With a system that works and a service that sells, the Stevensons felt they couldn't go wrong with their GreenThumb franchise. Rachel Spaul tells their story

The grass really is greener for Blackburn franchisees Donna and Tyler Stevenson, who gave up their respective jobs as a nursery nurse and a window cleaner to pursue a very different lifestyle. On target to achieve a £200,000 turnover this year, they say they couldn't be happier.

The couple first discovered GreenThumb through a friend, whose franchise was performing very well. Donna explains: 'This proved that the franchise works and having had our own lawn treated, we also knew that the products were effective. When we looked into the company further, we also discovered that they'd never had a franchise fail, which was a big selling point for us.'

Donna and Tyler are typical of the franchisees GreenThumb is looking for. They don't have any experience in horticulture, gardening or lawn care, but are business-minded and eager to develop a management business by following a system that's been proven over more than 19 years and through 113 outlets (107 franchised).

'GreenThumb has established a proven record of successful and ethical franchising with no commercial failures to date,' confirms Founder Stephen Waring.

Established in 1986, GreenThumb is a nationwide lawn specialist attracting one new customer every minute. Its 'No Scorch Technology', which provides a slow-release lawn treatment over 10-11 weeks, has proved particular popular and demonstrates the company's commitment to product and service development.

Due to the effectiveness of the GreenThumb franchise and the two-week training course, Donna and Tyler have needed little support so far, but know that it is always available. 'With our course class limited to five other franchisees, the training was very personal and the system and products were easy to understand,' adds Donna. 'We've not had any specific problems so far, but we know we can call GreenThumb at any time for advice. We have the best of both worlds - our own business with the support of an established company.'

GreenThumb carried out an initial marketing launch, which included a leaflet drop in the Stevensons' exclusive territory as part of the package, which the couple confirm generated a good response. Since launching their business in 2003, they have attracted over 2,000 customers, which are primarily professionals with little time to spend in the garden. Stephen furthers: 'Thousands of new customers come from recommendations each year. We have hundreds of recommended potential customers all over the country, waiting for GreenThumb to start a franchise in their area. There is no doubt that the GreenThumb lawn treatment franchise is an incredible opportunity.'