Jim Penman started a part-time gardening business while earning his PhD in history at Latrobe University. He launched a full-time mowing business in 1982 with a $24 investment.
He originally aimed only at taking on subcontractors, but his business grew and he gradually began to specialise in the building up and selling of lawn mowing rounds. By 1989 he franchised his business, and since then Jim’s Mowing has become the largest franchise chain in Australian and the largest and best-known lawn mowing business in the world.
Jim’s Cleaning was launched in 1994, followed by more than 50 other divisions which now operate in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. Jim’s Group now has over 5,000 Franchisees and a turnover of approximately $500 million.
“The key to success in franchising is an overriding concern for the welfare of franchisees, and constant improvement in customer service.”
He is still actively involved in the running of the business, is directly accessible to all his Franchisees and to any client with a serious complaint.
He is funding a research program into the epigenetics of social behaviour, a continuation of his PhD work, which he believes could help in the treatment of mental illness and addictive disorders.
His books ‘Biohistory’, Biohistory: decline of the West’, and ‘Every Customer a Fan’ are available on Amazon and from his web site www.biohistory.org.