Kevin delivers despite ‘the wheels falling off’
Kevin, our Ed’s business owner in Raynes Park, demonstrated a real winning attitude last week. He sent us a photo of a rogue lawnmower wheel to share his challenge of the day. However, behind the sorry wheel was also a smart set of lawn stripes. We shared a laugh with Kevin but it also struck us how just one photo can speak a thousand words. But before we get on to that, we’ll let Kevin tell you his story …
A winning attitude – Kevin’s Story
” My day started with business as usual and I went to my customer’s garden to do my usual mowing job. This particular customer really does like their lawn stripes. I brought along my trusty John Deere push behind mower as it is (usually!) great for this type of job. It’s the only machine I have that I keep sending back for services and repairs as it is an absolute work horse and they don’t make them any more. Anyway my ‘beast’ must have been having a bit of an off day as I merely tapped a tree and its wheel just fell off. To be fair, I do put it through its paces, but still!”
“Disaster? Well, not great that’s for sure but I wasn’t going to let a moody mower get the better of me. My customer likes their lawn looking great and stripes are ‘de rigeur’ so there was nothing else for it…brute force!”
“And so, I completed the remaining three quarters of the lawn, without a wheel….and most importantly, with stripes intact. Tiring work but but hey, when it comes to stripes, a gardener’s gotta do what a gardener’s gotta do. “
“Joking aside though, my customer was very impressed that I had managed to complete their lawn to my usual high standard, despite my predicament. All in a days work but I am glad that days like these are few and far between at Ed’s.”
A winning attitude – Our thoughts
We believe that such anecdotes go far beyond their entertainment value. It’s how our business owners respond to these types of situations that reinforces in our minds how we have made the right choices with our franchisees. We often hear such stories in the office and they demonstrate the personality traits that we look for in our people and the same ones that underpin their successful businesses.
A similar story was when the thermometer was tipping 34 degrees one summer’s day. Matthew, who runs his Ed’s business in Folkestone rang the office and we asked him how he was coping with the extreme heat. Matthew chuckled and told us how it was great for his suntan and, as long as he kept well hydrated, that he coped with it just fine and just powered through. That kind of response says a lot.
At Ed’s we do have a rigorous selection process. Of course, we realise that potential franchisees are weighing up the value of the franchise to them. However, we are also weighing up how they will measure up as franchisees and we only select the best, the ones we are confident will go on to run strong businesses. Ed had that vision way back when he set up Ed’s almost twenty years ago. He wanted to build a real quality brand and for that he needed real quality business owners.
So, what makes a good franchisee?
Over the years we have seen how there are certain character attributes that make a really good franchisee and other aspects that aren’t quite so important.
So let’s start with the less important ones…
Clearly prospective franchisees approach Ed’s with an idea of what they think might be important. They often wonder if they have enough gardening experience. Well, we are quite relaxed on this one and take the view that we can train you to have all the gardening skills you will need.
People also sometimes expect business or finance skills to be really important. Well, again we can teach and coach all of those so we are really not too worried about your business or finance experience.
So what does it take to be a good Ed’s business owner?
Character attributes are significantly more important and tend to be innate.
First of all, it’s really important that prospective franchisees are not afraid of hard work. Gardening is fun and great for your wellbeing but it is definitely a physical job. A strong work ethic takes you a long way and it’s a common thread right through our franchise network.
A positive approach really is key to running a good franchise business. Life can be pretty good as a gardener. However, that doesn’t mean that every day will be perfect. There are sure to be obstacles in the way. There will be some rainy days and some moody lawn mowers. If you approach those types of hurdles with a positive attitude, a bit of sense of humour and you can keep your focus on customer satisfaction, well, that is a real recipe for success.
Resilience, the ability to bounce back, is so important. In a nutshell, precisely how Kevin instinctively dealt with his missing wheel situation.
The strategy behind selection
By selecting strong candidates through our rigorous selection processes, we are able to lock real value into the Ed’s brand. This is because we know that the individuals we select and invest in will go on to run really good gardening businesses. It really is as simple as that. Bringing quality into the business and then adding in a lot of training and support is a pretty clear path to success. It results in us growing our franchise network with another quality franchise business. That franchise business will both deliver on the franchisee’s expectations and also strengthen the Ed’s brand. It is that straightforward and it just works.
If you are attracted by the Ed’s way of life, and think you have got what it takes to make a good franchisee, please do get in touch.