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The Real Franchise – Episode 2 – The 2% Club

Watch the full episode of The Real Franchise Episode 2 – here

Rhiannon – Hello and welcome to The Real Franchise, a video series designed to deliver real information, real answers, and real insights into franchising.

This series is brought to you by James Home Services Australia. I’m Rhiannon the CEO and Justin is one of our owners and our Director of new businesses. Together, we’re going to tackle all of the big topics unscripted, unplanned and unfiltered. No sales, no fluff. We’re just going to give you the information straight up. Today’s topic is all about who do we want?

Who do we want as new business owners in our network. And over the last four years of ownership, we really have learned who makes it in these businesses and who finds it a little bit challenging. So we thought that today’s topic could be a deep dive into who are we looking for? Who is our ideal new business owner?

Justin I feel like there is no better person to be having this conversation with. You have spent four years talking to all sorts of people who have had an interest and have made an inquiry in joining our network. What are some of the biggest key takeouts of the last four years that we have learned when it comes to who are we really looking for as a business owner in our network?

Justin – What I found, over the thousands of people I’ve talked to over the dozens and dozens of people who have started with us, there’s really two groups of people that I find really, really do.

Well, you know, yesterday, the outliers in that, that, that, surprises. But consistently the two groups of people that we see that this is really suited to, the mums and dads, right, that, have been in the workforce, you know, maybe 10 or 15 years, might have a young family, teenagers, older kids that have left home, that sort of, couple of some sort that have worked and, and want, that change, you know, been stuck in the grind.

And so, you know, I don’t want to earn $1 million a year, but I find the people that want to build an employer, and we do have employers, franchisees who have employers in this business. But if you come in expecting an employer, that’s probably not the thing for you, where often people that really get the most joy and satisfaction out of that franchise, these couples that value that work life balance, yes, they want a decent income.

You know, I guess I’m not going to earn millions of dollars a year, but I schedule my time. I’m in control of my time. I get to pick who I work for, where I work, the sorts of jobs I do, all that sort of stuff. So that’s sort of the one group of people I find that it works, really. And almost and I’m sure you’d agree, almost every single one of those sort of people, not real or in one way or another.

Rhiannon – Yeah, they really do. They come in with a really they come in with a slightly different mindset and they have, their approached who’s one of stability. And they, they want to do this because often they want more time to actually be together.

Sometimes one of them has been a Fifo worker or a shift worker. There’s been passing ships in the night. They’ve been parenting kids maybe for ten years or so, but the schedules just never happen to align. They might get dinner together, and that’s about it. You know, life is busy and hectic and they want they actually kind of want to do this to spend more time together, which is a really lovely thing.

I think that’s such a genuine, just such a genuine reason for wanting to start a business is that actually they want to enjoy each other’s company again. So we find that they come in with a really different mindset and it’s really focused on each other. But it’s also really, interesting because really what we’re talking about is people kind of in their late 30s and into their 40s, you know, and they’ve perhaps got the perhaps got kids that maybe a little bit older kids, you know, the kids are definitely in school and beginning to find a little bit more self-sufficiency.

You know, they don’t necessarily need to be picked up 3:00 they find their own way home or they go hang out with friends. And so, you know, the mum and dad have a little bit more time to be able to spend in the business. So can can they out doing stuff for themselves at that time of day. And so they just come in with a mindset around stability and, you know, working really hard because they want to build something for themselves.

And it’s really interesting. I also find when we sort of talk to these individuals who have who up, who are this profile, who have come into our network and been really successful when you boil it down, nine times out of ten, what they wanted to do, it forwards to get more time together, to have that flexibility up their schedule and attitude talk about.

But so often it’s also about my kids are getting older and we want to set a really good example for them. We want to show them that you can be your own business owner. You can you can write your own schedule. You can, you can run your own business. You know, self-employment isn’t a scary thing. You can do it.

So often it’s about wanting to set that example. And I just find that really fascinating. Such a driver for so many.

Justin – Yeah. And I think to many of us there comes a point where we realize life is passing by. You know, I’ve only got one life. And and there’s more to it than just putting in massive hours. That boss, you know, just delivering a profit for the company I work for and that sort of thing, you know, and so many of the couples that I talk to, that’s the messaging, you know, I’ve got a great couple I’m working with or meeting with at the moment on the Gold Coast in, you know, he starts work at one in the morning, gets home, gets a make sure the kids are right after school. She works a normal job that it’s pretty high level sales. And so she gets I’m usually 6 or 7. So they have 6 to 7:00 together. That’s it. And then he’s to bed and life and they just ships in the night like you were saying earlier.

And that sort of person, or that because I can support one another. You know, usually what happens in those situations, one will start the business, the other one will stay in the job just for that cash flow security. And then as the business takes off, the other partner may, join. And I see what I often see is that when that’s when the business really takes off, just having, you know, the strengths often I find the, the people that we’re in a long term relationship with have strengths and areas where we don’t.

And so when they get in the business together, then I really pay ahead. Yeah. a bit of a funny story. Just yesterday, I was talking to one of our business coaches who’s working with the new couple. I won’t actually say which city they’re in because it might give them away, but, they were saying they’ve been together for a long time, and we never thought, you know, ‘We never have fights.”

But since we’ve started, they’ve been going about three weeks “We’ve been having heaps of barnies!” and talking about all these things that it’s. But they were laughing and joking and how it’s been a good thing. because it’s sort of a different facet because they’ve never worked together. Yeah. Right. And it’s they, they’re working out and the coach has been working, with them on.

Yeah. You know, like on my wife and I’ve, and we’ve worked together in business and we’ve had to have different areas of responsibilities and things like that so that we’re not stepping on each other’s toes and all of that. So just working through those little things.

Rhiannon – There’s certainly ways to manage it, isn’t there? And when you start working together and I mean, maybe there’s my gosh, maybe there are people watching this thinking I could never work with my partner.

 And I mean, I’m kind of one of those, I think, gosh, I could never work with my partner. But there are lots of ways that, there are lots of ways to make it work. And what we really find often is that, our strongest partnerships in businesses have very different strengths to each other. You know, someone will be sales based and someone will be admin based, or someone will be the doer and get stuff done.

And the motivator and the passionate person and the other person will be the calm, reserved, make sure all of the ducks are in the right. And naturally, when you have people who are in there different who are different to each other, you know you put that together in a pressure cooker environment of a new business. And yeah, you’re going to be learning things about each other you didn’t previously know.

But there are so many ways that business coaches help. I mean, this is nothing new for us. We’ve seen it all before at this point in there’s always stuff that we can, you know, that we help with and they’re always strategies to work through this.

Justin – Yeah. I mean that’s the first group of people. Oh sorry. Well you’re going to say something.

Rhiannon – Oh, I just had a really funny little anecdote because we were talking about couples. And so I was recently training a new couple, to go into a business. And I had asked them what was the moment? What was your moment? What was the moment you knew you had to get out of employment and you had to do something for yourself and the husband, he looks at me and he says, “Do you know, last financial year I made my boss $2.9 million in savings” $2.9 million!

And I like I looked at him in dismay, like “That’s an awful lot of money to save.” You know, that’s not extra revenue. That’s a saving. He’s found some way. So this organization is large. And I looked at him and I said, “Wow, I’m hoping you got a bonus out of that.” And he said “Nothing, I got nothing, not even any recognition.” He said that was my moment.

So, so many people, you know, they start looking for alternatives when where they are isn’t giving them recognition. You know, they’re working that over time they’re putting in and there’s not even a thank you so often, you know, to get a pay rise to get time off. There’s not even verbal recognition for the hard work that people do.

And so, yeah, this story just has stuck in my mind ever since. I just can’t I can’t fathom working for an organisation, making that kind of an impact and not even receiving a hey, thanks, I really appreciate you. No wonder he started looking at alternatives, and no wonder he wanted to do something for himself because he followed up and kept saying, if I work that hard and find that kind of saving in my business, then it goes in my pocket.

I get to do something with that money. I don’t want to be doing this for a boss anymore. Yeah, yeah.

So you mentioned the second group. What’s our second group?

Justin – So the second group. So the first group is really the couple that, that, that have been working for sort of 10, 15 years or so on at least that really appreciate really do well in this in in the second group often a really interesting group, I really relate to, the middle aged guys, as I’ll say, some are younger, some are a bit older, but that have really the same things sick of, of many of them have been in management, running teams of staff and just sick of the pressure cooker, want a life change.

Want to get outside and jump into a lawn and garden or a cleaning business or one of those two. We got guys doing both. And just love the freedom of being able to, you know, we’ve got one of the lawn and garden guys in my town that he’s earning two, three times what he used to. Easy. And he works three and a half days a week. You know, he keeps Friday. I know he has every Monday off. And he keeps Friday afternoon up his sleeve so he can go out with his wife to the pub or whatever.

He’s just loving it,  and he’s doing three and a half days a week, earning 3 to 4 times what he was earning prior to that, in the pressure cooker of a management role.

Rhiannon – And these guys, it’s still got so much energy. And you know what I find? I stand back and I marvel at their work ethic because this group that you’re talking about, boy I boy do they work hard.

They pull out all the stops. But something else that they do that really sets them apart from others. And this is common to with the first group, the happy husband & wife teams or you know, the partner couples. something that they do is they, they genuinely understand that this is their business.

They’re not an employee of James. They are their own business owner. And what that actually means is that you are in control, but also responsible for the outcomes in your business. So, you know, do we send you thousands and thousands of leads that are just coming at your eyes and you can just, you know, it’s a walk up start, you know? No, that’s not kind of how our model works.

You know, we send you leads but we teach you go out and market your businesses. We teach you how to go and get the leads that you want, and in the volumes that you want, so that you’re in control, because that’s why you came to us. You want to control. You wanted to get out of the grind. You wanted to get out of the commute.

You wanted to get out of that role that had you working 12 hours a day and, you know, never seeing any greater return than just a basic salary. You wanted to get out of all of that, and you wanted to take control and get in the drivers seat. We teach you exactly how to do that. And I find that both these groups, what they have in common is that absolute ownership over the idea that “This is my business. If I want this to work, I will make it work.” And I just think that is the recipe to success. I mean, where we’re two episodes of The Real Franchise then, and frankly, that is the recipe for success in small business. Understanding that if you want the business to work and be successful, you got to make that happen.

And if you have that mindset, you’re halfway there. Frankly, you really are.

Justin – Yeah, I heard a saying many years ago that “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”  And I find, like I said, the key of success in this business, in any small business is taking ownership. You know the people as I said earlier, I talk to hundreds and hundreds of people every month in the vast majority have this perception that if I join a franchise, they’re just going to send me all the jobs and I just go do the jobs, you know, nice and easy. Really I’m just an employee.

Right. But it’s that expectation right from the start that you send me everything. It’s on you, not on me. Right. And that concerns me also on those people. Like we have a discussion obviously, just to see if they can understand that. No, no, no, if you’re going to succeed, it’s got to be yeah. You got to take a bit of responsible. You’ve got to take responsibility. Yes there’s heaps we do. We’ve got 30 years’ experience. We we’ve got a great marketing team. We’ve got great business coaches that work with our people. But at the end of the day, it’s the business owner that’s got to get up every morning and put all this stuff into practice.

Yeah, I sort of I always describe it to people. It’s like having a Ferrari in your garage. So wonderful. But it does nothing for you till you get it and actually go use it. Yeah, well, you can have the best tool in the world, but until you use it, it’s useless. It’s just a lump of metal and it’s the same with the with the James franchise.

You know, it’s the to me the Rolls Royce of franchises. But it does nothing for you to actually use it. Yeah. And so that’s the key. Yeah. Like you said, it’s the number one key. It’s just taking that responsibility. Yeah. yeah.

Rhiannon – So if those two groups are who we’re looking for, who are we not looking for?

I mean, let’s go there because we, we’re touting this series as. Let’s be real, let’s be unfiltered. Let’s be frank. Okay? So who are we not looking for? I’ll kick it off, because this is, you know, it’s difficult to actually say, hey, we’re not looking for everyone. You know, we have a little saying in James, a 2% club, right?

And it’s 2% who make it all the way through from an inquiry to actually starting a business. Now, part of that is that, you know, they get partway through our information process and they realize that our model isn’t quite for them. And those are the sorts of people that you’re talking about in that their expectation is that essentially, they behave as a subcontractor in our network, and we just send them to work and they do the work.

And just in reality, that’s not how we work, that’s not our model. And so we’ve just got to be really upfront with people who have that expectation and say, hey, look, you know, there are other models that probably are more aligned with what you’re looking for. It’s not us. So there’s a portion of people who, you know, throughout the information process learn that really it’s not for them.

But there’s also some people who we actually just say upfront, hey, we don’t think that we’re going to be a good fit for you. So you’re a director of new businesses. What are some of those scenarios where you might have to have that conversation with someone and say, hey, look, I just don’t think that we’re going to be a great fit.

And if we if we both proceed, this ends in tears and we don’t want that. Yeah. What is some of those scenarios?

Justin – I think some of the, basics to put on the table. First people have to have a clean police check. Right. We do a lot of work with, aged care, disability, the vulnerable, those sorts of things and we’re in people’s homes and yards. So fundamentally we have an application process that we get everybody to go through after some of the initial information stuff. So, that so we can assess these sorts of things. And I had a gentleman in Melbourne just last week. what do you mean? I’ve got to apply. This is ridiculous. And straight away, alarm bells are going off and it didn’t have a clean credit history. That’s the other thing we look for because, you know, we we’re looking for people that. Well, with integrity. Yes. Tough things happen in life. I get that. But we need people are going to honour their agreements. Right? We honour the agreement we have with every franchisee, and we expect them to do the same for us.

And so we want people that we can work with. I always say in our presentation, we talk about, gold medal service that we and, and the, the foundation to me of gold medal service is acting with honesty and integrity at all times. So it’s those sort of things we’re looking for in people, the people it doesn’t work for.

If we talk about those, then this massive group of people that just expect it all to be handed to them on a platter, you know, and sadly, I think for many Aussies. If you own a business, money’s just flowing in, you know, it just grows on a tree and you just go out and pick it. If you have your own business, that’s not reality.

You know, you gotta work hard to get there. what you’re buying, in a sense, or taking on is are seeds. You’ve got to plant those seeds and cultivate them and grow. so looking for people, who will do that sort of stuff. Yeah. it comes back to that taking ownership.

Rhiannon – Yeah, It’s the same thing, isn’t it? Having, having integrity, having good character, good morals, good ethics, a good work ethic. You know, someone who’s prepared to work really hard. You know, we have seen these businesses grow from zero to, you know, thousands of dollars of revenue a week. You know, in 4 to 6 weeks, we have seen that it is absolutely possible.

And if you if you follow the system that we have in place and there’s no reason that you can’t do that. But not everybody wants that. Others are looking for a slower, more managed start. Others are just, you know, looking just simply to be able to work at their own pace and, you know, take their time to build the business, you know, focus on getting regular customers that they get fulfillment out of servicing every week.

So there are lots of different reasons that you might consider franchise and starting your own business, but the sorts of people that we tend to find to be the most successful in our network are those with a good work ethic who, you know, have patience and who have grit, you know, because starting a business is one of the hardest things that you can do. And there’s a really good reason why 80% of small businesses fail in this country in the first three years. And that’s because it’s that hard. And joining a franchise network, it takes away a lot of the headaches. You know, we have a system, we have a process. You have business coaches. We have an accelerated startup program that we put you through.

We teach you, we give you equipment. We do all of those things. We provide marketing, we do send leads. There is an inordinate amount of support that we provide. However, at the end of the day, it is up to you as a business owner to take all of that and to use it, to leverage it and to make it work for you and your business.

And the people we find to be successful, have that grit, have that determination and understand this is going to take work. So I guess the message really is that if you’re watching this video and you identify with that group, you know either of those two groups and you know, and those characteristics that we’ve just spoken about, you’re someone who is statistically more likely to see success faster and more sustained in our network.

If you’re not in either of those groups, it doesn’t mean you can’t find success. It just means that you, you know, you still have to have that grit and determination. You still have to be really committed to making this work. You know, you still have to take ownership. And we absolutely have our outliers who are incredibly successful in our network. But it really comes down to that ownership piece, it definitely does.

Justin – I’ve just been thinking while you’re talking. Then the other group that James probably isn’t the fit for. Just from the experience, what I’ve seen, is those that want a passive investment. I have quite a few people that ring up that go, oh, great, you know, I’ve seen your subscription model.

I’d like to invest in that. I want to have a cleaning business. And from day one, I’m just going to have staff. And, you know, I start asking a few questions and most times they haven’t found the staff yet. I don’t know the people. This is not that sort of business, because fundamentally you’re starting from ground zero. You’ve got no customers, so you can’t employ someone and pay wages when you haven’t got customers and you’ve got to get out there.

So someone has to get out there and do the business development side. Right? Yes. We do all this marketing in an area. When someone starts, it’s part of the package. But this what we call local in area marketing, that has to be done to get customers, to quote, the jobs, to do all these sorts of things. And, you know, if you’re just going to do it with employees, well, what happens if three days in, they throw in the towel and say, see you later, you know, and it’s like a quite a few people that that just want this passive investment.

And, you know, I’ve got I’ll employ all my whatever people and it just doesn’t it’s not that business. You’ve got to have franchise. You’ve got to be committed full time to do it yourself. Yes, it can take off. You know, I had three cleaning franchises myself at the one time while I was a franchisee before before I owned James and, towards the end I wasn’t doing any of the jobs that I had staff in the different businesses running them, and I was more working on the business.

Rhiannon – But you’ve got to work to that. You’ve got to start, from before you walk prepared to have your boots on the ground first and boots on the ground might mean it takes 6 months to build to a point where you’ve got. And that would be incredibly fast. But more realistically, anywhere between 12 and 18 months. You know, you have to be prepared mentally and physically to have your boots on the ground, doing the marketing, doing the doing the actual work for at least 12 to 18 months until you can build to a point.

And we’ve got businesses who have got there and also lot quicker. But on average, you know, you want to prepare yourself mentally for how long you’re going to need to be working in this business.

Yeah. The other thing that I think, you know, we’re not suited to people who are on, visas and who don’t necessarily have working right in the country.

That’s the other or, sorry, not working rights, but business ownership rights. We’ve got to be very careful to make sure that we aren’t offering a business to someone who actually, as per their visa, doesn’t have the right to own a business. So that’s a really critical piece. The other one, I had another one that I had just sort of people wanting a side gig is the other thing.

I mean, we’re seeing the rise of the side gig economy. Everyone’s got one. I mean, goodness, even even I run a photography business on the weekends shooting weddings. You know, everyone has something that they do on the side to generate a little bit more income. Categorically, we are not a side gig. we require boots on the ground full time initially to make this work.

You know, we need you all in. And there is absolutely businesses in our network who, you know, they they get to a point where they only work 9 to 3, you know, and they, they drop the kids off at school, then they go and do, do their business, and then they pick them up 3:00 we have businesses that do that.

We have businesses that absolutely have flexibility. But for the first six months, you really want to make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared for boots on the ground full time in your business. So we are not a side gig if you’re looking for a way to, you know, there’s this wh ole social trend evolving where you don’t actually have one job, you just have a series of side gigs and you pull revenue from multiple different locations.

It’s a really interesting concept, but we are not a part of that. We can’t be. We just we see people who attempt to make that work. Just it’s a real uphill battle. And the only way that they find success is actually that they, you know, they kick the other side gigs and they just focus on their dreams business because that’s what it takes.

It’s a business. And it’s not one of those, you know, sit back and passively just set up a set up an online site and make sales on, on adverts. You know, it’s not one of those businesses. You have to have boots on the ground, you have to be working in the business and you have to be committed.

Justin – Totally agree.

The other thing you made me think of just then, I have so many people that I speak to that inquire about joining us that just want commercial cleaning. Yeah. You know, yes they’re interested in that cleaning franchise, but I only want commercial and it’s like well it and yes, you do. We do get commercial. In my own cleaning franchises, I have probably about 25% of the jobs I did for commercial jobs.

We have lots of franchises that do lots of commercial cleaning, but by and large, the, the work, I think of the sorts of leads that our marketing advertises and the clientele we attract are largely domestic, residential, you know, both move outs and exit cleans as well as your regulars. So if you only want commercial cleaning, well, James probably isn’t the fit for you, which is it’s not to say that that kind of, you know, business model doesn’t work.

It’s just to say it doesn’t necessarily work the best within our network. You know, everybody that we’ve talked about and, you know, to anybody listening to this who might have, identified as one of the groups who were saying, hey, we’re not a fit for you.

Rhiannon – That’s not to say that you’ve got the wrong idea. It’s not to say you’re wrong. It’s not to say that you want the wrong things or you’re headed in the wrong direction. Not at all. It’s just to be really transparent and to say, yeah, we’re honest. We just we know we’re not for you. And instead of just, I mean, one thing that we one thing I really love about us is that we are not after sales for the sake of numbers.

You know, we will never be the biggest, we will never be the loudest. And I don’t need us to be. We don’t need us to be. We just want to be really good at what we do. We want to be the best at what we do. And what we do is we offer businesses and incredible, incredible support. We will do an entire episode on the actual support we offer, but I honestly don’t think we are rivalled in our industry in franchising.

So the level of support that we, offer to our business owners and, and we will go in in another episode and we will back that up. We will absolutely back that up because it’s a big call. But, you know, we offer incredible support and we want to stick to that. We can offer incredible support to, you know, 2000 business owners, but we can offer incredible support to a lot more than we currently have in the network.

And that’s the goal. The goal is to grow, but it’s to grow sustainably. And so what we’re really looking for is we’re looking for those people in in the groups that we’ve spoken about, because we know they fly in our network and we love working with those individuals. And we have seen time and time again that they really appreciate the support and the system that we’ve built.

 And there’s just a natural synergy that we’re finding when we’re working with those groups. And, you know, we go to work because we love what we do and we want to work with really great people, and we just come to know that the sort of people who see success in our network are those groups that we’ve spoken about.

So if you’re in one of those groups and you’re thinking about it, goodness, right. Chat just have a chat. Just have a chat with Justin about what the possibility might be. And if you’re not in one of those groups that you’re still thinking that a cleaning franchise is for you, then honestly, there’s so many different cleaning franchises out there, there will be an option that suits you.

It just might not be James. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well perhaps we wrap this episode there. Did you have anything else to add before we do that.

Justin – One last thing. Just to add that commercial cleaning. Sorry, just to backtrack because I think a lot of people are looking for this change. The, you know, ideal people work.

You know, you might be you might be a couple, you might be sick of where you’re at. And for some people, I think cleaning business, they think after hours I think weekends. And I’ve got a family that doesn’t work for me. Can I say that’s commercial cleaning, right. And I think part of the reason why we’re probably not the greatest fit for someone who only wants commercial cleaning is because the people who we’re saying do really, really well, are couples, right?

That are the main people that the real this really works for and for most of us that have a family, we don’t want to be working outside of normal hours. You know, we don’t want to be day or night. We don’t want to be at cleaning at three in the morning or on weekends because we want to be with our families.

And that’s where a cleaning business with James really works well, because the bulk of the work we attract is residential. You know, cleaning, doing weekly or fortnightly claims for people who are at work. And you’re going into the house most of the time, people. And every time. And you were the one that schedules when you’re doing that is clean so you can work your family, you know, your kids, a sports day coming up, that sort of stuff.

It’s perfect. And you can make a really good income, a really good ally right out of, because of the systems and the way we do things and the coaching and training. So really want to encourage, if you’re in that group as a couple or as a middle aged, you know, you’ve been in the workforce for ten years plus there, the people are still doing really well in our business model.

Rhiannon – Yeah. So if you’ve been listening and this has piqued your interest and you want to have a chat, there are a thousand ways you can get in touch with us. But honestly, the easiest way is jumping on to our website. Jam Time Today you go to our Become a Franchisee page. You can pop in an inquiry, and it will be Justin himself who calls you with there’s no robots.

There’s no AI it is Justin. He will call you as quickly as he can, and he’ll just have a chat and out to any of your questions and see how we can help and see whether we might be a fit. So thank you for listening and making it this far, and I hope that you join us in the next one.


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