Leading commercial grounds maintenance franchise Envirocare held its first ever national franchisee conference in November at the Marriot Hotel in Preston.

Founded in 2005 and launched as a franchise in 2010 Envirocare Grounds Maintenance is a management franchise where franchisees employ teams of gardeners to provide a service exclusively to business owners.  The conference was a chance for franchisees to share best practice, meet new suppliers and spend time together.

Franchise Director said of the event, “It was a busy day and an enjoyable evening which ended with our network partying into the night. The conference was a chance to get our franchisees together for training updates, new product information and networking. The gala dinner in the evening featured an awards ceremony where the excellent work of our franchisees in both business development and customer service was recognised.”

The theme of the conference was growth as the franchisees in the business have increased their turnover by 120% in the last 12 months. With 3 new franchisees joining the network in 2012 and 3 more already signed for training in January 2013 next year is also set to be a record breaking year.

Envirocare have negotiated preferential rates on the supply of machinery and put together their own apprenticeship scheme with the national apprenticeship service and an agricultural college. As the franchisees build their businesses and need additional employees and hardware the suppliers will be vital and the conference provided a chance for the franchisees to meet them and discuss the growth of the business.

He explained, “our business has a new approach to a very well established market which means that our franchisees benefit from a proven opportunity but their business will stand out as being different when compared to other providers. This gives great potential for growth which is what we are seeing from our franchisees”

The black tie awards ceremony in the evening saw Ian Morton of Envirocare Newcastle crowned Franchisee of the Year and other awards going to Richard Cooper of Envirocare Leicester and Tom Critchley of Envirocare Milton Keynes.

On the awards he said, “it is important for us that we recognise the skill of our franchisees in following a proven system and Ian Morton and his family have been enthusiastic, customer focused and organised since they started their business. Ian is a great example of how franchising can help a businessman with no prior experience of our sector to be successful.”

Envirocare is a premises based management franchise operating in the commercial grounds maintenance sector.  As a management franchise the franchisee will be the Managing Director of a substantial business which will eventually have several vans and multiple staff working out of a depot location. The investment for an Envirocare franchise is £43k. Funding is available via the main franchise banks for up to 70% of the total start-up costs. Franchisees will need £16-£18k in unencumbered funds and the desire to build a substantial business. Envirocare is an Associate member of the British Franchise Association.