Wrexham business: Top entrepreneur shares secrets of growing company

One of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs will be revealing the secrets of his success to business professionals in Wrexham.

Stephen Waring, who founded the market-leading GreenThumb lawn care company, defied the recession to record a remarkable period of growth during the downturn.

Mr Waring will be among the guest speakers at a meeting of the Wrexham Business Professionals group – made up of accountants and solicitors.

The meeting at the town’s Ramada Plaza on Wednesday, April 24, will be attended by Group members and their guests from the business sector.

Mr Waring will be joined by Neil Ashbridge, the Bank of England’s Agent in Wales, Sir Jon Shortridge, the Chancellor of  Glyndŵr University, and David Jones, the Principal and Chief Executive of Deeside College.

Neil Ashbridge will give a private, off-the-record update on the economy while Sir Jon Shortridge and David Jones will explain the role education can play in meeting the needs of business in a developing economy, and the importance of providing a seamless progression from education to business and industry.

GreenThumb saw a 48 per cent increase in turnover from £34.8 million to £51.6 million.

At the same time, the number of customers went up from 333.258 in 2009 to the current figure of 453,171.

They now have a network of 220 franchises around the UK – an increase of 40 during the same period.

Speaking on behalf of Wrexham Business Professionals, Gill Atkinson, a director of Chartered Accountants Coxeys, said: “We are delighted to have been able to have three such able people to address the meeting. It promises to be a fascinating occasion.”

Mr Waring will give members an insight how he developed the GreenThumb brand as a household name and how he went about making it such a successful business..

With 90 per cent of the current UK lawn care market,  GreenThumb is way out ahead of its rivals.

The company is regularly cited as one of the country’s top five franchise operations in terms of performance and profitability.

GreenThumb’s humble beginnings in 1986 are the stuff of which business legends are made.

Mr Waring was just 20 when he invested £64 in 1,000 leaflets, put a bucket of fertiliser in the back of his Sierra estate car and knocked on doors offering to feed and weed lawns.

He believes that having half a million customers will be a significant milestone in GreenThumb’s history – but there is still huge potential for continued growth.

With 20 million gardeners in the UK, he is confident GreenThumb can eventually provide a service for five million customers.

Mr Waring has now also established a new, innovative business, Monolith UK which aims to revolutionise the construction industry.

Through Monolith he has invested more than £1 million in developing easy-to-fit, eco-friendly external wall panels.

The panels fit together like a jigsaw and can reduce labour costs by up to 75 per cent. They can be applied to existing properties or used in the construction of new buildings.

The insulated “architectural enhancements” – BrickPlus and StonePlus – can replicate the look of any brick or stone facade – and can even be used on listed buildings.

Mr Waring said: “I was delighted to be able to be invited to address the Wrexham Business Professionals group and I am looking forward to sharing my insights and hearing about their experiences.”

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