Gardening Business Training for Success

Gardening Business Growth…

The Masterclass…

We had a really excellent Ed’s gardening business franchise training session last week. Many of our Ed’s Operators attended a fantastic workshop.  It was run by local businessman … Phil Harrison.

Phil has experience of successfully growing a significant gardening business over a period of thirty years into what is currently a million pound concern.

In Phil’s words, ”I really enjoy the role with Ed’s. It reminds me of  when I was striving to develop my own business. At the time, there wasn’t the opportunity of joining a successful gardening franchise business that would help set you up and support you through the early years.  I really was making it up as I went along! It’s really enjoyable meeting the Ed’s Operators who all have a burning desire to move their businesses forward.  They have a great brand and support system with Ed’s.   There is really nothing stopping the Operators from reaching for the stars. For my part, if I can share any of my experience with them to help them through the challenges they will face, I’m more than happy to do so.”

The Format…

Phil started off his workshop with an overview of his own journey to success.  This was appreciated as some of our newer Ed’s Operators hadn’t met him before. He then moved on to split the attendees into working groups to discuss and feed back on specific topics, such as ‘how to recruit and keep the best people’ to other performance-enhancing subjects. In this session, Phil moved between the groups when they were discussing their topics and then facilitated the feedback sessions.

Eds Operators enjoying training session

Even Baloo was paying lots of attention to the proceedings!

Baloo paying attention in class

With all the formal discussing done, we moved on to the informal socialising part of the session, which was equally as valuable. Over pizzas and drinks, the Ed’s Operators were able to catch up with each other and also have specific chats with Phil on a one to one basis.

The Reviews…

As with all our training sessions, we asked our Operators for some constructive feedback. We got some very positive reviews: –

• Steve’s review – Steve has been an Ed’s Operator in Hersham  for more than ten years, told us, “I thoroughly enjoy listening to Phil. He really knows his stuff and has done so well with his business. There are always good ideas to take away and implement in my own gardening business. The social aspect is great too; we’re very lucky to have such a good group of Ed’s Operators. It never really feels like work.”

• Marcus’ review – Marcus joined Ed’s last year to run his business in Streatham told us, “I was very impressed with that training session. I am ambitious about where I want to go with my Ed’s business and that’s exactly the kind of training session that fuels my drive to take my business as far as I possibly can. The focus is very much on the practical and tactical and that is hugely helpful. Phil is really inspiring.”

• Mark’s review – Mark , who has very recently joined us to run his Ed’s business in Ramsgate, said, “Training sessions such as these remind me of why I was so sure Ed’s was the right franchise for me. I could never get access to this kind of stuff if I were going it alone. The pitch is just right. Phil is very informative but fun and never patronising. I wish my training sessions in my previous corporate life had been half as valuable as this!”

The  Conclusion…

So, how did we do? All in all a great training session and at just the right time of year to fire up and focus our Ed’s Operators on what they want to achieve in the season ahead.

Spring Flowers were in attendance too

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Phil for putting together such a valuable training session for us. We also wish all our Ed’s Operators  all the very best with their businesses for the season ahead and beyond.

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.”

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…

 

 

 

 

 

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!”

Ed’s scores a hat trick of three brand new Operators

Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest UK garden maintenance franchise, with a network of 44 Operators.

Ed’s is delighted to welcome three brand new Operators to our flourishing Ed’s team.

Pete Henchey has joined our ever-growing team of Operators to run his own Ed’s business in Sutton Coldfield. Pete was previously a college lecturer.

Dave Laing has joined Ed’s to run his own garden maintenance business in Andover. Dave was a works manager for an engineering firm before joining Ed’s.

And hot off the press… Bob Dulieu has just signed up to run his Ed’s business in Horsham. Bob was previously Managing Director of a Risk Management consultancy.

Whilst Pete, Dave and Bob have joined Ed’s from diverse career backgrounds, they all have the common goal of wanting to fully leverage the Ed’s brand to grow successful garden maintenance businesses.

And finally, here’s what Ed himself has to say…

We are delighted to welcome Pete, Dave and Bob into our team.  These are really exciting times for Ed’s and our brand is gathering a lot of momentum and is performing well. It is great to be bringing high-calibre individuals on board to share the action. We know that with the right attitude, armed with the Ed’s business model and brand, these businesses can really prosper as is demonstrated by many of our established guys.  We look forward to supporting our new Operators to realise the goals and aspirations they have set for their businesses.”

 

Ed’s welcomes Paul

Here at Ed’s, we are delighted to announce that Paul Wellington has recently joined Ed’s to set up his garden maintenance business in the Thurrock area.

Ed's Garden Maintenance - Paul Wellington

Paul knows the turf (excuse the pun!) very well already, having previously been a black cab driver in the area. He is now fully operational and is delivering a full range of gardening services including hedge trimming, grass cutting, lawn turfing, pressure washing and garden tidy ups.

Paul is rearing to go with his new business. Here is what he has to say about embarking on his new venture:

“I have a lot of customer service experience from working as a cabbie and I know how important it is to go the extra mile to make your customers really happy. For me this is all about delivering excellent garden services and building a strong reputation in the community. I’ve spent time learning the ropes with other Ed’s Operators and the training I have had has been second to none.

“I feel very well prepared to take on the challenges of running an efficient business. Prompt, reliable and efficient is our mantra and it is at the core of our business. It is a bonus that I really love the outdoors and am thrilled to be behind a lawn mower rather than a steering wheel.”

“I’m just at the starting post with my Ed’s business but it is fantastic to look around and see established Ed’s Operators running thriving garden maintenance businesses. I look at them and think – That will be me in the not too distant future!”

Neil splits his business and Ed’s welcomes Warren

Ed’s Garden Maintenance is the largest UK garden maintenance franchise, with a network of 42 Operators

Ed’s is delighted to welcome Warren Emsden on board. Warren will be running his Ed’s business in Petts Wood. Warren has joined us as a result of Neil Collis, our Ed’s Operator in Sevenoaks, taking advantage of the opportunity we have in Ed’s for Operators to split their businesses.

Splitting businesses is an innovative concept within Ed’s whereby established Operators can package up a grouping of regular customers and sell and hand over this business on to a new Operator.  The rationale for this is that it is a great way to create value across the board.  This is because it demonstrates a three-way win for all the parties involved:-

  1. Neil realises a substantial cash sum and in the process streamlines his business to increase his focus on his core geographic area, which we know maximises ongoing financial returns as travel time is greatly reduced.
  2. Warren buys a franchise including the foundation of a group of high quality customers, with Neil nearby to help him with any transitional issues.  As a result he can be profitable from day one and further reduce the risks of start-up.
  3. Ed’s gets a new Operator in Petts Wood. This is another building block in growing the Ed’s brand, which we know has far-reaching benefits across the whole of the network.

Warren says “What a great way to start with Ed’s! I have a bank of profitable customers from Day One, which is just brilliant. It totally eliminates the apprehension of having to start something from scratch.  Also, before I go off on my own, Neil will spend time teaching me the ropes of the business and making sure that the handover of customers runs really smoothly.  I’m feeling hugely positive about the whole venture and am looking forward to working hard to build even more value into this business.”

Neil’s view is as follows, “There were lots of reasons underpinning my decision to join Ed’s, but the business splitting facility was really the icing on the cake. I’ve built up a really robust business since I started through a combination of hard work and discipline to follow Ed’s business model to the letter. This gave me a brilliant platform to carry out my first business split in September 2016, when I sold a bank of customers in the Sidcup area to Karl Husher.  I really enjoyed working with Karl on making it all happen and Karl is now doing really well with his Ed’s business.  The success of my first business split motivated me to do another one and I have every confidence that Warren will make the most of this opportunity.  I don’t know of any other franchise where you get the scope to do deals such as these and I’m certainly making the most of it. I feel like I’m really getting into my stride in splitting businesses now and am already thinking about doing some more.”

We wish both Warren and Neil all the very best with the future development of their businesses.