An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Ian Franke
Location: Camden, NSW
Why did you choose franchising? And Nanotek franchise?
I was actually forced into medical retirement from the police force after an arrest at Sydney’s Kings Cross but I also was very ready for a career and lifestyle change. Five years before the incident my wife asked me what I’d do if I wasn’t a policeman and I said I’d like to own my own car detailing business.
I started looking around and came across car cleaning franchise Nanotek and it was pretty hard to look past it – I remember going through all the franchise and business magazines and it really appealed to me. The liquid polymer nanotechnology product Nanotek uses to clean cars looked great and all the company reports were solid.
What did you do before taking up your Nanotek franchise?
I spent 20 years in the NSW police service in a variety of challenging roles. Some of the highlights include APEC security command and the water police during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. As any first time business owner I was pretty apprehensive about how it would all go but it has worked out well.
How did you raise the finance?
I got a business loan through our community credit union – I like to keep things local. It was $90,000 to start my business – $47,000 on the territory and $35,000 to purchase the car outright (but you can also lease it).
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Initially I received a two week induction from head office where they gave me insight into the market and how it worked and spent a lot of time showing me the best way to target it. Nanotek also has regular franchisee workshops, which will soon be done online so we can do them in our own time, and a state and national conference each year.
What challenges have you faced?
Starting out with a new business for the first time – it was challenging establishing a customer base and making myself known in the community but then I landed two big contracts and had to employ a few “helpers”. I had to learn good time management and how to work effectively.
Customers are also very interested in our unique car cleaning process (the spray-on liquid polymer nanotechnology product we use doesn’t require water) so it was important to become an expert on the process and give them the information they want.
Has becoming a Nanotek franchise owner changed your life, if so how?
Yes. It is really encouraging when you own your own business – I wake up in the morning excited and actually looking forward to the day. There are also perks to Nanotek being a preferred detailer – this year we detailed a lot of the cars at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, which is exciting.
It’s also a great chance to get involved in the local community and I particularly enjoy my involvement at a business level. I’m Vice President of the South West Networking Group and a member of the Camden Chamber of Commerce. I was recently one of the first franchisees to join the FCA’s Franchisee Success Club and this was hugely encouraging only one year after starting my business.
The biggest change is I now have the flexibility to plan my week so I’m spending more time with the family and living the life I want to live. My wife and I have actually just bought a piece of land and we’re about to start building a house on it for our young family.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
I think the most important thing is to study the area they are looking at so they can be sure they can sustain the franchise. With most franchises if you have the commitment and stick to the franchise system everything will be okay and your level of success will be determined by how much work you put into your business.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re currently building a house and starting our young family. My business plans for the future will involve purchasing a second territory and taking on more of a management role in my business.
Would you do it again?
Yes, definitely. Knowing what I know now, I’d probably plan for faster growth.
About Nanotek franchise
Nanotek is an Australian owned mobile car cleaning franchise also operating in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America.
It uses advanced liquid polymer nano-technology to clean cars right up to a detailing standard – the unmatched quality has resulted in Nanotek looking after the requirements of some of the world’s top car manufacturers.
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