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How the outdoor sector can flourish in 2022

Written by David Truby on Friday, 07 January 2022. Posted in Analysis

With every month from February to November registering as a record-breaking month, 2021 has been a consecutive record-breaking year for lawncare franchise Greensleeves.

How the outdoor sector can flourish in 2022

With every month from February to November registering as a record-breaking month, 2021 has been a consecutive record-breaking year for lawncare franchise Greensleeves. With the horticultural franchise acquiring more new customers in 2021 than any previous year, our green spaces have remained extremely valuable to people all over the country. In fact, with more people being invested in their homes and not wanting winter to affect the lawns they have cared so much for over the summer months, there are no signs of business slowing down. David Truby, the MD of Greensleeves, offers his advice for outdoor franchises on how they too can gain ground in 2022.

Grow your franchisor/franchisee relationship

The relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee is unique because both parties have something to gain from the partnership. Franchisees rely on support to help them answer everyday questions, handle operations and maintain their equipment, while a franchisor can only be successful when a franchisee succeeds. Therefore, developing a great relationship is essential to keeping your franchise going strong in 2022.

My advice would be for franchisors to maintain an honest and open dialogue with their franchisees. The easiest way to achieve open communication is through weekly catch-up calls. By doing this, franchisors provide their franchisees the necessary support and resources to help them meet and exceed their goals. I would also encourage any franchisor to monitor their relationships. It can often be the case that we, the franchisor, think everything is fine – the reality could be very different. So, ask the people who matter… At Greensleeves, we use the WorkBuzz survey, for which we achieved the 5-star WorkBuzz award for franchisee satisfaction this year. By taking part in this survey, we can see where we need to improve and what we are doing well. It is beneficial for all franchises to take part in this. 

Add value though innovation

The outdoor sector is a rapidly growing industry. Therefore, staying ahead of the curve with innovative products and technology is vital if you want to have the edge over your competitors. However, when you look to innovate, you must first ask yourself, ‘Does this add value?’. Innovation without adding value is simply unnecessary change. Brands need to focus their innovation efforts on improving the customer’s experience by making it as frictionless as possible. An example of adding value through innovation would be Greensleeves’; new app, Greensleeves Live, which reduces the admin time of our franchisees. By easing franchisee administration, they have more time to deliver a better all-round service.

Innovation can be anything from revamping your website to attract more leads, developing an app for your franchisees to help lessen admin times, or even just utilising technology to help you conduct meetings and provide more support to your franchisees. For example, have you started to use Zoom to train new franchisees? Innovation can take many forms, but one thing that is certain is that you should be looking to innovate to thrive in 2022. 

Aim to deliver exceptional customer service

Giving your clients what they want is vital, so ensuring you provide the very best customer service should be a priority. I would recommend always being incredibly responsive; this means when a client contacts your business, come back to them in a timely manner! This can be difficult when you are working outdoors, but having someone in your business to answer the phone and respond quickly to emails goes a long way. In fact, this level of service will retain your customers and allow you to build a good relationship with them. 

You can also provide exceptional customer service by using positive language. Turn your 'maybe' into a 'definitely' and your 'I will try to do that' into an 'I will do that'. This language lets the client hear that your goal is to fulfil their needs. Remember, a customer wants someone as passionate about their goals as they are. This year, Trustpilot confirmed Greensleeves as the UK’s favourite lawn care provider - rating us as exceptional, 4.8/5, significantly more and higher than our competitors. 

Greensleeves has had a fantastic end to 2021 having welcomed seven new franchisees and seen eleven consecutive months of record-breaking income, which shows a 34% increase of income last year. However, we will not rest on our laurels as we head into the new year. Landscaping businesses that add value to their services, provide excellent customer service and market themselves to their core customer demographic, will not just survive in the new year, they will flourish. 

About the Author

David Truby

David Truby is the MD of Greensleeves. Established in 1998, Greensleeves is a lawn care franchise with 96 territories in the UK.

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