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.

Gardening business in Ramsgate

Mark's branded vehicle

Mark Stanton has just come on board to run his own Ed’s gardening business in Ramsgate and surrounding areas. His career experience gives him a great foundation for running an Ed’s business.

Mark’s very own gardening business! We asked him to tell us a bit about his decision to join Ed’s:-

The background…

“ Well, my background is in electrical and electronic engineering. Before joining Ed’s I was a European Sales Director for a large American Company. I had worked there for 30 years and managed a team of European salespeople.

Although I had a successful career, increasingly I felt that the joy had gone out of my job. I was travelling way more than I wanted to.  My health was suffering due to stress, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. My wife was frequently telling me that she would rather I was fit, healthy and alive than a successful businessman who was ill and highly stressed. We realised it was time for a major rethink.

As luck would have it, redundancy came my way. I needed an opportunity like this and I jumped at it! The question was the what next? I have always found gardening and designing gardens enormously therapeutic, relaxing and rewarding. It’s true that I loved doing both my own garden and the gardens of friends and family.  I even completed a diploma in Garden Design – just for fun! When I was particularly stressed through work, my wife would banish me to the garden for a few hours. Afterwards (apparently!) I returned a much happier person! All of this gave me the answer I needed. The future had to be a career switch to a gardening business!”

Why Ed’s garden franchise…

“I was attracted by the challenge and freedom of running my own gardening business.  I also knew that a good franchise framework could help me to have a scale of gardening business to generate decent earnings.
My next task was to find the best in the business.  Following much research, I decided there was no question that was Ed’s. Their brand, in particular, impressed me hugely.”
The rest is history and an exciting new chapter in my life was to begin.”

The decision-making process…

“It’s really funny but I felt I already knew a lot about Ed’s even before I’d spoken to anyone in the Ed’s team. Their public domain information was very informative and gave a great insight into what the Ed’s business and business model are all about. It was all very professional and informative but clear to understand where the value lay.

When I came to speak with and meet Ed and the Ed’s team, it all just reinforced my initial impressions. The feeling was they were very professional without any corporate stuffiness and there was a real sense of ‘all hands to deck’ to help Operators realise their ambitions. Although I asked all the difficult questions to be absolutely sure, it was an incredibly easy decision to make. I knew I loved gardening and I had every confidence that Ed’s was the right vehicle to support me through to achieving my goals. I felt like I just fitted in from the outset.

I’ve now done most of my training and have got my garden business set up and ready to go. There has been a lot to organise but I have been guided through it and have really enjoyed the whole onboarding process. It has all gone very smoothly without any glitches at all. It has been infinitely less daunting than setting up an independent business would have been.”

The future…

“My main challenge, after 30 years in a corporate world, has been to have the self-belief that I can become successfully self-employed. However, I’ve come to wholeheartedly believe that I really can. However, it is still great to have the safety net of a successful franchise behind me. I am now more excited than nervous about the future and it helps knowing that my wife and family (not to mention the Ed’s team!) all believe in me 100%. I’m more than ready to go and just can’t wait to get on with building my gardening business.”

We wish Mark all the very best with his Ed’s business.

Marcus goes global!

Marcus, our Ed’s Operator in Streatham, had high ambitions for his business when he joined Ed’s early this year. However, not even he thought he would be expanding his business overseas before the year was out!

Marcus told us all about his latest venture as follows…

“I’ve done quite a lot of work for a lovely customer with a stunning house. They have a beautiful garden and I absolutely love working in it.  They have been very pleased with the results of my labours and are now one of my firm regular customers. I know they really appreciate my work and I get on very well with them.”

“However, I was stunned when they asked me if I would be prepared to do some gardening for them in France!  It turns out that they have another lovely property in the Dordogne region of France. That garden needs a bit of care and they think I’m just the man for the job! They’ve offered me an all expenses paid trip there in springtime if I would be happy to go and sort things out for the season ahead.  They even invited me to fly my family out and tag a few days holiday on to the end of it to explore the region. What an opportunity!  I was really flattered that they were so happy with my work that they are prepared to go to those lengths.”

“Of course I said Yes and will manage my workload to fulfil my commitments to my other regular customers”

“So we are all good to go. All that remains is for me to brush up on my French. My tools are all very well maintained but, I have to admit, my French is just a little bit rusty!!”

Adding another string to our bow

The Ed’s office was an exceptionally busy hub  last week. We hosted an advanced lawn care course for our Ed’s Operators.

We came up with with the idea for the course in our last group training session back in September.  A number of Operators thought it would be really useful for their businesses.  Although mowing is our core service, we love to support our customers to have the best lawns that they possibly can and looking after lawns properly is a big part of this.

Mark, our Ed’s Operator in Bournemouth, volunteered to take the idea away. Mark then did some research to establish what kind of course would fit the bill, found a good provider and passed the details on to the Ed’s Office to make it all happen. Steve, our Ed’s Operator in Hersham helped out with some of the hosting arrangements. We did the rest in the office and…hey presto, we had a course.  More than twenty Ed’s Operators signed up for the course so we ran the course over two days.  We had Operators with 10+ years with Ed’s and others, who are less than a year with us.  The feedback from our Operators was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone was saying how much they were looking forward to turning the course into something practical to add to their businesses.

It’s great having our Operators visit the Ed’s Office.  Wellington gets  very excited about seeing them too… especially at lunch time!

 

At Ed’s we are extremely committed to great training. We believe that the best training is focused on adding tangible value to our Operator’s businesses. Our mantra is to keep training real and interesting.  It has to be well worth our busy Operators taking time out of their businesses for.

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.”

Are we cutting the mustard?

Marcus has now been with Ed’s two months, getting his business up and running in Streatham, South London. We asked him to take a quick break from his busy schedule and give us the lowdown…

So, Marcus, how are we measuring up?

“ I’m still absolutely loving being an Ed’s Operator.  It is super busy and there is so much more work for the taking than I had anticipated, even with the knowledge of the strength of Ed’s brand. The challenge is meeting demand, never ever whether there is enough work. That thought doesn’t even cross my mind.”

“I feel much fitter already. I am tired at the end of a long day’s work but it is a good kind of tiredness. It feels like I have really achieved something and my energy levels are high because I feel very positive about what I am doing. The gardening is great and I love having the freedom to build my business up how I want to, with the support I need right at my fingertips.’”

“Another aspect I really enjoy is building relationships with my customers. I thrive on the fact that my business is such a personal one and is very service-oriented. It is so satisfying to get great feedback and reviews – very validating. Everyone loves a job well done, but my customers are so appreciative of what I do.”

“Have I made the right decision? Yes, one hundred and ten percent. I’ve got two months under my belt now and I’m actually even more enthusiastic about it all than I was when I first started.”

Marcus reflects…

…on his first month with Ed’s

Marcus Phillips joined Ed’s just over a month ago to run his business in Streatham, South London. Here he reflects on his first month and tells us how it has all gone …

How did you feel on Day One?

“ I absolutely knew I’d made the right decision to join Ed’s when I committed to join. As I’ve gotten a bit longer in the tooth, I know my judgement has improved a lot. As soon as I spoke with Ed and his team, I knew they were really professional and good at what they did. That reinforced the all-important quality aspect of Ed’s for me. I then took my time and looked at the detail. I also  sounded out established Ed’s Operators on the nitty gritty of it all before making up my mind. It was a good feeling to start out without any doubts about whether I had done the right thing”

And when you got started?

“That said, I still felt that I had a lot to prove to myself. Yes, the business model worked but I needed to make it work for me, with a lot of help of course! I was immediately encouraged by just how much help and support there was for me in Ed’s.  There was  even more than I had anticipated. I’ve been so impressed by Ed and his team’s passion and drive to help me to be successful and to achieve my early goals. It really is turbo-charged support!“

How are you feeling now?

“It’s still early days for me as I’m only a month in. However,  already I feel that everything is really starting to come together. I love the gardening, as I knew I would. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birds are singing and I’m my own boss – what could be better! The work is starting to flood in now and I’m feeling more confident in my abilities. I’ve already acquired a number of regular customers and it’s all very exciting. I can actually see my business taking serious shape right before my eyes. I’ve still got a long way to go on my journey but Ed’s is definitely the right path for me.”

Ed’s welcomes Marcus

We are delighted to welcome Marcus Phillips to our ever-growing team of Ed’s Operators.

Marcus has just joined us to run his own Ed’s business in Streatham, South West London.  He  brings many skills that are transferable to running an Ed’s business as well as lots of enthusiasm. We are sure that Marcus will fully embrace the Ed’s business opportunity.

We asked Marcus to tell us a bit about  his decision to join Ed’s:-

The background…

”I previously worked for fourteen years in the management of a 27 acre family-owned estate in London.  In this environment, I was able to do an interesting job within  a beautiful natural environment. Redundancy led me to seek an opportunity where I could be challenged professionally but also keep the outdoorsy context that I love.  I was attracted by the challenge and freedom of  running my own business and I also  knew that a good franchise framework could help me to have a scale of business to generate decent earnings. ”

The decision-making process…

“ When I came across Ed’s, I knew immediately that the fit was good.  The gardening aspect was hugely appealing. It was also clear that Ed’s has a very strong brand presence that  I knew would serve me well.  I could also see that the Ed’s franchise offering is the best in class. 

The Ed’s Team…

 As I had more dealings with Ed and his Office team,  it was clear that there is a lot of experience and professionalism underpinning their success story.  I found Ed himself very inspiring, with clear strategic vision and a lot of focus.  He is very ambitious to keep taking Ed’s to the next level of success.  I was also struck by how friendly and approachable everyone was, from Ed himself and the Office team to the Operators I met. No question was considered too silly.  I felt at ease to take my time and find out everything I needed to know to make the right decision for me.

My instincts told me from early on in the process that Ed’s was right for me. However,   I followed the discovery process to the letter to make sure that all the facts backed up my instincts.  I made my decision having done my due diligence!”

The future…

“I’m  in the process of doing my training so I can be up and running in the next few weeks.  I know I am starting my business at a great time of year, just as spring is starting to spring forward.  I’m getting myself in pole position to keep pace with it!”

We wish Marcus all the very best with his new Ed’s business.

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.