by Paramount Services
last updated 10/09/2019
by Paramount Services
last updated 10/09/2019
Paramount Services helped ex-painter dubious about franchising into a profitable change of career
Stay organised, stay tidy, and you can clean up,’ is Stuart Mozer’s advice following his very successful transition from painter and decorator to owner of a Paramount cleaning franchise in Whanganui. ‘We bought this franchise with about 10 sites and have grown it to over 20 inside a couple of years. We’d never have stayed on top of it all without the organisation and systems that Paramount taught us.’
Stuart says he’d been a self-employed painter ‘since the beginning of time’ when he and his wife Mary decided on a change of career. ‘She had cleaning experience and I had done a lot of heavier stuff like water blasting and house washing, so we decided a cleaning business would suit us. We wanted a solid business we could expand and grow. To be honest, I wasn’t very keen on the idea of franchising; having been self-employed for so long, I didn’t particularly like the idea of on-going fees!
‘However, after two years, I have to say you get a lot for your money with Paramount – all those regulations and contracts are looked after, and the Health & Safety stuff which could be a minefield for the unwary. To top it all, though, the franchisor handles the invoicing while guaranteeing us payment, which really suits a hands-on couple like us.’
Doing the right thing
Over the last 30 years Paramount has become a leading company in both commercial cleaning and franchising, having won multiple awards in both areas. ‘We’ve also evolved over the years to become an environmentally-conscious company, taking a stand on issues such as recycling, zero waste and absence of chemicals,’ says Galvin Bartlett, founder and managing director of Paramount Services.
‘That’s become increasingly important to our customer base. We now have over 1,800 clients nationwide and we’ve always been keen to do the right thing. That extends to our 140-plus franchisees, who come together from all sorts of backgrounds to enjoy the family feel that comes with being a locally-owned business.’
Paramount set great store by their training, as Stuart and Mary soon discovered. ‘We did a lot of our initial training in Christchurch, then after we moved to Whanganui to take over the business from the franchisor, we had Paramount team members fly down specially to cover the details, introduce us to our first clients and make sure we could meet the standards expected of us. It’s not just that Paramount expects the best: they really look after you, and we know we always have help available if we need it.
‘We spent the first year learning the ropes, replacing some equipment to gear up for growth and paying down a bit of debt,’ says Stuart. ‘Then we picked up four jobs we found ourselves and, soon after that, we were offered another cleaning business by a guy who wanted to get out. We didn’t have much spare capital, but Paramount were very happy to help us into the contracts. It was a win/win – we got the work and grew the business. Their support enabled us to expand a bit ahead of our timetable and it has worked out very well.’
So much easier
Despite having a baby only a year into their new business, Stuart and Mary both like to be as hands-on with their business as possible. ‘Whenever we pick up new work and contracts, our strategy is to do all the work ourselves until we know exactly what the job is, what is required, and what the customer really wants. This has enabled us to get to know our customers, make sure the right equipment is available and know the job so well that we can always fill in seamlessly if one of our staff is sick.’
After two years, Stuart says, ‘The job has become easier and easier and we’ve been more able to focus on growth. I’ve found that customer service and reliability are the most important part of the business, and always handling requests right away – it’s pointless not acting instantly, as customers think you’ve forgotten them.
‘The business is predictable in a good way: we know what we’ll be doing each week and month, which makes planning much easier – especially with a new baby. We both love living here, too – I can get anywhere in town in about five minutes whereas in Christchurch I’d often have to drive for hours just to get a tin of paint!’
No lack of customers
Galvin says, ‘Paramount has plenty of opportunities in most areas of the country which give hard-working and determined people such as Stuart and Mary the opportunity to make a real difference in their lives. As they’ve found, small towns have their advantages and no lack of customers.
‘If you want to get into business for yourself with all the benefits and support Paramount can offer, call us,’ says Galvin. ‘Opportunities start from around $30,000 +gst.’
Stuart Mozer has certainly overcome his worries about franchises. ‘Quite simply, from our point of view the whole thing has been a great success,’ he says happily.
See this advertorial on page 63 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 3
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