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How TopGrass U.K. Grew With RealGreen

The Company:

A U.K. Pioneer in Lawn Care

A RealGreen customer since 2006, United Kingdom-based TopGrass offers essential lawn care treatments, including weed killers, fertilisers, and moss treatments; aeration and scarification; and additional services, including water conserver treatment, soil improver treatment, red thread treatment (a common fungal disease in the U.K.), grub control treatment, and fertilisation of borders and beds.

TopGrass Logo 2018 - colour with shadow

The Problem:

Growing in an Untested Market

Founder Tom Arnold worked for Bayer for many years. Through that position, he had a chance to learn about lawn care in the U.S. and saw an opportunity for growth in the U.K. One large franchise company dominated the entire industry, with very few independent operators. The market was ripe for expansion. In 2005, Tom started TopGrass.

With one outside employee and two vans, TopGrass was initially run without software – Tom used a spreadsheet to keep everything organized. He soon realized that a spreadsheet was not robust enough to handle the growth he envisioned, so he started looking for lawn-specific business software that could help his operations run more efficiently while supporting his expanding company. He soon found that there really weren’t any viable options in the U.K., so he turned to the U.S. – and discovered RealGreen.

The Solution:

An Industry-Specific Software Built for Growth

IMG_20230616_075406.496 (1)After a demo, Tom felt that he had found the right fit: a company that understood the industry, had created software specifically for companies like his, and shared his vision of sustainable, steady growth. He felt that RealGreen and TopGrass would be able to grow together.

“Obviously, there are software companies in the U.K.,” says Chief Operating Officer Katie Arnold. “But either they are not designed for lawn care, in which case you have to try to shoehorn your customer data into it, or they’re small and not terribly well-established. We are focused on growth and stability, and we need our software company to be able to grow with us.”

After signing on with RealGreen in 2006, TopGrass has, in fact, grown alongside them. According to Katie Arnold, “As the software has progressed, we’ve pretty much been the first ones in the U.K. to sign on for new products and services. I remember when we still used to scan production slips to put into the system one by one. The day we switched to Mobile Live and that information would automatically go into the system – I think we saved an entire day a week of someone just scanning slips. Every single progression has only been positive in saving us time and money.”

The Results:

Steady, Sustainable Growth With a Trusted Partner

20230615_151243 (1) (1)After starting small with one employee, two vans, and around 500 customers, TopGrass has grown into the largest independent lawn care company in the U.K. Today, they have 6,600 customers, 30 employees, and 18 vans, and their yearly revenue is approximately £1.7 million, which equates to about $2.1 million in USD.

“Tom has told me that when he first saw RealGreen, he saw the potential for the software to grow with us as a company. He didn’t want to choose software that would be limiting after five years. RealGreen was reinvesting, growing, and adding new software and services, and he saw how we could grow together. And that has happened,” says Katie Arnold.

She adds, “The software has definitely been fantastic for our business. But I would also say an equal level of fantastic is the opportunity to come to the U.S. for the Users Conferences. The sheer amount of changes, additions, and business ideas we have gotten from those annual visits to America – it’s huge. We have added services we had never heard of in the U.K. where we said, ‘Well, why can’t we do that?’ We’ve learned about so many different companies and their struggles, and we absolutely learned from all of that.”

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