Paul Crocker joined Ed’s to run his garden maintenance business in Swindon at the start of 2015. This is what Paul had to say about his first six months with Ed’s…
“Before I joined Ed’s I had a long career as an audit manager and redundancy gave me a long-awaited opportunity to really change my life. I had become overly cynical about the latest corporate ‘big idea’ and the poor way that long- standing and experienced employees were being treated. I was therefore very keen to have a more meaningful job and lifestyle.
“I love the outdoors and found the idea of running a gardening business appealing. However, I have worked in finance long enough to know that you have to tackle the financial realities of life head-on. Deep down I knew it would be difficult to make a decent living as a stand-alone gardener, appealing though it was.
“I also knew that much as I railed against a corporate life, there were many advantages to being part of a bigger, professional operation so I started to consider living my gardening dream but under the safer umbrella of a franchise business.
“I did some thorough research and found Ed’s. From the start the set-up seemed much more professional than the other franchise options I looked at. The structured approach and the tried and tested business model aspect of the offering really appealed to me as well.
“However, I was also really struck by how you are listened to and treated like an individual – it’s all very structured but in a good way and not at all constricting. Testament to this is that I’ve only just decided that I would like to change my geographic area and this was met by enthusiasm by the office. They really do everything they can to help you to run the best business that you can.
“Six months in and how do I feel? Well, the truth is I am absolutely loving running my own business and being part of Ed’s. You really do get the best of both worlds – I have the freedom to run my show but there is always someone to help and reassure me if I need it. Gardening can be a lonely job if you are on your own but I always feel part of the Ed’s team.
“To sum it up, I’ve just been asked in my first business review if Ed’s could do anything to make life better for me. I joked, ‘Abolish trees in gardens as they make mowing more difficult!’ but the truth was that was about all I could think of. The rest is pretty spot on!”