Franchisee clocks up 20 years in business: Jim’s Mowing

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments


How many lawns does a Jim's franchisee mow? Well, if you've been in the mobile network as long as franchisee Daryl Sullivan, the answer is more than 35,000 lawns!

Daryl has notched up 20 years as a Jim's Mowing franchisee in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs, making him the longest serving franchisee in the group.

When he bought his Hampton lawn mowing round off Jim Penman in May 1992 the fledgling franchise company had been in operation for just a couple of years and had 130 mowing franchisees throughout Australia. Two decades later and the company now has almost 3400 franchisees across 30 divisions worldwide.

Daryl and his wife Gail decided to buy the franchise when Daryl was made redundant from his banking job after 27 years of service.

"In retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was 44 years old and weighed a very unhealthy 90 plus kilos after so many years in a desk job," Daryl says. "Within a few months of mowing, I was down to a much a healthier weight and feeling fitter than ever. At my peak I was mowing about 15 lawns a day, I'd go from sun-up to sundown. I had a five year plan and was determined to be successful."

However the five year plan was scrapped as the business proved more successful than Daryl and his wife expected, and Gail joined the business. And Daryl has kept going, despite some health setbacks in recent years.

"I have had to deal with two brain tumours – the first one in 1999 and then again in 2011 – but I am pleased to say I have now got the all clear. I do have a chronic blood disorder as well which means I tire easily these days and need to be closely monitored, but I'm able to manage that, and the support I get from Des, my franchisor, is fantastic.

"It would have been very difficult to keep the business afloat if I wasn't part of Jim's."

Daryl admits that with his 65th birthday looming he is considering slowing down.

"Maybe I'll just wind back a little bit. I do enjoy getting out there and looking after the clients and being part of the Jim's Mowing family, so I would miss all that if I retired.

"I've still got some of the clients I have had since day one," Daryl says.

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