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Hi Everyone,

I'm David and have decided to do a complete career change. I have owned my own businesses for over 20 years all in the IT/Software space and I have now decided that I need a change plus im totally bored?!.  I am only 48 yet for most of my life I have lived behind a laptop computer and been involved in the corporate world.  I've decided now is the time for change.

After spending ages thinking 'what to do next' i realised that one thing i loved is mowing my lawn! I also realised that i like getting out, meeting people, being in the fresh air, keeping fit.

I have already being looking at starting up on my own, pretty easy for me as ive own businesses before. website, marketing all that stuff is second nature to me. Yet i did some research and saw some pretty experienced people in this trade. For instance, a website called lovethatlawn. I found that truly inspiring and thought to myself, yes - I would like to build to that level in 5 years time (maybe sooner).

I am in two minds, start small with my business acumen OR... work alongside some old school experienced people as i have run 3 businesses, i am not totally motivated to start another one yet.

I think their is part of me that would like to work alongside experts in this field and actually have the opportunity to learn from someone else for a change and maybe just enjoy being part of a team?

I live in berkshire, nestled between ascot, windsor, maidenhead.

I guess i am just throwing this out there to see if this is of interest to anyone.

My initial research showed up franchises (i have zero interest in that), i have looked at online courses for lawn management which actually looked interesting as well.

I would ideally be looking at part time/flexible work as i dont really need to work full time and i have other commitments.

My first post on here and so will be interested to hear from you all.

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  • PRO

    I spoke to a guy who has bought a franchise last week and he seems quite happy about it.

    • Thanks Andrew, but if i went down that route, im probably the kind of guy that would eventually set a franchise up myself. Its in my nature.

      With my marketing skills, business background, branding expertise i wouldnt need to sign up to a franchise just for a coulourful van. You spoke to someone who bought a franchise just a week ago? lets give him 2 years and report back is what i would say to that!

  • PRO

    I spoke to him last week, he is already an established franchisee.

    It’s winter time and time to go on training courses, he was doing the PA1 whilst I was doing the Lantra Handheld Hedge Trimmer course and assessment, we shared the same kettle at lunchtime.

    I have always enjoyed good training courses, as well as being trained and assessed it is also an opportunity to have a look at a variety of equipment other than what you use yourself and learn new techniques, as well as spending time with people who have mutual interests.

    Ruling out franchise isn’t something I would do without further investigation, the only one that operates locally to me is Trugreen, so potential customers would not be familiar with the other brands, however I would expect customers in your area to be more familiar with the other brands.

    Brand awareness is a major selling point of the franchises, so trying to establish in an area where there isn’t any brand awareness could be more challenging.

    • PRO

      Not a lawn guy myself but do bump into them frequently going about my business its always useful to liase with them to find out when they intend to do a treatment on a customers lawn 

      I met a guy who had being running a franchise for just a year and business was booming he was having to expand in every area of his business to meet demand but mentioned finding good reliable staff was his main problem and listed a few qualities they should have which was interesting i liked his attitude and struck me as being a decent guy to work for , very respectful attitude towards his existing  staff  , The lawns were also looking good at the property where i was working and the customer was extremely happy with his services . 

       

       

  • PRO

    You mentioned a companies website, so I had a look last night.

    The guy has twenty years as a Greenkeeper and you want to match him within five years, so the options are:

    • Go into business with a partner who has that experience.
    • Hire someone who has that experience as an employee.
    • Pay someone who has that experience as a consultant/ business coach.
    • Buy a franchise.
    • Find some training courses and do a lot of reading that can get you up and running, then try and learn on the job without destroying too many lawns.
    • Options 1,3 or 5 then Andrew!

      Although there is potentially a 6th option as well. If im great at websites, marketing and sales and you guys are good at mowing lawns etc etc, then potentially....?

      • 6th option, really? I thought you said you were bored of IT work and love cutting lawns?

        • Hi Gary, corrext, it was just a thought having spoke to Andrew yesterday, its foolish to rulle out options, there's no harm in looking.  I guess its my natural instinct to turn to an industry i have loads of experience in.

          But you are correct, the whole purpose of this was to get me away from the laptop, the google adwords, the facebook advertising etc etc.

          I will stick to my plan to grow a new business and 'get out more'.

          • Good Luck, hope all works out for you! Cant beat doing a job you love.

  • PRO

    David - We do a small amount of lawn care but do operate a busy garden maintenance round which is our primary focus. If you wanted to learn about the industry then I would be very happy to offer some [paid] work experience. Currently we have head count of 10 staff, with a busy environment and an attitude to always betttering ouselvesd where we can. We are based in South Bucks.

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