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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?!”


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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!”

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Franchisee Support – The Ed’s Way

Ed’s has changed a great deal since Edward Mauleverer started his garden maintenance business in Wimbledon back in 2003. We are now the UK garden maintenance franchise market leader with 36 Operators and we’re going from strength to strength. Whilst we are thrilled about this, we never lose sight of the fact that the truest measures of Ed’s success are the individual success stories of our Operators. We value them above all else and continuously strive to get everything just right to support them to make their garden maintenance businesses all that they want them to be.

Simon Swindells (Torbay) and Paul Brunton (Bristol) – Ed’s newly established West Country ‘Buddies’

We have thought long and hard about the best ways to provide our Operators with all the guidance and support they need throughout their Ed’s journey. We know that some other franchise operations, as they grow larger, move to a ‘regional’ management structure, where franchisees are put into regional teams reporting into a regional Head. However, to go down that route just didn’t feel right for us – at Ed’s we really don’t like to do things too ‘Corporate’ as it just doesn’t fit well with our culture, which is all about delivering excellent gardening services whilst having fun, freedom and flexibilty to shape things as you wish. We work closely with our business owners and regard our team as one big Ed’s family.

In line with this thinking, we have developed a unique approach to supporting our Operators to reach their own goals. There are three key building blocks which fit together to provide all the support they need:-

(1) Excellent and continuous training – It goes without saying that we provide a great initial training package in all aspects of running an Ed’s business. However, just as importantly, we believe that training should be a continuous process which, if it is taken seriously by both franchisor and franchisee, contributes greatly to keeping Operators’ business thinking fresh and their motivation levels high.

(2) Bespoke Business Coaching – We provide every Operator with tailored one to one business coaching with our in-house experienced business coach from the day they join Ed’s. It’s easy to see how this service is hugely helpful when you are starting up and you are still learning the ropes. However, as Ed’s businesses flourishes and new challenges emerge, business coaching is valued by even our most experienced Operators. It creates the right conditions for Operators to step back from their businesses and consider the best ways to tackle challenges, to meet goals and to draw on shared experiences across our network. We make it optional after the first few months with Ed’s , but it is testament to its effectiveness that not one Operator in our network has opted out of it.

(3) Buddying – We have a buddying system which is as simple a concept as it sounds but is extremely effective. Whenever a new Operator joins Ed’s, we immediately partner them up with an established and successful Operator who becomes their informal mentor. For example, Simon joined us just a few weeks ago to build his Ed’s business in Torbay, Devon and he has already been paired up with and has spent time with Paul, who is running a thriving business in Bristol. We find that this approach works brilliantly – the new Operator has direct access to the knowledge and experience of someone who has been in their shoes not all that long ago. The established Operators benefit from the relationship as well. As Steve Frise, one of our most experienced Ed’s Operators, says “ The new guys can be really good to discuss things with from my perspective too – they are fresh to the business and can have great ideas which they just haven’t put in place yet. It’s a win-win really. ”

So that’s the potted version of how we help our Ed’s Operators to run their own successful businesses with an excellent and reassuring safety net. Our support framework is very structured and rigorous but handled in a flexible, friendly and informal way – and it sits very well with our values. Some might say it’s ‘belt and braces’ but we really wouldn’t be happy with anything less – why would we be when it is such an important thing to get right?