Saved Franchises Enquiry
Countrywide Grounds Maintenance
A BUSINESS THAT’S GROWING PLACES
Countrywide is a multi-award winning management franchise, including being a previous winner of the British Franchise Associations Franchisor and Franchisee of the Year and finalist in the HSBC Franchisee Support Awards. Countrywide Grounds Maintenance is not only one of the UK’s most successful franchise networks, but also the market leader within its own industry. With over 50 franchised outlets and franchisees employing over 600 staff, Countrywide Grounds Maintenance has a multi million pound turnover maintaining 12,000 sites across the UK, ranging in contract value from £500 to over £1,000,000 per year.
With large exclusive franchise territories, an impressive blue chip customer base, extensive national accounts and very low market penetration, each Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchisee has virtually unlimited growth potential within their territory. Accordingly, Countrywide franchisees are building high revenue businesses, with turnovers in excess of £1,000,000 and with net profits of over 20%, ensuring strong financial security for their future. Countrywide Grounds Maintenance provides an extensive range of all-year-round grounds maintenance services to the commercial sector. Their range of services include grass cutting, sports pitch maintenance & marking , pruning, hedge cutting, road sweeping, litter & leaf clearance, hard & soft landscaping, fencing, turfing, gritting, snow clearance and tree surgery.
Countrywide's customer list reads like the Who's Who of the business world with numerous national account contracts and a wide variety of blue chip clients ranging across the business spectrum including customers such as supermarket chains, schools, colleges & universities, business parks, hospitals, airports, housing associations, offices, retail parks, theme parks, sports grounds, motorway services and heritage sites.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
Countrywide is widely recognized for its excellent initial and ongoing support and training. New franchisees benefit from 3 weeks initial Head Office and on-territory training, they also spend time shadowing existing franchisees to fully understand the business. New franchisees also benefit from an initial Head Office marketing launch and ongoing Head Office telesales and tendering support, with the vast majority of contracts being sourced through Head Office on behalf of the franchisees.
COSTS & FUNDING
The cost of Countrywide’s franchise package for a new territory is £44,950 + VAT. Included within this franchise package is everything you need to get you started running your own business, including training, equipment, manuals, software, uniforms, stationary, and much more. Countrywide Grounds Maintenance also has an excellent relationship with the franchising banks who can offer financial support of up to 70% of the start-up costs, should you require any financial assistance.
TERRITORIES & LOCATIONS
Countrywide carefully selects franchisees to maintain their outstanding brand reputation and to ensure a mutually successful future for both parties. Due to Countrywide’s phenomenal success over the last 30 years there are only a handful of virgin territories available, they do also have some resales where franchisees are looking to retire. Please fill in the enquiry form for more details of opportunities near you.
Case Study - Ian Michael and Richard Ball
Ian Michael and Richard Ball formed a partnership in 1997 to take the Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchise for South Wales. With the help and co-operation of HSBC who still today remain their bankers. Since taking the franchise their workforce has grown from just themselves to 40 staff and the fleet has expanded from 1 vehicle to 20, and is now considered one of the largest privately owned grounds maintenance companies in the UK
In their own words: "We have reverted to the tried and tested business principles of going back to the basics of offering a quality service at a value for money price backed up by great after sale service. The fact that we occasionally "go hands on the tools’ means that we can monitor both the quality of the finished work and the working practices of the staff.
"We have managed to overcome much of the competition by networking around our area and by being close to our prospective and existing customers. This helps both parties as we often go that "extra mile’ to ensure our customers get the service they deserve.
"The Countrywide franchise system gives us many points of difference in that with the local coverage on a national level, means that we can appeal to both the customer who wants a local contractor and also to the customer who is seeking a wider regional network with a more corporate back-up in terms of meetings, reporting and standards of procedures.
"The franchise business enables our customers to receive a local service on a national level. This means that there is also support for franchisees in the field by utilising staff and machinery where it’s needed most. Central buying organised by the franchisor mean that we can get the best prices (which makes our pricing competitive) whilst still buying locally ensuring that service arrangements can be made."
Case Study - Pete Morton
NORTH & EAST YORKSHIRE & NE LINCOLNSHIRE.
After working in our family typesetting business for 20 years my brother and I decided to do something completely different.
We had noticed that the printing industry was becoming more and more competitive with increased competition from abroad driving the prices down and more work being exported. We wanted to experience working outside instead of being in front of a computer screen all day. We visited the Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham in 2004 and viewed the Countrywide stand. There was only one area for re-sale in the UK and that was 20 miles from our home town. It must have been fate! The sales pitch from Countrywide Head Office was low key and not too pushy but the selection process was quite intense and this impressed us. More than anything they wanted professional business people to drive the business forward - not gardeners wanting to be on the tools all day.
Within a matter of months we had done the due diligence on the previous franchisee and his business. We saw huge potential in our area and big expansion opportunities, a complete opposite of the printing industry. We decided to shut up the typesetting business and commit 100% to the grounds maintenance franchise. One important factor was the backup Head Office provides on Health & Safety as well as the sales activity and accounts operations they undertake on our behalf.
Within our first year of trading we won Franchisee Newcomer of the Year for 2005 and in the 10 years of trading we have taken the turnover from £300k to nearly one million pounds and we have also increased the profit margin considerably. We still have untapped towns within our area and vast opportunities to keep on growing. My brother has left the business to pursue other opportunities and my wife has joined me in the running of the company. We are currently in the process of buying our own yard via our personal pension scheme and have no regrets in our decision to join Countrywide.
Our customers see Countrywide as a very professional and honest company who show great integrity and value the customer's business. This stands our company out in a market dominated by local councils who show no aptitude or customer service. We continue to make inroads into the grounds maintenance market and the recession and austerity measures have really helped us in our sales growth as we are generally a cheaper more reliable and vastly more professional company than many of our competitors.
Andrew Orme – Kent
Andrew Orme joined Countrywide Grounds Maintenance in January 2012. Andrew came from transport background and says he decided to buy the Kent area franchise as Countrywide seemed to offer a complete package which he felt others could not compete with. This area was a new territory.
Andrew says that the major reason he picked Countrywide Grounds Maintenance was that he believed he had a good chance of success within a company with experience, a good brand name within its industry and a proven track record.
Andrew says "I have found the business model to work well and having high quality employees at Head Office gives Countrywide a major advantage in making each territory a success. From experience, to succeed, you have to be driven, hardworking and prepared to give it your all. Within the business and network you have got an opportunity to grow a business from been relatively small to a medium/large business in a short space of time, as long as you are willing to put a lot of hard work, time and effort. As the business grows it can bring many different challenges so been a problem solver and thinking on your feet will always help you to succeed. There are two opportunities available with Countrywide, that as a new franchisee or that of a resale and both bring their own challenges and success. Depending on which option appeals most they both give you an opportunity to take your business forward in a positive manner. Being your own boss and being able to have a bearing on your own success is a major plus that you just don't find in the normal working environment. I think if you are driven and want to succeed in your own business with the structure and support that comes with Countrywide you have a perfect working relationship in a good sound business that can generate fantastic revenue for the Franchisee. I am now well above the targets that were set as I start 2016.
Adam Carter – Watford Area
Having served 12 years as a Royal Marine I had a decision to make, my priorities had changed from being single to having a fiancé, two young boys (3 ½ and 8 Months) and a mortgage. For me spending more time away from home and my family was not an option. I started looking at an exit strategy and liked the idea of being my own boss but had no idea on how to start and run my own business, I was also acutely aware of new business failure rates. This led me to franchising which provides, in my opinion, the best of both worlds; you have the support and systems of an established and working brand whilst being in charge of your own operation. So I headed to the Franchise Exhibition in London.
Having been a park keeper before joining the Marines and not wanting a sedentary life, I approached Countrywide Grounds Maintenance. I liked their family orientated attitude, this combined with the support and knowledge they provided the franchisees made them stand out amongst the rest. Speaking to Countrywide franchisees and spending a bit of time with one enabled me to get an idea of what was involved I was impressed by their helpfulness and the support they were willing to give their neighbours.
Luckily the Watford area was available as I grew up in NW London and didn’t live far away. All this led to me deciding that Countrywide was the right franchise for me and was delighted when they agreed to let me purchase the Watford area as they don’t accept everyone. I have been trading for over a year now and it has definitely been challenging and extremely hard work, however with Countrywide’s support the business has already gone from strength to strength and I am already ahead of my financial targets.