by V.I.P. Home Services
last updated 25/06/2020
Living Up To Expectations
by V.I.P. Home Services
last updated 25/06/2020
V.I.P. franchisees find security, certainty and support in a business of their own
March 2020 was possibly the worst time ever to start a business in New Zealand, but Katie Bruce doesn’t regret it one bit. ‘I’d been working in hospitality, which is long hours, and with 8-year-old twins and a 5-year-old, I wanted something more flexible. Also, my husband works really hard and I wanted to contribute something better than the minimum wage. My dad had joined V.I.P. outdoor franchise 8 months before and it was obvious the franchise was very supportive, so I went for the indoor one – home and office cleaning.’
It soon became clear just how supportive the franchise really is. After training in Auckland and Christchurch, Katie was in just her second week when lockdown brought everything to a halt. ‘V.I.P. were really supportive. Not only did they suspend fees for all the franchisees, but they helped us apply for the wage subsidy and honoured the income guarantee for new franchisees, too. It meant I didn’t have any money worries over lockdown, and now I’m able to work again I have extra clients when I want them. V.I.P. are so on to it!’
After 20 years in retail, Patrick Bright has been established just a little longer in his outdoor business in Papakura. ‘It was a lifestyle change for me,’ Patrick says. ‘My wife is a detective doing shift work, and I wanted something flexible that allowed me to look after our daughter and be around at weekends.
‘As well as lawnmowing, I’ve done gardening, gutters, washing windows – there is a lot of work and money out there. Some people don’t realise what we can provide and I’ve had a lot of referrals for all sorts of jobs.’
Like Katie, Patrick has nothing but praise for how V.I.P. handled the pandemic. ‘I was very impressed: they did all the research on dealing with government departments, etc, to ensure we got the right information on IRD relief and wage subsidies. It was the same when it came to getting started again and all the precautions – it was all clearly laid out for us, along with letters to send to clients to let them know what to expect. It reinforced that this isn’t just a business – it’s a family.’
John and Estelle Logan are the family behind V.I.P. As National Franchisors for New Zealand, the couple have spent 25 years building the business here and weren’t going to let Covid-19 undo the good work. ‘We made the decision right at the start that we would suspend fees, and then gave franchisees every assistance we could to apply for subsidies and other financial relief,’ says Estelle.
‘But being a family means more than that, so we had regular online meetings, newsletters, and even games and activities to keep everyone in their bubble amused. And we also took the opportunity to do some training and goal-setting to help people stay on track.
‘Realistically, V.I.P. franchisees don’t have expensive premises or equipment, there’s no rent to pay and minimal fixed costs, so there was no need to panic. Some lost a few customers, but there is plenty of business out there and we will support them in finding new clients.
‘This really is a very secure business. In fact three of our franchisees who were planning to sell have now taken their businesses off the market because they realise that no matter what happens in the future, the franchise is solid.’
110 percent support
Dawn and Godfrey Van Boom agree. A former teacher and food technologist who have just celebrated eight years with V.I.P, the couple’s Auckland indoors franchise provides them with the opportunity to work together and enjoy a stress-free life. They have both domestic and commercial customers, and get all the work they can handle through the V.I.P. call centre and customer referrals.
‘V.I.P. are an absolutely wonderful company to be with and support us 110 percent,’ says Dawn. ‘We can’t fault them. During lockdown they kept us super up-to-date with everything, sending out wonderful advice and getting us to think about the future. When we talked to some friends the other day who were thinking of a cleaning franchise, we told them, “V.I.P. hands down – they are the best!”’
A very good time
Bryan Guilford joined V.I.P. outdoors two years ago after 30 years in the supermarket trade. ‘I met Estelle, who was very upfront about the opportunity and told me to talk to some of their other franchisees. They reinforced what she had said – you can earn good money with time, effort and willingness. We have freedom to run our own businesses with this massive support network in the background – as the lockdown proved. Yes, I lost a few clients but I picked up three new ones last week alone! I’d say this was a very good time to get into a V.I.P. franchise.’
Estelle sums it up. ‘With a V.I.P. franchise, you are in control of your own life. Your business will ride the peaks and troughs, you’ll get all the support we can offer, and you won’t have to worry about redundancy or reduced hours.
‘Ring us for a chat to find out more.’
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