The ultimate sea change: four Gold Coast territories available

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Top Franchise 2017

The ultimate sea change: four Gold Coast territories available

Opportunities to have a job that works around your lifestyle come few and far between, but – as all Gutter-Vac franchisees would vouch – that is exactly what their work does for them. For our franchisees at seaside locations, this means surfing on their lunch breaks, fishing during the weekday, and finishing up before peak hour traffic.

Earlier this year, Gutter-Vac made the decision to reconfigure the territories on the Gold Coast to make it more equitable for the incumbent franchisees.

The result? Six new territories.

Within a matter of days, two territories were snapped up by a Gold Coast couple, Damon and Davina, who were looking for flexible work that would give them more time to spend with their children. Having heard of Gutter-Vac a number of years back, they had waited patiently for the opportunity to arise to buy into the business.

Prior to these Gold Coast territories becoming available, the last public sale in Queensland was three years ago. And when talking specifically about the Gold Coast, it’s been closer to a decade.

Currently, these four territories are the only ones available on the East Coast of Australia.

“If the sales of Queensland territories in the past are anything to go off of – once they’re sold, they’re gone,” Gutter-Vac founder and franchisor, Warren Ballantyne, said.

“A lot of people ask me how we can make a living out of cleaning gutters, and the answer is that we do. But we also offer a whole range of home maintenance services that complement our hero gutter cleaning service.

“And it’s not only that, you can grow a business and have a lifestyle too.”

Warren is an example of exactly this. Founding Gutter-Vac in Bundy, he balanced the growth of this business and that of his family. Working for himself meant that he never missed a birthday, anniversary or celebration – not to mention, a day on the golfing green!

“As the saying goes – if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” Warren said.

“My role now is to make sure that other people are given the opportunity to love and own the work that they do.

“These Gold Coast territories are just a fantastic opportunity in an even better location.”

The likelihood of the four available territories, Hope Island – Runaway Bay, Robina – Burleigh, Southport – Broadbeach and Tweed Heads, hanging around for much longer is very slim.

If you would like to be considered as a franchisee, along with all the benefits, support and lifestyle perks that come with it, give Warren a call on 0407 591 446.

He’ll be waiting to hear from you.

The International Franchise Association Conference

Once again, I made the trip (with some of my team) to Las Vegas to attend the International Franchise Association Conference.

With over 4000 attendees, there is certainly a lot to learn, along with the opportunity to talk and discuss with other franchise professionals about how we can make our businesses better as well as improving the franchise industry.

I love the fact that when we attend the International Franchise Association, the Franchise Council of Australia organises special events for the Australian delegation.  We always get together for a welcome dinner and usually end up ‘talking shop’ (along with some excellent wines this year!).  The Australian delegation also comes together for a four hour session with leading experts in franchising to share with us.  This year, I was honoured to be asked to share my experiences of taking our brand to the USA to my fellow Australians in attendance.

As a side note, it was great to see that both Bruce Billson (Executive Chairman of the FCA) and also Damian Paull (CEO of the FCA) made the long trek to join the Australian delegation at the IFA conference.  Having such great leaders on board who are willing to learn from our international counterparts makes me extremely happy to have them leading the FCA and the franchise industry in Australia.  Leaders are learners and they were leading the way.

We took away a lot of great information from the conference and once again, it made me extremely happy to not only learn new things, but to also get the validation on so many things that we are doing right or are even ahead of the curve on in terms of franchising and supporting our franchisees.

One of my favourite sessions at the conference was the Next Gen competition.  I totally enjoyed hearing from the 18 Next Gen winners (three of which were from Australian), who out of the hundreds of entrants from around the world were hand selected to attend the conference and special Next Gen sessions to help these young franchisors to grow their brands.  When I hear them speak, it amazes me the ideas and wisdom from people at such a young age.  It also gives me great hope that the franchising sector will be left in good hands!

I was extremely proud of all three of the Australian Next Gen Winners.  Not only for the businesses they are creating and building, but also how well they represented Australia and the Australian franchising industry on a world stage.  They did themselves, and all of us, very proud.

So once again, I have left the IFA conference full of new ideas and a renewed energy to take Gutter-Vac to its next level of success and to continue to contribute to the franchising industry here in Australia.

If you are a franchisor and have been sitting on the fence, wondering if you should attend the IFA or not, then I’d highly recommend you get off the fence and join us next year in Phoenix for the 2018 IFA Conference.

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#2 Franchise !

I’m very proud to announce that Gutter-Vac has just been awarded the #2 position in Overall Franchise Category in the awards.

When I began Gutter-Vac 20 years ago, it was because I hated having to clean gutters out by hand when I was running my plumbing business.  It is a dirty and time consuming job and I just figured there had to be a better way.  That is when I started working on creating our specialised wet/dry vacuum system that we have today.

When I started building that vacuum system to clean gutters, I didn’t have the thought this would make a good franchise.  It was only after operating the Gutter-Vac business alongside my plumbing business that I soon realised the potential of this becoming a business I could share with others so that they too could work for themselves and provide for their families, just as I was doing.

I can’t say it has exactly been smooth sailing in the last 20 years.  It has taken a lot of work to get to where we are.  Helping individuals get started in their own business, understanding the technical work of Gutter-Vac, but also the business work of running a small business is not easy.  There was a few times I did wonder if we could make it.  That whole GFC period was really tough, I’m not going to lie, but we made it because we kept focusing on what we did great.  We have learnt a lot in the process and still today, I continue to look for ways for us to improve in our service to our customers and also to our franchisees.

To be awarded the #2 franchise in the overall category and then also be the #1 home services franchise, I write this with just a little bit of amazement that a plumber from Bundaberg that was sick and tired of getting dirty and hot cleaning out gutters by hand could 20 years later have a franchise business with over 68 territories in Australia and about to launch in the USA that helps not only our customers with our exceptional service, but to also help so many great people (our franchisees) have their own successful business.

So this blog is not here to brag today about how good we are for being awarded the #2 franchise in Australia, it is to acknowledge all those that have been with us on the journey to #2 in our 20th year and to just show you that anything is possible with hard work, determination and a passion to show real customer service.

Thanks to everyone!

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