First of all, that means building strong relationships with customers. Our Franchisee Operators really understand customer needs and are prepared to go that extra mile to deliver professional solutions.
The result is happy and loyal regular customers who underpin our Operators’ successful businesses and enable them to go from strength to strength in growing their businesses. We believe that that’s what really sets our Operators apart from the competition.
However, the importance of relationships is not just constrained to the Operator / customer relationship in Ed’s. It is a thread that runs through our organisation. There is great value in strong relationships across our network where operators share their experience and support each other to be the best they can be.
In addition to initial training days where new Operators go out with established ones to ‘learn the ropes’ we have regular training days where our Operators get together and have the opportunity to discuss issues and to share best practice.
Finally, but by no means least is the importance of strong relationships between the Ed’s office and Operators. In a nutshell, this means that we really get to know our Operators as individuals, understand what they really want their businesses to become and support them every step of the way to reach those goals.
This is not lip service – just have to look at our training and support programmes to see that we really do invest in our Operators and work closely with them. We firmly believe that the more successful our Operators are, the more successful Ed’s is as a whole.
Dan recently joined Ed’s to run a business in Esher and bought a new franchise to start his business from scratch. Steve, on the other hand, is a successful established Operator who has been with Ed’s for seven years and is running an excellent business not very far from where Dan’s new business is based.
We knew that Steve was in a position where he was toying with consolidating his business to an even more efficient geographic base and was also a bit concerned about his success thrusting him towards a situation where he would have no choice but to VAT register.
We also knew that Dan, having left behind his London career and with a young family to support, was very keen to “turbo boost” his new business in some way.
So we got a bit creative, thought out of the box and came up with a solution that suited both Operators perfectly. The result was a deal in which Steve sold a significant chunk of his quality customers to Dan and by so doing consolidated his business as he had wished and, brought himself to a turnover level where VAT registration was not an issue.
Steve also made a good cash sum for his efforts building a good quality customer base. For his part, Dan was able to purchase a great group of regular customers that he could service pretty much from day one and he was able to get his business off to the flying start he thought he could only dream of. A true win-win for both parties which would never have happened had we not known our Operators very well and applied some joined up thinking to the situation.
In Dan’s words, "I was thrilled to join Ed’s anyway. It was clear to me from very early on that they were well ahead of the game in their personal approach and the support that they give. However, I was doubly thrilled when, so early on, I was given a great opportunity to mould my business as I wanted to. The team really does listen to you and work with you.
"Also, from what I’ve seen so far, the other Ed’s Operators are really supportive as well. Since we’ve done the deal, Steve has been in touch with me most days just to check how things are going and that I am all on track. Already being part of Ed’s is more than living up to my expectations. You really feel that the whole Ed’s team is behind you, wanting you to do well."
Happy franchisees, happy franchisor, that’s our mantra.
Established in 2003, Ed’s started franchising in 2007 and is now the largest domestic garden maintenance franchise in the UK. With over 35 operators, Ed’s has welcomed three new franchisees this year already and Ed’s services now extend as far as Stratford-upon-Avon, Norwich, Bristol, the South and Kent Coasts.