Neil nails it

We are delighted to announce that Neil Collis, our Ed’s Operator in Sevenoaks, has just been announced as a British Franchise Association Franchisee of the Year 2017 Finalist. We know that Neil is a great franchisee but now it’s official!

The BFA have just written an article on Neil. Here’s what they have to say:-

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LOCAL BUSINESSMAN PAVES THE WAY TO SUCCESS WITH AWARD NOMINATION

Local business person, Neil Collis, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year category at the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2017.

As the owner of an Ed’s Garden Maintenance franchise in Sevenoaks, Neil provides a range of garden maintenance services including mowing, hedges, turfing and patio cleaning for the local area.

The birth of Neil’s twin sons sparked his decision to return to the UK from Australia. Looking for a flexible career that would allow him and his wife, Lyndsay, to look after their young boys, he approached Ed’s Garden Maintenance with the hope of setting up his own franchise.

Since then, the business has thrived. Neil’s now following in the footsteps of his father – who ran a garden maintenance franchise over in New Zealand – and couldn’t think of a better way to earn a living than owning his own business and working outdoors.

Running for nearly 30 years, the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2017 celebrate franchisees across the nation that show dedication, commitment and a passion for both their brand and the franchising industry.

The category highlights the benefits of becoming a franchisee to achieve a better work-life balance. Neil was shortlisted due to his enterprising nature and determination to succeed – making his franchise stand out from the crowd amongst other small business owners.

Neil commented: “My business has been going from strength to strength in the past year and we have been chalking up a number of milestones and successes. However, when I heard that we’re a bfa Franchisee of the Year finalist, I was stunned. It really made me step back and think just how far we have come. When I joined Ed’s just over three years ago, I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that I would even be considered for such a prestigious award.”

Pip Wilkins, CEO at the bfa said, “With so many inspirational stories from our members’ franchisees, it’s always a tough task to narrow it down to our 15 finalists. These outstanding business owners have so many different reasons for taking control of their business lives, and to hear the diversity in these stories is always so empowering. All of our finalists this year are an excellent example of how the franchisor’s collaborative approach, combined with the go-getting attitude of the franchisee, generates success at both individual and network levels.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchise at HSBC, added, “Judging is a hard task at the best of times, which only becomes harder every year when the difference in best in class is paper thin. Each highlights how focus and drive, when supplemented by the support of a franchisor, results in the growth of a sustainable and profitable business. HSBC is delighted to play a pivotal role in meeting the financial challenges of this dynamic and important market sector.”

 

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.

Annette receives her BFA Qualified Franchise Professional status

We are delighted to announce that Annette, Ed’s Strategic Development Manager, has been successful in achieving her British Franchise Association Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) status.

 

This qualification, which was launched at the beginning of 2010, provides formal recognition of an individual’s professional knowledge and experience in franchising and their commitment to ethical franchising practice.

 

Ed himself achieved his QFP in October 2013. Ed says “It is very important to us as full BFA members to strive to uphold the values of responsible and ethical franchising. This not only lies with me but with other key members of our management team. Annette has significant involvement in a range of Ed’s key functions, from franchisee recruitment to network coaching and PR. As such we felt it would be a very valuable qualification for her to achieve.”

 

Annette will be presented with her qualification at the BFA Annual Conference in June 2017.

RHS Wisley in Springtime

The Ed’s team had a great training session at RHS Wisley today. We had a really good turnout of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Ed’s Operators, all fired up to develop their ever-growing gardening wisdom.

As always, our Ed’s expert on all things horticultural, led a brilliant session, covering topics ranging from the latest in lawn technologies to ladders and a whole lot of others in between. For the record, we STILL haven’t managed to come up with a gardening question that he can’t answer!

We were delighted to welcome some of Ed’s most recent Operators to their first ever Wisley session. Neil Miller (Rustington), Haydn Jones (Southbourne) and John Spencer (Maidenhead) all joined Ed’s over the last few months and they have just finished their induction training and are rearing to get started with the gardening season ahead.

And it’s not only our newer Operators who enjoy being back in the classroom listening to the pearls of wisdom. Our seasoned Operators enjoy the sessions just as much, always find out lots that they didn’t already know.

Here’s our veteran of veterans, Ed himself, looking very attentive in class…

Getting our ducks in a row for the year ahead

 

 

It may be winter but at Ed’s we’ve been really busy getting our ducks in a row for another successful year.

In the New Year, we’ve been putting a lot of effort into Ed’s Operators’ business reviews and plans for the forthcoming year. This involves helping those who want, by reviewing how the previous year went for them and planning what to do next year to make things even better. We are delighted to say that Operators’ businesses have performed better than ever in the past year and a substantial number of our Operators are recording annual operating profits in excess of £30,000. What’s more, our star performers are earning significantly more than that and delivering new ‘personal bests’ in their profitability.

As always, we’ve enjoyed getting together for business reviews (we are quite a sociable bunch!). However, most importantly, the result of all our efforts is that Operators have a clear understanding of where they are at with their businesses and are fired up to start the new season knowing exactly what they want to achieve in the coming year.

We’ve got a really great team at Ed’s. When you put that together with a proven business model and strong training and support, you get quite exceptional results.

No hype, no hidden catches just growing and sharing our success.  If you would like to be part of our success story, do get in touch and grab your own piece of the action.

John buys Lucy’s Ed’s business

Ed’s is delighted to welcome John Spencer on board. John has just joined Ed’s as our brand new Ed’s Operator in Maidenhead. This is as a result of our veteran Operator, Lucy Williams, selling her business to him.

This is what John has to say about coming on board “I am very excited about being part of Ed’s team and also about taking over Lucy’s business. My background is in sales and I really wanted to get out of that Corporate environment and make a positive lifestyle change for me and my family. I knew that a garden maintenance franchise ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for. I considered several but as soon as I met Ed and the team I could see that Ed’s was a great franchise to be part of. They are very dynamic, professional, clearly know exactly what they are doing and explain everything clearly and in a very supportive and friendly way. They took their time to go through the details of the investment opportunity and it was easy to understand the value of their business model. I knew I would fit right in and that it was definitely the right franchise for me. The opportunity to purchase Lucy’s business was the cherry on top – it means that I’ve got a good bank of high quality customers from day one and that makes me even more comfortable about any business risk. Lucy is clearly a very experienced Ed’s Operator, having joined Ed’s seven years ago, and I have great confidence in the quality of the business I am buying. Lucy will be taking her time in handing over the reins of the business to me, which will ensure a smooth handover. She will also helping with my general Ed’s training, which is great. I feel like I already know Lucy well as the process has been so thorough. We’ve just completed the paperwork and I can’t wait to get started.”

We wish both Lucy and John all the very best for the future.

Mike sums up his first year with Ed’s

Last year, Mike Schofield joined Ed’s to run his own gardening franchise business in Redditch and Stratford-upon-Avon. Mike joined the Ed’s team with twenty-two years of gardening experience working for a charity. This is what Mike has to say about his first year.

“I’ve always loved gardening and when I joined Ed’s I was confident that there wasn’t much you could teach me about cutting a mean lawn edge with a small strimmer! However, I felt that there was a lot I had to learn to develop the necessary skills to running a successful and profitable gardening business. I’d longed to run my own business and build something that was truly mine for quite some time. I wasn’t scared of the risk but I was realistic enough to understand that I would do a lot better with a strong brand behind me. I also felt that I would benefit greatly from the business support and sales and marketing expertise that are part of the package. I was used to having a steady income and by joining Ed’s was doing my level best to make sure that I can sustain that security into the future.”

“Reflecting on the past year, I think I was spot on with my instincts. I feel as if I have developed so much in the area of business skills since I joined Ed’s. I’ve had a lot of support across the board, but especially in the area of financial management which was pretty new to me and I feel that I have accomplished a lot. It has been a steep learning curve but I feel that I have been extremely well supported along the way. What’s more, at Ed’s the support is all very tailored to the individual – Ed himself will take the time to sit with you and explain something you are finding particularly tricky. I really like that about Ed’s.”

“I enjoy the record keeping and have been glad to help trial Ed’s new accounting system. To sum up, I still love gardening but I am also really enjoying the challenge of running my own business whilst being part of a wider supportive team.”

“With regard to the financials, I am very pleased to report (with full confidence!) that my first year’s profit came in very close to the figure we projected in my business plan. I know that’s only one measure of the health of my business, but it really is reflective of how the past year has been, pretty smooth running and no nasty surprises! I have also managed to pay off a good proportion of my set up costs. I think that’s part of the beauty of going the franchise route – you know you are on a well-trodden path and even if it is unclear to you in the early days how you will get there, the experience is there in the background to help you to make it all happen. I’ve now got a healthy profit under my belt for my first year and am looking forward to doing even better in the coming year. ”

Ed’s travels

Ed had a great day today, escaping from the Ed’s Office and getting out doing what he loves most –  gardening (the practice as well as the theory!) and meeting Operators in the Ed’s team.

The working day, started at Wisley, where Ed’s go-to expert once again dazzled the Ed’s team with his extensive knowledge of all things garden related. We all had a wonderful time learning about plants, new regulations and the latest developments in gardening equipment. The classroom training ended with an open floor Q&A session. It’s a standing joke in Ed’s that to date nobody has ever managed to catch him out with a question that he can’t answer. This morning was no exception, but we’ll keep trying! We wound the training session up with a lovely walk around the Wisley gardens as we always find this inspirational to apply to our own garden endeavours.”

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Ed’s Operators at RHS Wisley training session

Next, it was off to Bournemouth for Ed to visit Haydn, who signed his operator agreement to join Ed’s. Ed says “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Haydn to the Ed’s team. Haydn will running his Ed’s business in Southbourne and will be officially open for business within the next couple of weeks. It was great to sit down with Haydn today and get everything in place to get him up and running as smoothly as possible. Today was a big day for Haydn and it’s great to be there to share his enthusiasm for his new venture.”

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Haydn – Ed’s brand new Operator in Southbourne

And after all that, was it back to the office for Ed? “Well, yes, I did wind my way back to my desk towards the end of the day but first I stopped to mow a lawn and cut a hedge. I still have a few customers of my own from way back when I started Ed’s. The truth is that I just find gardening really therapeutic. I get a real satisfaction from doing a good job and seeing the results right in front of me. It’s what attracted me to this business in the first place and I still find it rewarding. And the tea and cakes my lovely customers tend to feed me are pretty good too! “

Daniel’s first month with Ed’s

Daniel Stockley has just got his first month an Ed’s Operator under his belt. We asked him how it has gone:

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To be honest, it has gone extremely well and has passed by in a flash. I knew I was joining for all the right reasons but still felt a little bit apprehensive before starting. I just wanted to be sure that I would get enough work. I kind of knew that it was unfounded as I could see how busy the other Ed’s Operators were but I guess I just wanted to hear the phone ringing! I honestly needn’t have worried! I have been so busy and have had loads of good enquiries. What’s more, the work has been really interesting and varied and I can honestly say that I have been having a great time. I have been so busy I even had to miss the last Ed’s group training session as I was so busy. In that instance, a lovely school I have been working with needed me in ahead of their important OFSTED inspection to make sure that everything looked great for the inspectors. Important stuff!

“I’ve gotten to grips with the estimating really quickly and also with delivering the different services too. What’s more I’m really enjoying all the different aspects of running my own gardening business. ”

“The Office is always there for me, as is my buddy, Neil, if I’ve got any questions which is a great reassurance too”.

 

Daniel’s busy earning his stripes

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Daniel Stockley’s not letting the grass grow under his feet. He only joined the Ed’s team a few weeks ago and he’s already out mowing some lawns – and quite spectacularly too.  

Here’s a photo of his very first stripes. A natural don’t you think!

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