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Stephen Waring, Managing Director of GreenThumb, says this is a significant milestone for a company that started in a small way.

Aged 20 Stephen invested £64 in 1,000 leaflets, put a bucket of fertiliser in the back of his car and knocked on doors offering to feed and weed lawns. Today, there are 107 GreenThumb franchises and the company is turning over £2 million a month.

'A year ago we were starting a new customer every five minutes, but for the last two months we've been taking on a new customer every 60 seconds,' exclaims Stephen. 'We're going to hit the 250,000 mark in May next year and with the speed of our growth we'll have a third of a million customers within a year of that.

'There are 20 million homes in this country and a large percentage of them have lawns. It is our view that there will eventually be five or six million customers wanting a lawn care service and we will have a big share of that.

'Homeowners have less and less free time these days. Our service means there is no need for them to spend their precious time buying weed and feed, then applying it and hoping that it rains. Once people realise that our service costs less, they're delighted because they can't lose.'

Stephen attributes his business success to franchising. 'I'm fairly sure that had I decided to set up 113 outlets myself it would have been a logistical and managerial nightmare and an incredible financial burden. The best thing about franchising is that people with a vested financial interest in a business work harder.'


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