Just the other day, I was speaking with a franchising colleague and we were discussing the growth of our franchise.
I was telling them about not only the new franchises that had been purchased, but also the movement within our existing franchises. Just this year we have had six franchisees buy a second territory (one bought their 5th!). We have had four franchisees decide it was time to retire and move on and these were all purchased by existing franchisees. We have also had a multi-territory owner, starting to ready for retirement in a few years, sell one of their territories to an employee who has worked with them for three years.
To be honest, I thought this was the ‘norm’ in franchising when you were an existing franchise with 20 years of operating experience, but my colleague was shocked and surprised at the movement within our existing franchises.
The fact that franchisees wanted to take on new territories, staff wanted to step up to being an owner and that when a franchisee was ready to sell, other franchisees grabbed their territories before they went to the open market, was not common practice at all.
I have to say, I was pretty chuffed to learn that this was not the ‘norm’ and that obviously, as a franchise group we are doing something (well lots of things) right because our franchisees want more!
There is a lot of talk about franchising in Australia at the moment. It is in the media and I have to say, most of it is not all that positive. The media is going after big names to ‘make an example’ of franchising, but if they just decided to come and talk to me, they would get a very different story!
I’ve always been a quiet achiever. I quite like going under the radar, but the more and more I talk to others, I am realising that we just can’t keep Gutter-Vac a secret anymore!
In reality, we only have about 30 territories left for purchase and the way our existing franchisees are going, we may not have many left for new franchisees!
I’m not writing this because I want to say ‘Hey look at us’, I’m writing this because I’m proud. I’m proud of all the things that Anne, our team and I have done to grow this business from an idea, 20 years ago in Bundaberg, when I was a plumber that hated cleaning gutters by hand. I am proud that we have so many franchisees that are running excellent businesses, servicing their customers and providing for their families.
If you knew the work it took to build a business with a great culture of customer service and good family business values, you’d be proud too!