“I started my Ed’s Garden Maintenance business in September 2011 and I hit the ground running, with most of the initial work coming to me through the Ed’s Garden Maintenance website and phone enquiries. From these first enquiries I also had a few referrals and was often stopped by potential customers in the street. It took off from there!
“Having worked as a communications officer with the Metropolitan Police force, working in the control room for nineteen years, it is like chalk and cheese to what I was doing before. No more shift work, no more nights, I’m working outdoors and enjoying it. My ex-colleagues in the call centre came up and shook my hand when I resigned, saying “I wish it was me”!
“In two months, I had built up 14 regular customers, with additional one-offs; I now have almost 50 regular customers! I have a lot of grass-cutting regulars along with garden clearances, where people have let their garden go. Some of these are happy to have regular visits.
“I started advertising using the local quarterly magazine, called GU Voice, which is distributed to 10,000 households. I’ve joined the local business club whose directory is distributed to local residents. I also placed a few ads in newsagents offering winter tidy ups. Although the winter months calm down and there is no lawn-mowing, my target is to do as much as possible. I’ve got lots of leaflets printed which I can drop through doors when I have a spare few hours.
“I always enjoyed being in my garden and always thought it would be good to run a gardening business. When I saw the advert for Ed’s Garden Maintenance franchise it was at exactly the right time financially for me to start my own business.”