World Cup winning All Black Bernie McCahill who used to sprint across the turf at Eden Park is these days turning his safe hands to the business of lawn mowing.
McCahill, who was a member of the 1987 World Cup All Blacks team, has bought a 50 percent share in the 52 Jim’s Mowing franchises in Auckland.
He was looking for some cash-flow and thought lawn mowing would be an easy business to get in to, and out of.
``It also stood out as the best mowing franchise to me. After being in it for a while, I started dreaming about being the franchisor. I mowed lawns for Jim’s for 20 months first which in hindsight was a great thing to do. I doubt you could support the franchisees fully, if you don’t understand the highs and lows,’’ McCahill said today.
``Our guys mow about 110,000 lawns a year but we’re turning business away because our existing franchisees are at capacity - and it’s winter. They are not taking on new work so we have room for more franchisees. We turned down 79 jobs in 24 days in February alone.
``People these days are using the weekends to spend time with their kids and leisure activities. We are concerned that we will be turning down a lot more work from spring to the end of autumn next year.’’
McCahill said Jim’s Mowing, the biggest lawn mowing franchise in the world, provided on-going solid support to ensure the franchisees were given every opportunity to be successful in a strong organisation.
McCahill’s 50-50 partner in Jim’s Mowing is Keven Clarke of Melbourne. Clarke and Malcolm Wallwork were the trail-blazers who took Jim’s Mowing on their first overseas excursion, to Auckland.
There are 275 Jim’s Mowing franchisees in New Zealand and McCahill wants to get the Auckland set up humming before looking to other parts of the country. McCahill comes from a hugely successful family drain-laying business.
``Dad had us on a shovel before I could walk. I have mostly done labouring type jobs, like concrete laying, pipe-laying, earthworks, etc. I left the family business in 2006 to concentrate on residential property, rentals and some spec developments. I also have a foot in a commercial building.’’
McCahill, who played 32 matches and 10 tests for the All Blacks, is still quite involved with Marist rugby in Auckland. He likes to watch his old school St Peter’s 1st XV from time to time.