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!”