Too good an opportunity to miss

Following a serious illness and over 30 years of running a successful textiles business, Bob Anderson decided to look for a new opportunity – A business that would provide a good living and one he could really enjoy. Jamie Brown reports

Having always been his own boss, Bob didn’t want that to change. “My wife Anne was unsettled in her job at the time and so we decided it was something we could do together,” Bob explains. “We wanted to have more control over our working life and we both felt that running our own business would give us the opportunity to take charge.”

Bob and Anne visited the National Franchise Show in 2003 where they investigated franchising. After extensive research, they chose to invest in a TruGreen Professional Lawn care franchise as a joint partnership, where they would operate the West Yorkshire area.

“I had always been a keen gardener and so TruGreen was immediately interesting to me,” Bob says. “TruGreen ticked all the right boxes for us; we would be in charge of our own destiny, have the opportunity to earn a good living and to build up a profitable business. Most importantly, it offered physical work in an outdoor environment, doing something I’ve always enjoyed. As well as a proven business model, the backing of ServiceMaster as the franchisor gave me reassurance of success within my business. This was a new challenge for the both of us.”

Like all new TruGreen franchise owners, Bob and Anne were required to undertake the comprehensive two-week training academy prior to trading. “This course was excellent,” says Bob. “It prepared us extremely well for our business. We also gained a qualification from the NCPT (National Proficiency Council), which would allow us to apply pesticides. We came away fully equipped to start, bursting with enthusiasm and high hopes.”

Bob was keen to tell how big the change in his lifestyle has been since joining TruGreen: “The last nine years have not disappointed. We enjoy our work, have made friends with many of our customers and enjoy a great deal of job satisfaction. The support we receive from fellow franchise owners, our business mentor and from ServiceMaster has been superb."

Becoming franchise owners at TruGreen has allowed all members of the family to benefit as Bob explains: “We currently serve approximately 250 customers and would like to see the business expand further. I provide the lawn care treatments and Anne focuses on booking appointments, bookkeeping, invoicing and other administrative tasks. We have regular help on the practical side on a self-employed basis. My son Matthew and daughter Kelly have also earned pocket money helping out during school holidays.

What is it about the TruGreen career that inspires Bob to get up every day, “Each day is different; we may have a dozen weed and feed treatments or one big job. For example, last week we scarified and then top dressed a lawn with a ton of sand and soil; a hard day’s work but very satisfying.” Bob continues: “I would have no hesitation in recommending a TruGreen franchise. TruGreen has been a real success for us and we enjoy doing it. There are very few opportunities to see the early morning dew glistening on the grass in the bright sunshine of a new day, knowing that you’re going to make a real difference to a customer’s lawn. It beats sitting in an office looking over a crowded street any day!”

TruGreen is part of the ServiceMaster family of Brands with opportunities including van, home and office-based franchises working in the domestic and commercial sectors. See TruGreen at the National Franchise exhibition, Birmingham NEC on October 4 & 5 where the team will be on stand H115