Owner Darren Taylor reflects on the company’s quarter-century achievement.

LEADING stump-grinding operation Stumpbusters has been celebrating 25 years as a franchise operation.

The firm of stump-grinding contractors was established in 1991 and sold its first franchise in 1995. In 2006, Darren Taylor bought the Dorset franchise followed swiftly by three more, before eventually buying the entire franchise operation in 2013. It is now part of his Taylor Made Franchising group of franchises.

Stumpbusters franchisees grind out tree stumps from a variety of locations, from golf courses and large site clearances, to parks and private homes. They also hold national contracts with organisations such as the National Trust.

When he purchased the business in 2013, Taylor quickly grew the franchise base and negotiated the sale of the company’s first master franchise in Holland.

There are currently 21 Stumpbusters franchises operating over 41 territories, with only five territories left for sale: Cornwall, Oxford, Kent, North West of England and Edinburgh.

Reflecting on the franchise’s anniversary, Darren said: “I’m enormously proud that Stumpbusters is still thriving 25 years after it first franchised. We have some franchisees who are on their fifth and sixth five-year agreement renewals, which is testament to the strength of the brand and the rewards they are reaping from their businesses.

“Things have changed immeasurably since I purchased my first territory in 2006. In the early days we could only import the big equipment from America. Now, not only can we source small, high-powered machines here in the UK, but we have also designed and built our own 38 hp stump grinder, of which we have six now working successfully across the network.”

With access often being an issue, Stumpbusters is also the sole importer of a small, lightweight stump grinder that can be carried through a home if necessary.

“Having bought the UK dealership in 2016 we are now the sole importers of Alpine Magnums to the UK. Naturally, our franchisees are at an advantage having this piece of equipment, which they buy from us at a significantly discounted price – helping them to gain maximum returns on their franchise fee.

“Having been a Stumpbusters franchisee myself for many years, I know exactly the issues they are facing out there every day and am delighted to bring them new pieces of equipment to help make their job easier whenever I can.”

The future is looking positive for Stumpbusters with the potential for a new German master franchise not far away.

Darren added: “As a mature franchise we can’t afford to rest on our laurels; being the number-one stump-grinding business in the UK is important to me and to the franchisees and we don’t intend on taking our foot off the pedal anytime soon.

“We will continue to improve and innovate, ensuring we have a franchise fit for the next 25 years.”


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