Doing it the right way with franchising and Jim's Fencing
An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Justin Williams
Location: Patterson Lakes, Melbourne
Franchise: Jim’s Fencing
Why did you choose franchising?
Previously I started a business from scratch and faced the challenges that most new businesses do. Generating work was difficult and time consuming because you were an unknown quantity to the public. The other main challenge is that there is NO support when times are tough from people who may have experienced the same thing you were going through.
With franchising you have the opportunity to use an established brand to build your business. There is also a network of people that you can turn to for advice who are going through or have been through the same challenges you are facing.
What did you do before taking up your Jim's Fencing franchise?
I am a car mechanic by trade and worked my way into a position in a major car manufacturer in customer support.
How did you raise the finance?
At first I went through the traditional avenues of banks and brokers. It is difficult to raise finance if you don’t own your house and have nothing to secure against. I was fortunate that a family member was generous enough to loan me the money to get started.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Initially there was extensive paperwork which detailed all of the things that would need to be done before starting to operate a business. Only after all of these items were complete was I able to start the 8 week on the job training. After finishing training and going out on my own I received a call from the franchisor at least once a week. The trainers and franchisor have also made themselves available for me when I have needed someone to discuss issues with or bounce ideas off.
What is a typical day for you as a Jim's Fencing franchisee?
Before I leave for work in the morning I spend some time answering emails and planning for the next day, week and month. I then head off to the job site and carry out the work that is required for the day. During working hours I field calls from clients to discuss bookings, acceptances etc. If I am quoting and have finished on site, I will carry out any quotes that I have booked and head home. When I get home I finish the quotes I have done that day if any and retire for the evening.
What challenges have you faced?
Initially it takes a lot of work to get hit the ground running once training is finished. With fencing you start taking client leads at week 5 of training to give every opportunity of having work when you go out on your own. This means that as well as doing a full day’s work you then have to go out and do a substantial number of quotes, write them up and send them out. I my case this meant working 7 days a week and up to 12 hour days. It is hard work for the individual and hard to be away from the family so this was the biggest challenge. Having said this the work has paid off.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It is only early days for me as a franchisee but can already see a financial benefit and there is certainly a freedom that you feel working for yourself.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
I had a discussion with a friend of my partner just recently and she told me she would love to buy a Jims’ but it was not the right time and the family needed a steady income at this point. Whilst I understand her point I don’t think there is a perfect time to buy a business and there is always a risk involved. If you are driven and motivated to succeed regardless of the circumstances then just go for it.
What are your plans for the future?
Over the next 12 months I plan to focus on building consistency within the business and maximising income.
Would you do it again?
I have no regrets at all and would do it all again in a heartbeat.