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Team chat – Sam and Dan

Hear about the experience of two of our business owners.  

It’s easy for us to tell you what starting a business in our network is like. It’s easy for us to tell you about the training and support, the marketing, the work available and all the reasons why joining a franchise network can be a really savvy decision… but, we know, that what actually bears more weight, is hearing it directly from someone doing it.  

So, our Director of Sales, Justin Kelly recently sat down with two of our business owners to talk about what their experience starting a franchise has been.  

Sam owns our James Home Services Interior Cleaning – Augustine Heights franchise, and Daniel owns our James Home Services Lawn & Garden Care – Harrington Park franchise.  

Justin: So, Sam, would you mind just sharing a bit about it? Obviously. Name what you do, where you’re from, what you did before James?

Sam: Absolutely. I’m Sam. I currently live in Augustine Heights, in Brisbane, in Queensland. I have an interior cleaning business and also a carpet cleaning business. I used to be a the operations transport operations person and also warehousing did that for over 20 years and decided to move onwards and upwards with James.

Daniel: Yeah. So my name’s Daniel. I am from Campbelltown in Sydney and I own lawn and garden care Harrignton Park. Before I joined James I had my own existing lawn and garden care business. Before that I was a franchisee again for Bakers Delight.

Justin: So what made you join a franchise like James Home Services?

Daniel: At the time, my work was scattered all over Sydney. I was just running 45 minutes to an hour between jobs. I was finding it hard to get out to market, hard to get customers. So I started looking for help and I came across the James network and I haven’t looked back since.

Justin: So has your business changed at all?

Daniel: Yeah, I do. Before I joined our 30 regulars and since I joined, I’ve grown that to 60 regulars within my my local district. So it’s doubled my business and my hourly rate has gone from about $40 up to almost $130 so. My travel now is 5 minutes at the max between jobs. 

Justin: I know Sam because we’ve spoken a lot previously, your previous job you did massive hours. Has having your own business changed that?

Sam: Yes. Night and day. I was doing about 70 hours a week just early in the morning till late at night. I was tired, run down. I ended up working out that I think I was working for about maybe $20 an hour after I did all those hours. Now I’m doing a quarter of that time and my average hourly rate is $105 an hour.

Justin: So your life has changed a little bit?

Sam: My life has changed significantly and I’m doing something for me. Yeah. Something to improve my future to the benefit of me and my family. 

Justin: So I guess what made you look at James? You know, there’s all sorts of businesses out there you could have looked at. So what was the drawcard? I guess first for you, Dan, what made you in enquire to James?

Daniel: You know, so I, as I said, I was looking for help, looking to expand the business and having prior experience within a franchise. I knew all the pros and the cons of it, and the pros far outweigh the cons, so it’s just a no brainer.

Justin: Where did you see where did you see James? Because, you know, we’re just expanding ourselves nationally. 

Daniel: I come across James on Facebook and I believe I put the inquiry in there and you got contact with me. It was within 24 hours you got in contact. 

Justin: For yourself Sam, where did you see James and what made you inquire?

Sam: I’d been looking for a really long time to expand my horizons. Clearly, I wasn’t happy where I was. Toyed with many different franchises and just went through the process. So I think I probably look for about 18 months. And then I came across James on Facebook and went backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards and then finally bit the bullet, submitted the inquiry and yeah, like Dan said, you know, you got in touch with me within 24 hours and you ride that initial journey with me with all my indecision and, and whatever not. But yeah, haven’t looked back.

Justin: So did all the jobs just fall into your lap, so to speak, when you joined James? What did you do to build? You guys obviously both have successful businesses. Did it fall into your laps? And if not, what did you have to do to sort of really get the ball rolling?

Sam: I think anything in life, if you want to succeed, nothing will ever fall into your lap. You have to work for it. You have to work hard for it. And not the leads didn’t fall into my lap. I did have some assistance and some support at the start with another franchisee and also with James, so I got a good leg in there. But yes, it’s a lot of hard work, consistent long, hard work, advertising, marketing, following up with your clients. You know, it’s constant. It’s not something that just comes to you overnight. You have to work.

Daniel: No no, you have to be proactive. You have to be out on the streets we are a service based business. So if the customers can’t see you, they don’t know about you. Yes. So you have to be out there being seen. You have to be doing the letterbox drops, doing the Facebook posts doing the various other sorts of marketing to be seen, and then they will come to you. There’s not many businesses out there where the customers will just come to you, you know? Yeah, every business needs to do marketing to get the customers outside of a shop in a mall, a shop in the shopping centre where the customers come to them, every business needs to be marketing to get customers.

Justin: How did you learn how to build your business?

Sam: When we go into our training, we have the in-depth training and it gives you all the tools, etc. that you can use to expand, establish and expand your business and those tools. And if you use them in the right way and you use them consistently, you will succeed.

Justin:  What’s been the highlights of the journey? What have you really enjoyed?

Sam: So many things, I’ve enjoyed and still enjoying the challenge that it constantly poses to me personally. I love my customer base. I have an amazing group of customers and learning new things every day and I’ve obviously learned a new skill with interior cleaning and carpet cleaning and just how to grow and develop my business. I’ve become quite an entrepreneur in the in such a short space of time. Still got a long way to go and a lot to learn. But yeah, I’ve embraced it and yeah, that’s probably the highlight and self development for me.

Daniel: For me, really, the highlights is one of the main reasons I joined is the support network. So before I joined as out the by myself, I had no support. No one help me build the business. Now that I joined and I’m in the franchise, I have a business coach, I have support from other franchisees. I have you on my phone if I need to maybe call you for help. It’s just the whole network.

Justin: What have been the tough things? What have you found tough in the business? 

Sam: Driving myself constantly every day, you know, pushing myself. It’s been a physical toll. Also from going and sitting on my backside in an office for X amount a long time and then going out on the tools. doing the work, you know. But that’s also been rewarding also. I’ve found the physical challenge quite a, quite a thing. And yeah, just learning new things.  I don’t see it as a challenge as such, but a journey and, you know, and a learning process. But yeah, probably the physical part for me is the biggest one yet.

Daniel: Well, I haven’t really found too much tough. Every now and then, we’re only humans and there’ll be maybe a day or two where you you just not motivated, you maybe don’t have much work on for the day and you look at your calendar, there’s nothing there and you’ve got to motivate yourself and push yourself to get out there. So that may be one of the things.

Justin: Dan, you’re a lawn and garden business in Sydney, a cold winter climate. That’s got to be tough at times, is it? The seasonality of it. How do you try and sort your cashflow for the seasonality side of things?

Daniel: You’ve got to put away the money away in the busy times, say during summer, you’ve got to put away as much as you can. That way you can always there for winter. Yeah, but you know, in saying that winter time also be very profitable. A lot of businesses can make more in winter than in summer just because you’ve got the big ticket jobs. I call it banking jobs. During summer, If somebody asks for something and it’s coming up to the end of summer.

Justin: Often, when I’m talking to people considering a James Home Services franchise in the first phone chat, one of the key concerns people have is we have what’s called a protected area as a franchisee or an exclusive territory. Does that restrict you?  Have you found it restricting having a protected area? 

Daniel: For me, I haven’t no. I haven’t found it restrictive at all, because you’ve got your protected area, which is, from what I understand, it averages out to about three and a half thousand houses per area. But then you’ve also got your privileged area. Aside of that, yes, average out to another 30,000 plus homes. So yeah, there’s definitely more than enough.

Sam: Absolutely no impact at all, no impact at all. The really strange thing is, is yes, we have our protected in our privilege areas, but up until this point and I’m just starting to get a lot of traction in the last probably 6 to 8 weeks in my protected area, the majority of my business has been in my privileged area. So, you know, and now I’m starting to get local traction because obviously people are talking and I’m getting referrals and things like that. So yes, no, no restriction whatsoever. 

Justin: The other question then is do you find the team around you, provide you with any sort of support and help? So not talking about, you know, your business coach or the head office, but the actual franchisees, do you find the network help you at all?

Sam: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. From the get go, a couple of particular one of our larger franchisees in the network were, you know, absolutely, categorically, you know, my support system, they gave me leads, supported me. And as we’ve had new people come on into the area, like we’ve even had some catch ups, we’ve had coffee, you know, And I was talking to one of them last night. So it’s just a phone call away.

Justin: One of the innovations we’ve recently implemented is  a ‘bolt on’ model, which I think both of you are aware of. The idea being you start with one business and then as you see opportunities in your local market, you can ‘bolt on’ another service. So Sam you’ve now taken on a bolt on. Would you mind sharing which one and why and how it works?

Sam: I’m always chasing, looking for something more as we talk about Justin and you’re also guiding with things like that. And but I took on the carpet cleaning bolt on the opportunity arose that the network had some second hand equipment at a very competitive price. And it seemed like a logical transition based on the interior cleaning that you know with bond cleans and I have an existing customer base of interior cleaning that it seem logical to do carpets. And it’s actually starting to I took that on about three months ago and it’s really starting to get its legs now. 

Daniel: Yeah. I had another brief chat to the business coach Alan about this. At the time I did bring up a possibility of pest control but he’s steered me towards exterior cleaning and pressure washing. It just, there’s a lot of legal things to do with pest control and licenses and things. At the moment I’m definitely thinking about adding on the exterior and pressure cleaning. 

Justin: Do you have any words of advice for people considering starting a James Home Services business? 

Sam: Things that they should be looking and thinking about is are they in a position to put all of themselves into the business? You have to commit. You just cannot sit back and go, I’m going to buy this franchise and sit back and wait for the work. You have to work for it in order to get the work. So I would say and to back yourself. So if you’re going to commit, you’ve got to go all in. It’s, you know, this now, it’s all or nothing.

Daniel: I agree with everything that Sam just said. I think if you’re not afraid of hard work and you like to get out of your comfort zone, then I think you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

If you’ve been thinking about a franchise, why not start with just a simple conversation with one of our team. No pressure, no sales tactics and no obligation, just a chat so we can answer some of your questions and share more information with you. Submit an enquiry and one of our team to give you a call! 

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