Meet our Franchisees

Partners who have joined the Greensleeves Lawn Care franchise come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Most of them had no experience of lawn care, and many had no background in gardening, landscaping or other related industries at all. 

However, through our comprehensive training programme, and with the extensive ongoing support that we have been able to give them, all of them have succeeded in making their franchise a success. Together, we have built a powerful network of like-minded and mutually supportive business owners, who all share our commitment to delivering a service of the highest possible standard. 

Here, some of our franchisees share their experiences of working with Greensleeves:

“I’d always dreamed of owning my own business.”

David Davison

Greensleeves Surrey North

After many years of working in senior sales and marketing roles for subscription food companies, David Davison from our Surrey North franchise, was made redundant in 2019. Determined to turn this crisis into an opportunity, inspiration struck as he sat in his kitchen watching one of our experts treating his lawn.

He originally approached Greensleeves with the intention of setting up a new territory in Surrey. However, when he learned that Nick Hulm, who held his local franchise at the time, was thinking of moving on to the franchise support team at head office, he knew it was too good an opportunity to miss.

After spending a lot of time talking through things with Nick, and attending the discovery days at head office, he decided to make a commitment and was up and running before he knew it.

“The whole process was really seamless.“ David explained. “David and Cheryl were really welcoming, and I really appreciated meeting other people who were in my position up at the head office discovery day. After that, I went for the two weeks training in Huddersfield, which was excellent, really informative. “

Of course, training is just the beginning of our journey with new franchises. We always make sure that we are able to support them throughout their time with us, and give them everything they need to keep growing their business – even when they have moved into an already established territory, like David.

“Nick and the support team’s help has been a really big benefit. I know I can count on them, as many of them have done what we have done as franchise owners themselves. The admin and operations team, too, are all brilliant. I know that I can call them up with a question, and if the person who picks up doesn’t know the answer – and 90% of the time, they do! – then Cheryl is your go-to. She is the oracle! She has been absolutely brilliant.

“If I had somehow known at the time the pandemic was going to hit six months after I bought the business, I might not have done it. However, now that I have done it, I can say I definitely made the right decision. In fact, it has even been better than I expected. We’ve smashed all our targets

I would say to anyone: take the opportunity!”

“We started with nothing and built up to more than 7,000 customers.”

Jimmy & Judy Petch

Greensleeves Richmond, Darlington & Leyburn

Jimmy and his wife, Judy, who run our Richmond franchise, are among our longest standing and most successful franchisees. They were only the 3rd team to join us way back in 2002, and though we now have nearly 100 franchisees around the UK, they have played a huge part in helping us grow Greensleeves to where it is today.

After economic circumstances forced them to reconsider their careers, they were first introduced to the idea of franchising after speaking to a friend of theirs who had been very successful in their own hair salon franchise. They were intrigued and began researching their own way to benefit from the system.

“We thought it would be easier for us to buy into a system that had already been tried and tested than doing something ourselves.” Jimmy told us. “We didn’t really have a clue what we wanted to do, but after being office bound for so many years, we were very interested in something that would take us outdoors more. We very nearly went with one of their competitors, and thank God that we didn’t! Greensleeves was a lot smaller, and just starting out, but something really drew us to them.”

That gut instinct paid off for Jimmy and Judy, and they were able to grow their franchise into one of our most successful and profitable centres. Though they are semi-retired now, and have passed on a large part of their territory to another franchisee, at its height, the Richmond franchise was employing more than a dozen operatives with their own vans and could boast more than 7000 customers. A real testament to just how much can be achieved with hard work and the right business model behind you! 

Jimmy continues to go out on contracts himself, and his wife continues to handle the admin and finances. A dream team that are very happy with the career that has taken them nearly to retirement.

With almost 20 years’ experience under his belt, Jimmy had this advice for new franchisees:

“There is no easy way in any business. You can’t just buy into it and expect it to happen. You have to put in the hard work – but Greensleeves has it there for you if you want it. Stick to the system. Greensleeves has developed the way it works over many years of experience. If you stick to the plan, and put in the work, there’s real good money to be made.”

“I decided that, if I was going to work really hard, it might as well be for myself!”

Mike Barney

Greensleeves Norwich

After 20 years of managing some of the most well-known golf courses in Norfolk, Greensleeves franchisee Mick already knew the value of well-kept lawns, and just how much they were worth to customers. However, his stress levels were through the roof and, with the imminent arrival of his daughter, he knew that he needed to rethink his work-life balance and start prioritising himself and his family.

However, Mike wasn’t initially convinced that franchising was the right direction for him. “With my background,” explains Mike, “I really wanted to be independent and focus on customer service and quality of product. From my initial research into other franchises, I just didn’t feel like I was going to get that from them. However, I met up with David and his team and really did an about turn. They made me realise that we shared the same principles and ethos. Their passion, drive and commitment to customer service were infectious and it was clear that they had what it took to let me hit the ground running.”

Mike signed his franchise agreement with Greensleeves back in 2018. Business is booming and, despite the challenges faced by a lot of other companies in 2020, he has managed to grow his customer base to the point where he has now taken on a second operative to pick up all the extra work. He is starting to take on a less hands-on, and more managerial, role and is so confident of his business in 2021 that he is planning to take on yet another new employee in the Spring.

“I’ve grown at least as much as I could have hoped this last year, so the Greensleeves model has proven to be future-proof in many ways. I love the process of meeting new customers and building quotes. Though I already had a long background in customer-facing work, I could see that the training Greensleeves provided was really helping some of the less experienced franchisees gain the confidence they needed.

“I owe a lot to the reassurance of being part of the franchise. The software systems, the logistics of management, the huge customer potential, all the support from the team in the head office – all this has allowed me to confidently grow my business from scratch without the extra stress of being on my own.”

“The model works really well and everyone learns from each other. I’ve never looked back!”

Oliver Wood

Greensleeves Huddersfield

Oliver is a very unique case study – he joined the Greensleeves franchise when he was just 19! It was a huge commitment for one so young, but it has really paid off for him.

When Oliver left school, he really did not know what he wanted to do, except that he knew he would be much happier working for himself. His family were already Greensleeves customers, and one day, a leaflet arrived in the post along with their invoice, advertising our franchise opportunity.

Living just a few streets away from his nearest franchisee, Oliver decided to learn more, and soon realised that this was the career opportunity he had been looking for. We initially took a bit of persuading to sell a franchise to someone so young and inexperienced, but Oliver spent a lot of time talking with our team and convinced us he had what it took.

“It did take me a couple of years to get my head properly round the work ethic I needed, “explained Oliver. “But with the great support I received from the Head Office team, the penny soon dropped that this was a good business, and that there was an opportunity here to make some money and grow, if I put the right effort into it. Since then, the business has just kept on growing!”

Thanks to all his hard work, 15 years on, Oliver’s franchise now treats an impressive 7000 lawns each year. The proximity of his franchise to the main HQ and depot has allowed him to take on some neighbouring territories too. 

As one of our most successful and long-standing partners, he has now been able to give something back to the network by offering guidance and advice to new franchisees.

“Really, the training and learning never ends at Greensleeves. There are regular training events all year, and we talk to each other all the time. Everyone shares stories and advice and best practice. I have new franchisees ring me all the time, asking me how to do this or do that, or what systems I am using etc. It’s really good – there might be a lot of franchisees now, but it still feels like a small, friendly, family business.”

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to work for myself.”

Robin Mainstone

Greensleeves East Lothian

After retiring from 30 years in the fire service, Robin was looking for a new direction. At just 50 years old, he knew that he still had plenty of good years of work ahead of him and wanted to make them count. However, he wasn’t sure what direction to take and moved between several jobs before realising what he really wanted was to be his own boss. He looked at a number of franchising opportunities, but couldn’t find the right fit.

Robin was introduced to Greensleeves by a friend was already a franchisee, and spent some time working for him. When the franchisee in one of the neighbouring territories retired, he jumped at the opportunity for him and his wife to get involved.

As Robin told us: “I jumped at the opportunity. When we went down to visit the team in Yorkshire, we were really welcomed as soon as we got there, and never felt under any pressure. I liked the vibe of the company. One of the directors told me ‘We’re not the biggest but we do want to be the best’, and I thought that is exactly the kind of attitude I am looking for.

“I was especially impressed by how Greensleeves thinks about customer service. It was something that our main competitors just weren’t doing properly. If you go online and check out our reviews compared to theirs, that is what it always comes down to. You need to make money, of course, but it’s not just about selling – it’s about doing the right thing for your customers.”

Two years on, Robin feels very confident in his new business, and is preparing to take on a new employee to help him with his growing workload. However, he feels he can always count on the team at head office, and his fellow franchisees, to offer help and advice whenever he needs it.

“I would say to all new franchisees: don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to the team or other franchises. There is as much, or as little, support as you ever feel you need. I have regular contact with David and Cheryl. I always feel valued, but I never feel that they are looking over my shoulder. They always treat this as my own business, and always treat me like I am my own boss.”

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