by Zones Landscaping
last updated 25/07/2019
Zones - Changing Properties, Changing People
by Zones Landscaping
last updated 25/07/2019
Traffic’s trio of franchise brands help good managers fill a lucrative gap in the market
When strategic marketing specialists Traffic started researching the building renovation sector back in 2006, they realised that here was a massive market that was being poorly-served. After five years’ careful development, they launched the award-winning Refresh Renovations franchise to fill the gap and soon established a national reputation.
The same level of planning went into their next brand, Zones Landscaping, which specialises in designing, building and landscaping outdoor living spaces, and the newly-launched Oncore, which covers maintenance, repairs, decorating and installation. The result is a trio of brands which offer good managers the chance to build sizeable businesses of their own.
‘Like Refresh, Zones is very much an added-value concept – making the most of what you’ve already got,’ says Auckland franchisee Thelma Meyer. ‘After just under a year in business, the franchise has considerably exceeded my expectations and I’m really enjoying it. Creating a wonderful landscape out of a blank canvas is as exciting as it is rewarding.
‘Gardens, decks, lawns, pools, outdoor kitchens, lighting, fencing and waterfalls are all part of the remit,’ says Thelma. ‘As Refresh has demonstrated so successfully, more people are choosing to stay put and expand their home rather than move. Installing a new kitchen or bathroom can increase the value of your home, and getting a specialist team in to landscape your property can add huge street appeal.
‘Some of my best projects have been about improving the indoor/outdoor flow. Some clients have wanted to break through the house, move rooms, and then plan a garden and pool to work in sympathy. It can be a wonderfully creative process.’
Build a team
Thelma trained as a registered nurse at a military hospital in South Africa. ‘The discipline and time-keeping I learned there, as well as later running my own business in Occupational Health, are good skills for any kind of business,’ she laughs. After studying interior design and having two boys, she and her husband took up an opportunity in New Zealand. ‘I don’t like to stand still,’ Thelma admits. ‘My husband’s actually a director of Refresh and when I went to a franchisee training session for Zones, I was so impressed I ended up buying a franchise myself, despite having no gardening expertise. Today, I have a team of landscapers who can fulfil any demand.
‘The company uses the same processes and systems as Refresh Renovations which have proven so spectacularly successful at turning a badly-served industry into a thriving group of specialists capable of drawing upon all the expertise they need for any project at a moment’s notice.’ And, of course, the services are complementary. ‘Currently, I’m working on two major projects in conjunction with Refresh franchisees, as their clients are doing both home and garden makeovers,’ says Thelma.
Create an asset
Zones general manager Matt Steele says that Zones already has 14 franchisees in place and is seeking to appoint a total of 60 throughout the country. ‘You don’t have to be an existing landscaper, although we welcome enquiries from experienced people,’ Matt says. ‘What matters is that you have team building and project management skills. Sales and marketing experience, passion and people skills like Thelma’s are also valuable.
‘Zones is a one-stop-shop that enables clients to complete an entire makeover of their garden, grounds, backyard or estate. Franchisees begin with a no-obligation on-site consultation, then provide a design to fit the budget. We work to a pre-determined fixed budget for all-inclusive work and, once design is complete and approved, Zones handles all the nitty gritty of management across the entire project from turning the first sod to hosing down the driveway. Thereafter, there is added-value available for the franchisee, through organising a maintenance team to keep the customer’s new investment in great shape.
‘The franchise fee is $50,000 +gst and, using the formidable lead-generation system developed for Refresh, we expect established franchisees to enjoy a turnover of up to two million dollars per annum with a return of some 15-20 percent on sales.
‘This is an opportunity to build a business with the support and experience of a large organisation behind you, and to develop an asset that will have real value when you choose to sell further down the track.’
A lucrative opportunity
Thelma says that, like Refresh and Oncore, Zones is filling a very lucrative gap in the market. ‘You get tiny projects and huge ones, too – one of my fellow franchisees is currently busy with a six-figure complete makeover. That’s the pleasure of this industry – infinite variety and infinite joy and satisfaction, too. It’s great being part of a group, as well – we often get together too share a drink and discuss ideas.’
Traffic is interested in talking with potential franchisees for all three franchise brands: Zones, Refresh and Oncore. ‘Most franchises require you to be always working in the business as an operator,’ explains director Jon Bridge. ‘With us, you focus on running the business while your construction team runs the building projects. We have opportunities available all round New Zealand at a variety of investment levels, so contact us today or visit our website to find out more.’
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