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Exclusive Interview: "Customers trust me thanks to the established brand name"

An Australian Franchisee Case Study

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Name: Terry Smith
Location: Templestowe
Franchise: VIP Home Services, Fencing and Home Maintenance

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?

I chose to go down the franchise route so I could have an experienced company label behind my new business venture. I chose V.I.P. Home Services – Fencing and Home Maintenance because of the familiarity with the building industry that I have been in for most of my working career.

What did you do before taking up a V.I.P. Franchise?

As a carpenter, I have worked in the domestic building industry as well as commercial and along the way I have ventured into different aspects outside of carpentry such as wardrobe fittings, plastering, ceramic tiling and most types of home renovations and maintenance.

How did you raise the finance?

Took it out on the mortgage.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

With my eight-week training schedule I touched on the unfamiliar computer side of the business, paling fencing and set up. I was trained how to quote jobs correctly as well as invoicing. I am able to ring my Franchise Master for any queries or concerns I might have and he is very happy to oblige.

What is a typical day for you as a V.I.P. franchisee?

Checking any emails first thing in the morning. Working on site for most of the day as well as attending to any calls or leads. Upon my return home, I again check any emails and reply if required. Some days I will spend the evening writing up quotes.

What challenges have you faced?

My biggest challenges are time management and trying not to feel overwhelmed. Also, servicing leads that have come through and trying to be prompt with getting quotes out and following up on quotes. The computer side of things is definitely a challenge to me so I have had to rely on Marcelle to assist me in this area.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

Initially becoming a franchisee has consumed most of my time. However, I feel that once I am more familiar with the running of the business I will be in a position to have the flexibility and options within my working career.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?

At the moment, I have been concentrating on servicing my leads, quotes and clients. My priority is to do a quality job to hopefully ensure that I will get referrals from my clients. I also advise my potential clients that I am a carpenter.

What differentiates your V.I.P. franchise from the competition?

I have found that some of the potential clients have felt more comfortable with a company with a label doing their job. Also, I have received positive feedback with our quoting format, ie that I list all materials and what the job entails.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?

Organisation! Organisation! Organisation!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?

Making sure that they understand the more you put in the more you get out. Don’t think that buying a franchise is going to buy you success but it will allow you the tools to be successful.

What are your plans for the future?

In the short-term future, I would like to be comfortable with the amount of work ahead of me. My long-term plans would be to employ somebody to assist me on the tools.

Would you do it again?

Yes, I would. To tell you the truth I wish I had done this 10 years ago!

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