Envirocare is looking to benefit from the outsourcing trend with its comprehensive grounds maintenance service
Government cutbacks and tightening belts have led to an increase in business outsourcing. An industry survey in late 2011 suggested that outsourcing for UK businesses in the third quarter of 2011 grew at the fastest rate in three years and ahead of the five-year average rate.
As an organisation providing services to other businesses, Envirocare is perfectly placed to exploit this trend. Envirocare franchisees employ operatives who visit corporate clients to provide a comprehensive grounds maintenance service.The opportunity is based on repeat custom from regular visits to business parks, hotels, schools, hospitals, offices and hundreds of other business locations. High client retention and a profitable model means franchisees’ businesses can grow as quickly as their clients’ plants do.
The commercial grounds maintenance sector is a fragmented market with few organised national competitors. This makes the industry well suited to the benefits of a franchise business. Envirocare franchisees provide a service that is more professional and efficient than many of its local competitors and more personal and knowledgeable than the national players.
Franchise director Dan Archer says: “Our business is benefiting from the unique business environment. Many of our clients are looking for better value and the improved service that comes from a national player with industry leading accreditation. We are winning business from smaller, local competitors as clients choose a quality provider and, in addition, we are seeing new enquiries from businesses who cannot justify employing a full-time operative.”
Archer continues:“The franchise is ideally suited to anyone wanting to run a sustainable, flexible, low risk business. As a management franchise, our franchisees will employ teams who will actually cut the grass and maintain the sites. The franchisee’s time will be best spent running the business and building client relationships.”
Envirocare has a unique process for recruiting new clients and franchisees are supported through the process of finding new business and ensuring the service keeps clients satisfied. Envirocare was founded in 2005, but the team has many more years’ experience in the sector. A well proven system, ongoing field sales and business planning support, together with comprehensive training and both internal and external auditing, add up to a formidable support package.
Archer explains: “The grounds maintenance industry has many smaller operatives who never structure their service to meet the high standards that larger customers expect. Our systems are ISO 9001 and 14001 compliant, and our franchisees share this accreditation along with meeting the stringent standards associated with Contractors Health and Safety Assessment and the Safe Contractor Approval scheme.
“In addition, Envirocare has been twice recognised as a Gold winner in the annual ROSPA awards. All of this allows franchisees to access work that smaller competitors cannot and also enables smaller clients to experience a truly professional service.”
As the business world prepares to see a period of more sustained growth, Envirocare is well placed to benefit from the green shoots of recovery. Archer adds: “The economic environment has led to many businesses staying in existing sites and improving them, rather than moving to a new location. As the recovery starts, this situation will alter. Our service is equally well suited to new or existing businesses, so despite the downturn we have continued to grow.”
The investment required for an Envirocare franchise is £43,000 plus an indicative £10,000 working capital. Funding is available via the main franchise banks for up to 70 per cent of the total start-up cost. Franchisees will need £16,000-£18,000 in unencumbered funds and the desire to build a business where turnover can top £500,000 per annum and net profitability can exceed 30 per cent.