

Still the thrill

“Last but not least , I still get a HUGE kick from delivering a fantastic set of lawn stripes!”

So, all in all, yes, life in the garden is most definitely still rosy for me.”

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.