Business Profiles

by Refresh Renovations

last updated 26/06/2020


Smart Business For Smart People

by Refresh Renovations

last updated 26/06/2020


Business managers and team leaders use their experience to build their own Refresh Renovations businesses.

Mark Morrison, Refresh Renovations

Mark Morrison has applied the skills he learned working for others to building a business of his own. After buying a Refresh Renovations franchise in 2017, he’s now projecting a turnover of $5 million and is well on the way to achieving that goal.

‘I previously worked as a manager in utility companies and I’d been studying ways of running my own business for a while,’ he says. ‘As I researched opportunities it became clear to me that Refresh offered a lot more than just buying an independent business. I liked the idea of starting out with the support of a known brand and experienced people, and the directors of the company came across as honest people with a clear execution plan.’

‘One or two of my friends didn’t think franchises were a very good idea but they know differently now, as by following the system I’m well on the way to my target,’ Mark smiles. ‘If you have confidence in your ability to execute a plan, then any risk is greatly diminished by the experience and success Refresh Renovations has accumulated.’

A massive market

Homeowners in New Zealand spend over $8 billion a year on renovations. ’That’s bigger than the new housing market,’ says Lal Meyer, Refresh Renovations’ Global CEO, ‘but until Refresh Renovations came along, the sector was being very poorly serviced by the building trade. Many builders tended to regard renovations as second rate, and jobs to tide them over in between “real” building work such as new houses. Renovations are notorious for spiralling out of control with a dismal list of failures from poor work to inaccurate pricing via  hopeless timelines.’

Those common issues presented a real opportunity for someone to create a national renovations service delivering well-run projects on time, and within a guaranteed budget. After five years of meticulous research and development by strategic marketing specialist Traffic, which has worked with some of the biggest brands in the building supply sector, Refresh was launched in 2011. The company soon proved that, rather than building skills, what franchisees need to succeed is the ability to manage projects and bring together trusted teams of contractors to deliver on-time, on-budget results.

Today there are 34 Refresh Renovations franchisees around the country and the concept has been exported to Australia, the USA and the UK. Traffic has also launched two other franchises into the home improvement sector: Zones, which specialises in residential landscaping, and Oncore, specialising in maintenance, repairs, decorating and installation. Franchise opportunities are available throughout New Zealand in all three brands.

Nothing hidden

Fiona Fairburn is another Refresh Renovations franchisee with a background in the corporate world. She explains, ‘I spent a few years contracting, which I enjoyed because of the flexibility and the short-term assignments, and I’ve also renovated many properties as a kind of hobby. So when I started looking for a business of my own, I realised that Refresh was an excellent fit.

‘One of the major factors in starting up any business is just how much effort you have to put in to get established. Advertising, marketing and building a reputation can take a very long time. Refresh already has that in place, as well as all the infrastructure that is essential to a successful business – from IT to policy and processes that give you a genuine head-start in the industry. From my first conversation with them it was a “warts and all” discussion. We covered the nitty-gritty and they hid nothing from me right throughout my due diligence.

‘My husband who is in sales in the corporate world, also looked over the figures and business plan and he was very positive about them. We have two teenage boys who are showing interest in construction so they are totally into it, and the best research of all was talking to other Refresh franchisees, all of whom were generous with their time.

‘My advice for anyone thinking of joining Refresh is take your time and work out where your skills will best be used. Once you get up and running, it’s important to make sure you are working on the business, not in it, and not to be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for help from the franchise team – I’ve had great support every inch of the way. As a result of their training and support, I can see profit on the horizon well within my first year.’

Opportunities now

Lal says that the renovations market is still growing fast with the trend towards home improvement rather than moving house. ‘If you would like to be part of this massive market, there are still opportunities in many parts of the country for people with the business and team management skills that Fiona and Mark have demonstrated. Give us a call if you think this – or either of our other brands – is for you.’

And Mark Morrison concludes, ‘This franchise is a very successful proven formula. I’ve had a terrific time in the last three years – it’s exceeded my expectations and I’m ahead of my targets already.’   

See this advertorial on page 46 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 29 Issue 1

Contact details for Refresh Renovations

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