by Paramount Services
last updated 25/06/2020
A Business Built On Trust
by Paramount Services
last updated 25/06/2020
Paramount Services offers security, stability and support for new franchisees
Helen Lei and Stanley Siew put their trust in Paramount Services when they bought their commercial cleaning franchise in April 2018 and that trust has been repaid many times over, especially in recent months.
Helen, a former warehouse assistant, and Stanley, a former restaurant manager, quickly built a thriving business thanks to the training and support provided by the franchisor – in fact, they even won the Small Business Franchisee of the Year category at the 2019 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards. But when Covid-19 hit the country, they found themselves facing totally new challenges.
Working as an essential business supporting other essential businesses, Helen and Stanley had to follow strict protocols while on their clients’ premises, to protect themselves while protecting others. They have nothing but praise for the support they received from the Paramount team and their regional customer relationship manager, with assistance on everything from communicating with clients to new procedures and putting signage in place.
‘It’s important to do everything you can to reduce the risk of virus transmission in the workplace,’ says Helen. ‘We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe, and with Paramount’s help we’re confident we can meet the extremely high level of cleanliness required by our clients for their staff, customers and visitors as businesses re-open.’
Busier than ever
Helen and Stanley’s goal was to build their business to $160,000 turnover, and they were already well on the way to achieving their goal when lockdown put a temporary dent in their growth. ‘But now everyone is even more aware of the need for workplaces to be clean and hygienic, so we are busier than ever,’ says Helen. ‘We often supply quotes to neighbouring offices in the same building we’re already working in, and because we do a good job, our customers are happy to supply references.’
The couple believe there are two key factors that determine success as a Paramount franchisee. The first is using your initiative. ‘I always tell myself there’s a big difference between wiping a table with your hand and wiping it with your heart,’ says Helen. ‘When you’re 100 percent passionate about what you do, your clients can see it.’
The other key requirement is interpersonal skills, adds Stanley. ‘It’s about effectively interacting and communicating with your employees and customers. These skills create loyalty, value and trust.’
Support never stops
Paramount Services began over 40 years ago, but has grown to become one of New Zealand’s best-recognised names – and most-awarded franchises. Helen and Stanley love the fact that founders Galvin and Suzanne Bartlett are still very much involved in the business, while many of the support team have been franchisees themselves and draw on their experience to share knowledge and advice with new franchisees. That relationship has been absolutely vital over the recent weeks as the company, its 160-plus franchisees, and almost 2000 clients around the country faced the challenges of Covid-19.
Galvin Bartlett confirms that the full lockdown at Level 4 impacted most franchisees, with around 10 percent maintaining work for essential services. ‘75 percent of our franchisees returned to work in Level 3 delivering additional services such as sanitising,’ he reports. ‘Then Level 2 saw most offices opening again, many beginning with an initial deep clean followed by adding high touch-point sanitising, and increasing services from a once-a-week clean to five days a week. Suddenly, we were busier than ever!’
The lockdown highlighted Paramount Services’ close support network. Galvin says there was financial assistance provided to those franchisees who lost business as a result. There was also help for those applying for the wage subsidy and other Government-funded assistance, as well as updated information and safety plans throughout the changing Alert Levels to ensure franchisees operated safely.
‘We’re also working with franchisees to diversify and spread their exposure across numerous clients, to avoid any risk of significant business loss,’ says Galvin. ‘We invoice the clients and guarantee payment to franchisees for work done, so that’s another load off their minds.’
While the pandemic has been tough for many Kiwi business owners, Galvin says there has been a silver lining for Paramount Services franchisees: cleaners are now recognised for the value that they bring as essential service providers. There are more changes on the way, too.
‘The cleaning industry will be adopting new misting technology to keep everyone protected against pathogens, and we’ll be in the forefront of that,’ promises Galvin. ‘We also expect to see a change of business model from sanitising at night to a schedule during the day – particularly at banks, cinemas and shopping centres – and the once-a-week clean will change to seven days a week in many places. That’s going to mean more work, so we’ll need more franchisees all over the country.
‘A Paramount Services franchise offers security and long-term stability in revenue, which is going to be important in the next few years. Some of our franchisees have been with us for over 20 years because they trust us to look after them – whatever happens!
‘Paramount Services franchise opportunities start from around $30,000 +gst. What better time to give us a call?’
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