David “Jim” Penman is an Australian businessman and historian in the field of biohistory. He is the owner of Jim’s Group which has nearly 5000 service franchisees. He has self-published books, based partially on his work with a lab he funds at La Trobe University. In short there’s much more to Jim than lawn mowing. 

Jim’s passion is customer service; it keeps him awake at night. Anyone who doesn’t obsess over customer service won’t have a long career within the Jim’s Group. Every complaint is not just taken seriously but offers a chance to improve the service. Every franchisee protects their star ratings passionately and if they don’t then they might be on the end of a Jim’s breach notice. 

Customer service with heart is what this group is all about. Doing the right thing by their customers and their staff by creating a sense of community and a place to belong. High retention rates are a huge focus with Jim, his staff and the thousands of franchisees trading with Brand Jim. 

Jesse caught up with Jim for a fascinating chat which at times gets emotional. There’s no doubt Jim cares but find out why caring is also great for business. Business is so good for the Jim’s Group that money taken for advertising has been returned to franchisees because they can’t keep up with demand and are actually turning business away. I urge you to listen to the entire podcast but here are some key moments: 


In this episode we discuss:

  • [17:30] – Finding better ways to deal with customer complaints. No one likes a complaint but they’re often a perfect way to improve the service or determine if you have the right person representing your business. Listen how Jim created his star rating system.
  • [20.30] –  Advertising is crucial in any business so find out why Jim when they need to market only uses an online platform.
  • [24.08] – Find out when Jim knew he was onto something special and the type of person that will never join or last in the Jim’s Group.
  • [27.52] – The on boarding system at Jim’s is first class. Anyone coming in knows immediately what the expectations are given excellent support so they can thrive.
  • [32.20] – Any business can be emotionally draining and hear a moment that changed the way Jim thought about mental health and the systems now in place.
  • [38.37] – Jim lives and breathes community. He knows the power of it and why it offers a sense of belonging and purpose.


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