The grass is always greener with TruGreen
Jamie Brown meets TruGreen’s first female franchise owner, Karen Burdett, to discuss the successes of her first few years.
After a 20-year spell at Dixons Stores Group including a period as a Commercial Director, Karen Burdett was looking for investment opportunity, which would give her a career change and a workable return on investment. “If I could find the opportunity in something I had an interest in, then that would be a bonus,” she explains. “My passion is the outdoors and eventually decided on lawn care. I thoroughly researched four lawn care brands but it was TruGreen’s tried and tested business model and professionalism that stood out, even during my first discussions.”
It was important for Karen to have the right aftercare and support as she explains: “Not many people realise that lawn care is quite a technical business, so it was important that I had the right backing, both technically and through a recognised brand, hence why I went down the franchise route rather than setting up on my own. The support in this area has surpassed even my high expectations. Steve Welch is in charge of TruGreen and he brings with him a very distinguished career in the turf industry.”
Karen took the plunge in April 2012 to become TruGreen’s only female owner-operator and it took less than a year for her hard work to be recognised for a national award, EWIF’s ‘New Woman Franchisee of the Year’. “Winning this award was the icing on the cake for my first successful year operating my TruGreen franchise,” reveals Karen. “The back-up and support I’ve received from the TruGreen head office has been phenomenal and I couldn’t have achieved this success without them. The first year of any new company is very tough, so to have been recognised with an industry award is unbelievable.
Karen revealed what she most enjoys about being a franchise owner for TruGreen: “Getting great feedback from customers on a job well done and getting recommended to customers friends from year one onwards. I’m much fitter now, without the need for an expensive gym membership. I’m not sat in the London commute and I’m my own boss, the only thing that I can’t control is nature and what she sends us weather wise!”
Many TruGreen franchise owners develop upon their successes by expanding their businesses and Karen is no different, she concluded by telling us what she feels the future of this professional lawn care company is: “TruGreen have ambitious growth plans and is looking for like-minded, driven franchise owners who want to succeed as part of a professional network. We need to work together to drive the TruGreen brand to number one in the lawn care market. If this appeals to you and you are fit (you need to be), then TruGreen really is a franchise I would recommend.”