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Franchise Focus


A cast of thousands


Lawn care franchise GreenThumb is a brand leader and major employer in the franchising sector


INVESTMENT LEVEL: FROM £31,700


the business, safe in the knowledge that the 16-strong team they now employ are looking after their investment. “I used to work for BT and in those days


never had the flexibility to take the kids to school on a regular basis or in general just do what I wanted to do each day”, says Ian. “Don’t get me wrong, Jacqui and I have worked extremely hard over the years and getting the franchise to where it is today has not been without its challenges. But we have always believed in the method set out for us by the franchisor and that method has been instrumental in our success.” Today the number of GreenThumb


employees is substantial, standing at approximately 1,200 individuals across 213 branches. And that doesn’t include the franchisees themselves. Although GreenThumb holds an impressive record of successful and award-winning franchising stretching back over 14 years – and an


“Employees who have worked with franchisees for a period of time can rise to senior positions, some even becoming branch managers”


Ian and Jacqui Balmforth – GreenThumb Shropshire


overall history going back to the mid-80s – over half the network only started trading in the last seven years. Over the coming years the company is set to continue to employ a considerable number of people. It is estimated that by the end of this year, a further 300 people will be recruited. There are still a range of opportunities


for those looking for an alternative path in life but also a way of contributing to the business world’s attempts to reduce unemployment through simply running a successful, growing operation. Operating as a management franchise,


A


GreenThumb has developed a business model allowing franchisees to begin employing staff straightaway to carry out treatments on customer’s lawns, as well as work in sales and marketing and customer services. These roles all have a genuine


t a time of economic hardship, with more than three million people unemployed, GreenThumb is showing how franchising is not only an opportunity


career path. Employees who have worked with franchisees for a period of time can rise to senior positions, some even becoming branch managers. This means they take on the duties of a franchisee if the franchisee decides to take a more strategic approach to their business. Often this also enables a franchisee flexibility in terms of lifestyle whilst remaining close to the requirements of their business. Ian and Jacqui Balmforth bought their


GreenThumb franchise in Shropshire in 2002. Over the years it has grown to have 6,440 customers and a turnover of around £750,000. They both still have their fingers on the pulse in terms of how the business is doing, but are able to balance this with the flexibility to spend time away from


open to those wanting to invest in this profitable, wealth-generating franchise system. Based in North Wales, GreenThumb has a head office team of some 61 people, all dedicated to supporting their franchisees. The brand continues to evolve, offering yet more opportunities for franchisees to realise significant returns on their initial investment. Ian and Jacqui are but two franchisees of many to have felt the benefit of this. On the secret to their success, they are simple and unequivocal, saying in unison: “building a good strong team!” n


GREENTHUMB


WEBSITE: www.greenthumb.co.uk/franchising EMAIL: franchise@greenthumb.co.uk PHONE: 01745 586 041 CLASSIFICATION: Lawn care


May 2012 | Businessfranchise.com |55


Investment: £20k-£50k


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