TruGreen's Karen Burdett shortlisted for award

TruGreen Professional Lawn Care’s Karen Burdett has been shortlisted in the New Woman Franchisee of the Year category for this years’ Encouraging Women Into Franchising (EWIF) Awards.

Karen, whose franchise covers Milton Keynes and West Northants, set up her business last April after working in a commercial environment for more than 20 years. She wanted to find an investment opportunity to set up a business that would give her a career change and a sensible return on her investment. “If I could find the opportunity in something I had an interest in, then that would be a bonus,” said Burdett.

“My passion is the outdoors and I eventually decided on lawn care. I thoroughly researched four lawn care brands but it was TruGreen’s business model and professionalism that stood out, even during my first discussions with representatives,” Burdett added.

Upon learning that Steve Welch, a highly respected figure in the turf and sporting industry, was TruGreen’s Network Manager and would be Karen’s support mechanism Burdett reveals: “That’s what really swung it for me."

When Burdett took the plunge, she became TruGreen’s only female franchise owner operator. Lawn care is tough, physical work and not for the faint-hearted, but Karen wasn’t fazed in the slightest and showed grit, determination and a genuine desire to get started. After just a few weeks Karen reported fantastic figures with an enquiry to quote conversion rate of 99 per cent. Of those quoted, a staggering 96 per cent became customers.

As Karen begins her second year in business, she is already receiving referrals from her clients – proving the level of customer satisfaction she is achieving. “The technical support with TruGreen is second to none and the ServiceMaster Company is full of individuals who you can call on at any time for support on a range of things,” added Burdett.

“Karen is a breath of fresh air within our male-dominated TruGreen network and the other franchise owners also agree,” commented Welch.

“Her success in just 11 months has spurred her neighbouring franchise owners on, so keen are they not to let a girl beat them at their own game,” Welch commented.

The EWIF award winners will be announced in May. Burdett said: “I’m delighted to have reached the finals of these awards, especially after such a short time as a business owner.” “TruGreen has 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 then TruGreen really is a franchise I would recommend.”