Stuart Thackeray came on board to run an Edâ€™s business in the spring of 2014. Letâ€™s hear what Stuart has to say about his first year with Edâ€™s.
“Before I joined Edâ€™s I had an established career in London and outwardly I guess my life looked very successful. The reality was I was bored with the rat race commute, no longer inspired by my job and felt that my work-life balance made it hard for me to pursue my interests as much as I would have liked.
“To be honest I felt that I was living what was perceived to be a â€œsuccessfulâ€ life but true success is measured by being at one with yourself and happy and in that aspect my career was severely lacking. Iâ€™ve got a strong business background so I knew up front what the important factors were when starting up your own business.
“I had my checklist and of all the options I looked at, joining Edâ€™s was the one that came out on top. Iâ€™ve had conversations with friends who questioned my reasons for wanting to be part of a franchise operation when I already had experience of running a business. The answer is simple â€“ it was nothing to do with lacking confidence but all about the realisation that there was no way that I could develop such a strong sales, marketing and technical support engine as I am getting for the level of investment required to join Edâ€™s.
â€œWell, here we are one year on and life is very good. Encouraged by my success in setting up an Edâ€™s business in New Malden, Surrey during my first year I took the decision to complete the change in lifestyle and move to the country.
“I never thought I would have the confidence for such a bold move given I was still in my first year of trading, but Iâ€™d always wanted to return to the county I was brought up in and live the rural dream with all itâ€™s clichÃ©s. However, by following the Edâ€™s business model, my business was developing so well, I was 100% sure I could still make it work for me in rural Norfolk rather than the heavily populated suburbs of Surrey.
“So now, instead of a journey to work on the packed 07:30 train into London Waterloo, my commute, in my Edâ€™s van winds its way along quiet picture postcard country lanes with me at the wheel and Angus, my working black Labrador sidekick, keeping me company.
“I donâ€™t want to make it all sound perfect, obviously work always has its challenges and starting a business takes a lot of dedication and very hard work. My customers are generally lovely although you always get the odd one who does not value the services I offer. It is real life after all.
“What I can truthfully say though is that a bad day gardening for me is always ten times better than a bad day at the office. Freedom and the knowledge that I am running my own show but with a successful business backing me gives me peace of mind and a sense of wellbeing. Birdsong, big skies, the sun on my back and feeling fitter than I have done in years are added bonuses!
“Would I join Edâ€™s again, knowing what I know now? Yes, without a momentâ€™s hesitation! In fact, one of our operators has just joined Edâ€™s for a second time â€“ Lucy sold her successful Edâ€™s business due to a lifestyle move abroad and, having decided to move back to the UK a couple of years later, she’s joined Edâ€™s again. I think that says it all, who would do that if Edâ€™s wasnâ€™t what it professed to be?”