Friends branch out into a business partnership for a StumpBusters territory

February 9, 2021

Two friends have formed a business partnership to buy the StumpBusters franchise for the territory of East and West Kent. The franchisees, Richard Cook and Robin Spicer will begin operating their tree stump grinding business together from February 2021.

Cook (38) whose father Mike was one of the original founders of StumpBusters, already owns three territories, having joined the business immediately after leaving university in 2006. Spicer (40) is an experienced motor mechanic, having clocked up 23 years of with his former employer carrying out MOT’s, servicing and repairing cars.

Cook explaining the reasons behind the new business partnership, said: “I already have a really busy and successful StumpBusters business spread over three territories, South West London and Surrey, West Sussex and East London. I wanted to expand the business but it’s not always easy to find reliable staff.

Related: Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

“I thought the best way would be to go into partnership with someone, so I know he’ll be as committed to making the business a success as me. I’ve known Robin for years, he is a family friend having serviced all our cars and my work vehicles. He’s hard working, knows his way around an engine, wears shorts all year and doesn’t feel the cold – the perfect man for the job!”

Spicer, having been a mechanic since the day he left school, said he was really excited about changing career: “I want to do a job where people are genuinely pleased with the outcome, when their garden looks better or their land has a better view once I’ve left. Customers coming into garages just want the job done as quickly and as cheaply as possible, no one is ever happy about spending money on their car.

Related: Gardening Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I also want a better work/life balance. I’d like to get home before 8pm at night and spend some time with the children. I’m also really looking forward to being my own boss, but money isn’t the motivating factor here, it’s about quality of life. Being furloughed made me realise I actually don’t need that much to live on, I can go without so many things we took for granted. I’m really looking forward to being outside all day, breathing fresh air and working with clients who are genuinely pleased to see me.”

Related: StumpBusters Franchise

Darren Taylor, managing director of Taylor Made Franchising who own StumpBusters, added: “We wish Richard and Robin the very best of luck. As an existing franchisee Richard will be sharing his knowledge with Robin, enabling them to run a really slick operation but with our continued support at head office. Franchisees often come to us for a better work/life balance and for someone who likes being outside all day, I can think of no better career change for Robin.”

StumpBusters was founded in 1991 and has over 41 franchised territories. The company says that franchisees are fully qualified, trained and insured professionals who hold City & Guilds and CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) accreditations in stump grinding and use of a chain saw. Its service is used across a variety of locations from golf courses and large site clearances to parks and private homes.

Source: Franchise World

Carluke firm Complete Weed Control names new finance director

June 18, 2020

Carluke-based Complete Weed Control has appointed Kirsty Stewart-Brown as finance director after Colin Dunbar moved on to the position of operations manager.

The Lanarkshire firm provides ground maintenance and weed control along highways, construction sites, parks and other public areas throughout the central belt.

Keith Gallacher, director of Complete Weed Control operations in the south-east and south-west of Scotland, said: “Kirsty’s contribution to our business has been epic. She has organised our administration and finances to the stage where we always have at hand up to date financial information which we can use to make better management decisions.

Related: Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

“She has assisted also in our ability to win tenders by having a firm grasp of the process and the key numbers that are so vital to winning tenders that are going to contribute to the financial success of the business.”

Stewart-Brown is an experienced financial manager who has been with Complete Weed Control since 2016 and was previously owner of restaurant Browns of Lanark, which she sold in 2008.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the four years I have spent working with Keith and I am delighted to have been made a director of the business.

Related: Gardening Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I have spent many years running the finance and administration of a range of businesses, several of which were in the hospitality and leisure sectors. Complete Weed Control is a great business, with great people and a great future ahead of it.”

Gallacher took over the Complete Weed Control franchise for south-west Scotland in 2006, at the age of 19, and added the franchise for south-east Scotland five years later in 2011. T he company also provides ground maintenance, winter road maintenance and tree-cutting services.

By Hamish Burns

Source: Insider

Huddersfield lawn firm sows seeds for growth with £600k NatWest funding

October 27, 2019

A Huddersfield-based lawn treatment provider, Greensleeves Lawn Care, is set for expansion after securing six-figure funding from NatWest.

Greensleeves Lawn Care has received a £600k funding package from NatWest to fund a management buyout.

Led by David and Laura Truby, the franchise model firm aims to grow the business of 90 franchisees to more than 150 franchisees in the next six years, increasing its customer base from 65,000 to over 100,000.

The additional franchisees will also allow the company to expand its footprint in the UK, with ambitions to offer its services across the whole country by 2025.

Related: Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

David Truby, managing director and new majority shareholder of Greensleeves Lawn Care, commented: “I’ve been with this company since 2004 and I’ve watched it go from strength to strength. As part of the previous management team, we ran an incredibly successful company and I want to continue to build on that.

“This funding from NatWest will help us expand our franchise model, while also helping us make Greensleeves a business that people want to work for. It’s important to us that our staff enjoy working with us, so company culture will be a big focus for the firm.”

Liam Douglas, senior relationship manager at NatWest, added: “Greensleeves Lawn Care is a company with exciting growth ambitions.

Related: Gardening Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“David has got a great vision to expand the firm and his commitment to sustainability is commendable. We’re excited to see how the funding we have provided will help the business grow over the coming years.”

By Jane Imrie

Source: BDaily

No green thumb, but odds in author’s favour

August 21, 2019

ADMITTING he “didn’t have a clue” about garden care or even being a franchisee didn’t deter Hastings resident Richard Harrison from taking up the first Jim’s Mowing franchise in the UK in 2005.

For Harrison, the goal was to make enough money to pay for his and his former wife’s European holiday.

“I thought, how hard can it be?” the recently published author said.

Looking back all these years later he has written a light-hearted memoir, The Export Gardener, about a clumsy optimist who travels to England and decides that affluent Sevenoaks in Kent is the ideal place to launch the iconic Australian garden maintenance franchise.

The book chronicles Harrison’s gardening mishaps as he services eccentric clients while recruiting franchisees and taking up village cricket after a 20-year absence from the game.

Related: Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

The Women’s Premier Cricket umpire, who is studying Italian at U3A Mornington, said the genesis of his involvement in the business came about when the law firm where his former wife was working was asked to help debut the licensed mowing venture in the UK.

“I’d been working in advertising up until then so it was a complete departure for me business-wise,” he said.

“I had a big-picture view and was more interested in helping build the business across the country – it eventually signed up 40-odd franchisees – but I decided to take up one of the franchises thinking, how hard can it be?”

Very hard it seems. From chopping down the wrong tree, solving a seemingly impossible watering puzzle, to the bombshell that ended it all, his memoir is a read for those looking to see the funny side of life.

Related: Gardening Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Harrison has also written a second book, First Tuesday, which is a complete departure from garden maintenance, although both depend to a greater or lesser degree on grass. It also involves a Mornington horse trainer.

The plot is set five days before a Melbourne Cup Carnival when champion jockey Alan Da Silva is brutally murdered in a late night hit-and-run in the Crown Casino car park.

Da Silva had been booked to ride Lord Melbery, the pre-race favourite owned by ruthless casino boss Albert Maressmo.

Rumours abound that Da Silva was threatening to blow the whistle on the race fix Maressmo had orchestrated the previous year – a fix that netted him millions from the bookies.

Inspector Frank Dennis is assigned to the case. A former jockey himself, Dennis is all too familiar with the various distractions and temptations associated with the turf.

Oblivious to all the drama surrounding Da Silva, Mornington trainer Jack Morgan is busy preparing his five-year-old mare Star Chaser for the big race.

Related: Jim’s Mowing Franchise

“I’ve always been a big fan of racing and started to flesh out the plot when I was at school,” Harrison said.

“Racing is great theatre: It has great character such as battling trainers, jockeys struggling with their weight and all the drama of big races.

“Just think of the Melbourne Cup: It draws 100,000 people to watch magnificent animals perform and, in the background, is all the drama of a whodunit.”

Harrison said he spends lots of time at Mornington racecourse and walks along Balnarring beach in the mornings watching track work. He’s got to know trainers and riders and appreciates the tapestry that unites them.

“Tuesday was a lot of fun to write and I’m aiming for a sequel,” he said. “The police inspector is one character who I can carry through as he’s quite complex.”

By Stephen Taylor

Source: MP News

Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

February 7, 2019

Gardening Franchises UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running a successful UK Gardening Franchise.

Gardening Franchises UK have shown consistent growth rates over the last five years. Here’s what would-be Franchisees need to know before investing in a UK Gardening Franchise.

Whether it’s the back garden or the front lawn, a well-maintained green space adds much more to a home than mere beauty.

Britons across the UK (and even expats scattered across the world) have always loved adding a bit of green to their houses. Echoing the same sentiment, Kipling equated the society around him to a well-taken-care-of garden thus:

“OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.”

Thankfully, what used to be seen as a retirement hobby has now evolved into a therapeutic gateaway for tens of thousands of homeowners.

Yet, few homeowners can actually manage to find the time (or the will) to look properly after their gardens and lawns. And, as it turns out, the entire property is judged adversely if the lawn and the garden are in a state of neglect.

Fortunately, along with thriving gardens and lawns has grown a wonderfully compact, community-centric industry. Gardening franchises UK aim to enter, own and dominate this industry with a diverse set of franchising solutions for franchisees who are willing to invest.

In this article, we’ll touch upon various factors that affect the landscaping and gardening franchises UK. If you are new to franchise4u, do take a moment to visit and bookmark our series of free franchising guides.

Gardening Franchises UK – A Self-Contained Market Waiting to Explode

Gardening has always been an integral part of domestic bliss in the UK. But, you can’t really put your finger on the enormity of the size of this industry until you actually start quantifying our gardens.

  • The gardening and landscaping industry is worth well over £5 billion. For an industry that is essentially ancillary to the housing market, this is an impressive number. The annual spending on garden and lawn care in the UK amounts to over £1.5 billion.
  • As we mentioned earlier, Britons love dedicating significant parts of their property to gardens and lawns. In fact, the combined are of all domestic gardens in the UK is estimated to be the size of the entire Somerset county (over 4,000 km2).
  • An average domestic garden in the UK is approximately 14m2 in size. It takes 3-4 hours of work per week to look after an average British domestic garden.

Source: Horticulture Trades Association

Combine these numbers with the relatively under-served nature of the market and you’ll understand why gardening franchises UK have been doing a touch better than other franchise businesses in the last few years.

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Gardening Franchises UK – More Reasons In Favour of Them

While the statistical reasons are enough to paint a good picture of the health of the industry, it’s also prudent to look past these and see what really makes gardening and landscaping franchises UK appealing to the end customer:

Gardening Is NOT Easy.

You don’t need an expert to tell you this: getting your hands dirty on a regular basis isn’t a thing that many like to do as a leisure activity. Gardening is an excellent medium of balancing one’s mental and physical health – and this is exactly why people don’t do it. We had discussed a similar point while dissecting fitness franchise opportunities in the UK.

People Don’t Have Time Anymore.

Sparing a minimum of 2 hours every week sounds easy, right?


When people don’t have enough time to look after themselves while living their frantic lifestyle, it’s a bit much to expect them to take some time out every week to look after their gardens and lawns.

Gardens and Lawns Add Value – And People Know It.

They may not have the time it takes to do it themselves, but homeowners across the UK know that a well-maintained and groomed lawn/garden does add more value – not just to their property, but to the entire neighbourhood.

Hiring a Professional Gardener Is Cost Effective.

When you hire a professional gardener, you can rest assured that your garden and lawn are being looked after the right way. In the long run, it’s extremely cost-effective. This is one of the most important factors in favour of UK gardening franchises.

What Does A UK Gardening Franchise Do?

UK Gardening Franchises can be split into two broad categories based on the market they service:

UK Domestic Gardening Franchises

These are by far the most common. A domestic gardening franchise typically services individual homeowners, landlords and societies. These franchises address various needs of their customers – mowing lawns, watering plants, weeding, trimming hedges, laying grass turfs/sods and so forth.

Most domestic gardening franchises visit individual customer sites once or twice a week, giving themselves ample scope to onboard dozens of customers (based on the number of employees).

UK Commercial Gardening Franchises

Commercial gardening and landscaping franchises UK are a more robust, industrial-scale version of their domestic counterparts we just discussed.

A commercial gardening franchise has better resources in terms of workforce, technology, equipment and capital. Their customer base includes local businesses and industrial locations. These can range from schools and hotels to factories and office complexes. If you can establish yourself in a decently sized territory by securing contracts from even a handful of large clients, a commercial gardening franchise can provide attractive returns on your time and money.

How Much Do Gardening Franchises UK Cost?

A typical gardening franchise UK can cost you anywhere between £5,000 and £35,000.

The cost varies based on the franchisor’s business model, their brand value and the territory you wish to operate in.

In addition to the initial investment, you will need to take into account the following recurring expenses while drawing up your business plan:

  • Equipment costs
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Staff salaries
  • Travel expenses (you’ll most likely be using one or more vans to visit customer sites)
  • Franchisor fees/royalties

The incomings include subscription fees from regular customers and one-off charges from other customers. In addition, you can establish additional revenue streams by selling gardening products and equipment that complement your business.

Can You Run a Gardening Franchises From You Home?

Yes, you can.

In fact, most gardening franchises – the domestic ones, at any rate – are home-based. Running a home-based franchise has its share of advantages. You don’t have to dole out hefty rents, and you can get started on a small budget.

Do You Need to Be a Trained Professional In Order to Run a Gardening Franchise?

Not really, no.

You can buy and run a successful gardening franchise even without being intimately aware of the industry. In most cases, the franchisor’s training programmes (all good franchisors have them) will bring you up to speed. It will, however, be useful if you have some prior experience of running your own business. If you want to know what it takes in general to run a successful franchise business, head over to our free Should You Run a Franchise Business guide.

In addition, if you’re offering pesticide/insecticide services, the handler will need to have appropriate licences/certifications.

Recommended: Download Our Free Franchise Checklist & Stay On Top Of Every Important Franchising Decision.

Top Gardening Franchises UK

Here’s our selection of some of the most popular UK gardening and landscaping franchises.

1. Clean Cut Gardening

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £9,950 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Domestic and commercial gardening services
  • Proven marketing and delivery mechanism
  • Break even within 36 months
  • Quality training for your employees
  • Ongoing support

2. TruGreen

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £8,400 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Leading lawn care provider
  • Up to 70% profit margins
  • Flexible business model
  • Access to bespoke equipment and accessories
  • Extensive training
  • Full BFA Member

3. LawnScience

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £4,471 (plus VAT)
  • USP: High-quality domestic lawn care provider
  • Home-based lawn franchise opportunity
  • Year-round business
  • Attractive margins and low recurring fees

4. Countrywide Grounds Maintenance

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £44,950 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Commercial grounds maintenance
  • One of the best-known franchising brands in the UK
  • A portfolio of over 12,000 sites
  • Full training and finance support
  • Dedicated territories
  • Full BFA Member

5. Ed’s Garden Services

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £10,995 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Full-scale gardening services
  • Home-based gardening franchise opportunity
  • Can be run part-time
  • Full training on offer

Gardening Franchises UK – The Takeaways

  • Understand the economics of gardening services in your territory.
  • Focus on securing large contracts to avoid having to spend a large share of your revenue on marketing.
  • Build a strong local network through repeat business.
  • Hire trained, talented staff.
  • Work out your finance well before you jump in.

Related: Gardening Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

If you run a gardening franchise, we’d love to hear from you. We feature select entries on our popular franchising success stories page.

StumpBusters sells first master to the Netherlands

June 11, 2018

StumpBusters UK, the tree stump-grinding business, has sold its first master franchise in the Netherlands to Peter Traas, the owner of a well-established Dutch pest-control franchise.

Darren Taylor, owner of StumpBusters UK explains his expansion route and why the Netherlands was suitable for a master franchise.

“StumpBusters has been very successful in the UK so I naturally thought about other areas for expanding the business. I’d been considering selling a master franchise, having been to a BFA event on the subject.

“The speaker advised me to look at the Netherlands as a starting point because the Dutch are very familiar with the franchise system, having multiple food-based franchises and in geographical terms they are close enough to make visits to exhibitions and meetings with potential master franchisors very manageable.”

To begin his search, Taylor said he attended a franchise exhibition organised by Dutch franchise consultants Koelewijn & Partners, where he was introduced to Traas and by January the master franchise was sold for the Netherlands.

Taylor continued: “The whole transaction was relatively easy. Following our initial introduction, I met Peter at his office and explained the business in more detail, after which he came over to see how we run things in the UK.

“We took some specialist franchise legal advice and within a few months I was back in Holland, signing the paper work. I’m really pleased we’ve been able to seal this deal, a significant milestone in the StumpBusters history.

Related: Gardening Franchises UK – Should You Buy A UK Garden Franchise?

“My team and I are delighted to welcome Peter as our first master franchisee and we’re looking forward to working with him and meeting the first Dutch StumpBusters franchisees in the very near future.”

Commenting on the purchase Traas said: “As a company we have experience in stump removal as well as franchising, so we are confident we know what we are doing and feel very positive about buying this master franchise from StumpBusters.”

StumpBusters UK says its current annual turnover is approaching £3m. The company has 38 franchisees with only five remaining territories available.

Source: Franchise World