Pete Morton talks about his journey with Countrywide Grounds Maintenance:
“After running our own family printing business for 25 years we decided that we needed a change and due to falling margins and increased overseas competition we did not want to stay in the print industry. We felt that we had had enough of being stuck in front of a computer in an office every day and wanted to work outside more and have a bit of freedom.
“After visiting the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham in 2004 and trawling round all the stands we were just about to leave feeling a bit dejected when we came across the Countrywide Grounds Maintenance stand. After lengthy discussions we were informed that at the time they only had one franchise area for sale in the North East which was a resale and fortunately it happened to be located only a few miles from where we live. We subsequently arranged to meet up with the existing franchisee and examined his business. We could immediately see the potential to grow his existing business and also ways of making it even more profitable. After several months of discussions and negotiations we finally signed up in March 2005.
“When we reached the end of our first five year term within the Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchise we had no hesitation in signing again for a further five years and again since then. After buying an existing franchise we have seen turnover increase more than fourfold from our outset in 2005 through to 2017 and still have huge areas of untapped work to explore.
“Countrywide are seen as a professional company who can be trusted with contracts from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Our liveried vans and uniformed workers stand out in an industry that has a poor reputation for professionalism. It is nice to create employment for staff, get them motivated and then see the difference they can make to new sites.
“On a personal note we are more financially secure and have a brighter future. We enjoy the relationship with the franchisor who is always willing to help and share advice. It is extremely hard work, but at the same time financially rewarding and there is no greater feeling than praise from a satisfied customer!”