Our franchise opportunity gives you a great career option after redundancy.
“ Setting up my own gardening franchise business with Ed’s Garden Services was the best move I ever made. My profit was almost £50,000 by my second year”- Marcus, 2020
Some more comments from our business owners who have taken up the Ed’s franchise opportunity…
“My business is profitable and pandemic-proof and I love the work, outdoors lifestyle and the freedom of it all. What’s more, it’s important to me in these uncertain times to know that I have control over my own career future. Ed’s ticks all these boxes and more.”– Matthew, Folkestone
“You get great support to grow the business you want and you feel part of a great team. Setting up a gardening business is one thing but it’s quite another challenge to set up and run a profitable one with a good lifestyle and peace of mind.” – Dave, Andover
“I always knew running a gardening business would be fun and fulfilling but never thought it could be so financially rewarding. I’m also fitter and happier than I have been for years” – Mark, Ramsgate
Ed’s has been helping people to build their own successful gardening businesses since 2003. We are now the leading UK gardening franchise business with more than forty successful gardening business owners in our team.
People have joined us from a whole range of career backgrounds. No previous gardening experience is required.
For us, the important attributes are:-
Passion to run your own strong business
Appetite for a challenge
Strong work ethic
Desire for an outdoors lifestyle
We are confident that we can teach you the rest of what you need to run a thriving gardening business.
Business set-up investment is required and Government finance schemes are currently available.
It is that time of year at Ed’s when we like to take stock of the year gone by. We look at where each of our franchise business owners have got to with the development of their individual franchise business. It is a good time to talk through how happy they are with the progress they have made over the past 12 months. We also look at Ed’s as a whole and how we have fared. We compare where we have got to with the goals we set ourselves back at the start of the year.
So what about 2020 then? Well, where do we start. All we can say is what a year! The world does indeed feel like a very different place from this time last year.
We are hugely sympathetic to the problems in other sectors. However, we also feel very fortunate that our businesses have not been severely affected by the pandemic. Yes, we have had to learn how to do things a bit differently. However, we are still able to run flourishing businesses and even grow them in the current climate. For that, we are very thankful.
Franchise Business – general overview
From purely a demand for our gardening services and individual franchise business financial performance point of view, paradoxically the past year has been a very good one. Demand for our services ran at least in line with, if not above, normal levels throughout the year. Furthermore, given the socially-distanced nature of gardening, we were able to deliver our services, albeit with some adjustments. Resulting business profitability is indeed looking very good.
New Franchise Business success
The positive attitude, and financial results, of our newer franchisees have frankly blown us away this year.
Theo (Middlesex) started his brand new business in perfect harmony with the announcement of the first lockdown. He remained very calm and worked hard, under our guidance, to put all the right building blocks in place to run a great business. He is well on his way to that goal and his financial performance since he started is impressive.
Rich (Oxford South) and Ali (Cambridge North) have joined Ed”s more recently. Likewise, both have had very promising starts and have already started to build strong regular customer bases.
In addition, Franchise Business owners who had joined Ed’s in the months leading up to the pandemic have powered through and have delivered strong financial results this year.
We consider this a great endorsement that our business model delivers results, even in the most unusual business climate.
Strong financial results are certainly a big part of the wellbeing jigsaw for our business owners. However, we do appreciate that this is only part of the picture. The uncertainty and challenges of the past year have made for a very difficult time. We appreciate that this can take a big toll on any individuals’ mental wellbeing.
We know how supporting our team of business owners has never been more important. Our franchise business owners are spread out over a number of locations. This makes strong communication even more important and it is something that is at the very heart of Ed’s. We realised early on that there was a big gap to fill with business owners not being able to get together for the usual face to face meetings, training and last, but certainly not least, social get-togethers. So we have ramped up our phone calls and Zoom calls and done our very best to keep contact, just in different ways.
Training through a new lens
In the absence of large group training sessions, we have provided more focused smaller group virtual training workshops which have proved very effective.
Our business owners are very keen on the training sessions we usually run where we have our expert horticulturalist train on a whole range of gardening-related matters. We usually run these at RHS Wisley but we are currently running the same sessions via Zoom. The response to this has been very positive.
We are currently experiencing very high levels of interest in Ed’s franchise opportunity. Many people’s circumstances have changed with job uncertainty or losses. We hear many people saying that they want to run a business where they have a level of control over the future success of their business. If they are looking at a franchise, they want one that will not be wiped out by any future pandemic circumstances. Many just say that life is too short to do a job you don’t feel passionate about…
Ed’s ticks all of these boxes and a lot more besides.
So, there you have our current view of Ed’s world. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021.
If you think joining Ed’s could be an attractive option for you for a fresh start in 2021, please do get in touch.
Ed’s Garden Business in Cambridge north was recently born when Ali McCormick joined our team. Ali’s training is now complete. His van is beautifully branded. And he is most definitely in business!
We caught up with Ali and asked him how things are going for him in his early days with Ed’s.
This is what Ali had to say…
Ed’s Garden Business – Ali’s update….
” The last month or so has definitely been a whirlwind. However, in a really positive way. Coming from a job that I was struggling to be enthused about, the feeling of starting something new is like a breath of fresh air. I feel energised. I feel excited about the day ahead. It is great to get up in the morning looking forward to the working day ahead.”
” I believe that a great thing about starting up with a strong franchise behind you is that you have all the excitement without the worry . I have support from people who really know what they are doing. Ed’s has underpinned the start-ups of successful businesses time and again. That’s massively reassuring when you are in what is uncharted territory for you.”
“Firstly, my training has been really excellent. I have been very well prepared for getting started with my business. I consider myself lucky to have had a structured training programme which was specifically tailored to me. In addition to the office element, it’s been great going out with Ed’s business owners to do the more practical elements of my training. Also, I’m so lucky to have a great neighbour in Richard, who runs his Ed’s business in St Ives. Richard is always on hand to answer any questions I have. That relationship is another safety net for me. In conclusion, I have felt very supported throughout and I know that my training will be just as good going forward.”
Setting my wheels in motion…
“Firstly I have already started delivering services and I am really enjoying the work. Secondly, it’s interesting getting to meet different customers. Thirdly, the day is varied and busy, which I love. In conclusion, working outdoors in a healthy and physical job that definitely helps you to sleep well at night. As does knowing you are in very capable hands!”
We look forward to giving future updates on how Ali’s business develops.
Dave reflects on his shipshape gardening business…and life
There’s nothing we like better than catching up with the business owners of an Ed’s gardening business. We often have a catch up when they are taking a well-earned coffee break. We believe that effective coaching is at the very heart of Ed’s success.
Even once our Business Owners are very well established, communication is always strong and we love to hear what’s going well as well as giving ongoing support when required.
Dave gives us the low down…
Earlier this week, we caught up with Dave Laing. Dave runs his own successful gardening business in Andover. He joined Ed’s in May 2017 so is now into his third year of operation as an Ed’s business owner. Dave took a few minutes to reflect on how he is feeling about his Ed’s journey. This is what he had to say:-
“Well, here I am with a great little gardening business. I’ve got forty great regular customers now, which was my target from day one. My business really is running smoothly now and I have a very strong sense of achievement.”
The gardening business road so far…
“I don’t want to sound smug but I really am in a very good place with my business now. I can see the fruits of all my focus and planning. At the start, the Ed’s team always stressed how important it was to put strong building blocks in place and I really took that on board and followed their advice to the letter. I am really pleased that I did that as I can see now how important it is in building a very strong business. My financials are looking really good and life is really very enjoyable. I still love gardening and get a real kick out of a job well done. I think my enthusiasm comes over with my customers and they are a really loyal, lovely bunch of people.”
Life in general…
“At a personal level, I can honestly say that life has never been better. My wife and I had a fabulous holiday in Namibia earlier this year and we are planning a trip to Corsica later this year and are also going to Cuba in the New Year. I feel fitter than I have in years and feel a lot younger than when I started my business with Ed’s.”
“When I joined Ed’s, I wanted a successful business, of course. However, I also wanted a good work/life balance and I’ve definitely achieved that. I work four and a half days per week now as I like to get finished around lunchtime on a Friday so we can have a really good weekend and some quality down time.”
“Ed’s really has been the best thing I have ever done career-wise. My only regret is that I really wish I had started my business five years earlier, when I think about how disenchanted I was in my corporate job in that period. If I had known then what I know now, I would have jumped ship in a flash!”
…And the future for your gardening business?
“I can see me running my Ed’s business for many years to come. I’ve found my niche and I can’t ever imagine being employed by someone else ever again. I love the freedom too much. I might go down to a four day week in ten years or so though!”
Stuart Thackeray has an established Ed’s gardening business in rural Norfolk (North and West). It’s a stunning part of the world and Stuart loves being able to live in such a beautiful place, as well running a successful garden maintenance business
Having spent many years commuting into London from New Malden to work in the City as a systems analyst, Stuart really was ready for a change of career. He originally joined Ed’s in 2014 to build a gardening business in New Malden. He loved the gardening and was amazed at how quickly he could establish a good business as part of Ed’s. There was only one thing missing. It was in the wrong location for him to feel truly fulfilled.
Stuart had grown up in rural Norfolk and had always longed to move back there. However, he had felt that it was just impractical from a career perspective. The seeds of an idea were germinating though…. Maybe maybe Stuart could do a job he loved in a place that he loved too?
Completing the dream lifestyle…
Stuart says ” I was amazed at how well the Ed’s business model worked when I started my gardening business in New Malden. I was pretty sure I could do the same thing in rural Norfolk. I knew that my customer profile and that the typical garden would be different. Yet I also had a strong hunch that I would be able to run a really good gardening business there. Indeed, my hunch was right!”
Stuart now lives in a listed cottage with outbuildings (and the obligatory Aga to dry his gardening socks on!) He says ” When I talk about our life now and how different (and better!) it is, I risk sounding like a bit of a cliché! But it really is wonderful. No more traffic congestion and my day consists of working in a variety of different gardens, mainly in rural villages around the one in which I live – Whissonsett, near Fakenham. Sometimes I have my sidekick, Monty, our Hungarian Vizsla, with me, depending on whether the weather suits him to venture out or not! My customers love it when he decides to grace us with his presence. He usually gets a more enthusiastic welcome even than I do.”
“So what’s the downside? Well, irritatingly I guess, I don’t really think there is one. You get the odd day of weather which is not as good as you’d hoped but give me that over a stuffy, claustrophobic commute into Central London any day. Each to their own, I suppose, but I wouldn’t swap the life we’ve built here for anything.”
Chris Walker has recently joined Ed’s to run his Ed’s gardening business in Oxshott and surrounding areas. Chris comes to us with a lot of sound, practical business experience. We are sure he will apply this well to his new Ed’s gardening business.
We asked Chris for some background to his brand new Ed’s gardening business:-
“ For many years I played a very active part in the running of a sizeable and successful family business. We realised our goal of selling that business around two years ago. However, I stayed with the business for a period to help with the transition. Once the business was well and truly handed over, I started thinking about what I really wanted to do next. I was very fortunate to be in a position to have such a free rein to decide what to do. However, I was conscious that this was a great opportunity. That made it even more important to make the right choice.”
“I needed to take a systematic approach . So, I sat down and thought about what I really enjoyed in my previous job and also what I wished it had that it hadn’t! There was a clear tick in the box that I knew I really enjoyed running a business. I was good at working with customers and wanted to do something where the results were really measurable. On the minus side, I wasn’t getting enough time to spend with my young (and growing!) family.”
“I thought about a range of things but I kept coming back to how I would love to be gardening all day. The great outdoors has always held great appeal for me and I am happiest when I am physically active. I also wanted to run a proper business and didn’t really fancy starting from scratch. Whatever I did, I wanted it to be a quality business too.”
“My idea started to crystalise…a gardening franchise business was the way forward…”
Why an Ed’s garden franchise business…
“Fortunately, I happened to know another Ed’s business owner. I knew that he was really enjoying running his business and was happy with the decision he had made. Next, I contacted him and asked him to meet up for a chat. In the meantime, I read up on everything I could about Ed’s. I was impressed with their brand and the quality of everything I read online. When we met up, it was clear that he backed all this up and had never looked back since starting this business. I was more than happy to move on to the next stage. We then set up a meeting with Ed and the Office team.”
The decision-making process…
“I found the process really easy and I was pretty convinced even before going into the Office. The Ed’s set up is ambitious, professional and supportive and they have a great brand as well. When I met Ed, he was as I expected. He came over as very switched on and clearly focused on continuing to develop Ed’s but also approachable and likeable and, very importantly, practical. It struck a chord with me that he ran his own Ed’s gardening business on his first step of the journey. I got all the information and have followed the process to the letter but, to be perfectly honest, my mind was made up from the first meeting.”
“After I signed up, we started putting all the building blocks in place for my vehicle, kit, training etc. I have now gone live and what a brilliant time of year to be starting a gardening business!”
“Clearly my immediate plan is to get a really efficient Ed’s business up and running and performing well. On the longer term, I’m trying to keep an open mind but, I must say, I do like the idea of having a few teams of staff and running quite a sizeable outfit. I know the Ed’s business model can take me there. I’m also really looking forward to getting some life-work balance into my life and spending precious time with my young daughters. I’m happy to work really hard but I love the idea that I can work that to fit my personal commitments too. I am really happy that I’ve made my decision and I’m so looking forward to getting started properly and to getting to work in some gardens.”
We wish Chris all the very best with his brand new Ed’s gardening business.
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.”
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.
Even Baloo was paying lots of attention to the proceedings!
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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:-
“ 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.”
“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.”
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!!”
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.