by Simon Lord

last updated 25/03/2021

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years. Our thanks to everyone who shared their very personal stories with us for this feature.

Change Your Life

by Simon Lord

last updated 25/03/2021

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years. Our thanks to everyone who shared their very personal stories with us for this feature.

How can buying a franchise help you to achieve the goals you have for yourself and your family?

Shashi and Malcolm Brown

Owning your own business is about more than money or lifestyle. For some people, it’s about getting a better education for their children, or living how or where they want. For others, it’s about healthy living, overcoming setbacks or investing for a financially-secure future. 

To find out more, we talked to four franchisees in two very well-established New Zealand franchises – CrestClean, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and Rodney Wayne, which has been franchising for over 30 years.

A better future for your children

Growing up in the tiny island nation of Kiribati, there aren’t a lot of prospects for young people. ‘When you finish school, it’s hard to find a job,’ says Teneaki Nawaia. But she and husband Francis transformed things for their family when they came to New Zealand and bought a franchise. ‘One of our sons is graduating from AUT next week with a degree in accounting, our second daughter is at Massey University and plans to become a teacher, and we are buying our own brand new house in Wellsford. Our dreams have come true!’

Teneaki and Francis Mawaia

Life started to change for the couple when they were one of just 70 Kiribati families to win a ballot giving them the opportunity to live and work in New Zealand. Until then, Francis had been working as a deckhand on cruise ships, away for up to 18 months at a time and leaving Teneaki to raise their eight children largely on her own. The move meant splitting up the family, with just the two youngest children accompanying them for the first two years. ‘They went to school, we went to work,’ Teneaki laughs. ‘I was a caregiver in a rest home and Francis worked on a farm, both low-income jobs, so we also did a part-time cleaning job, but it was still hard.

‘One of my relatives was a CrestClean franchisee and she said we could make more money by owning our own business. The rest of our children had now come over and we needed extra income to support them, so we saved up bit by bit until we could join the franchise on a part-time basis in 2010. It was hard work at first – I was working night shifts as a carer and sometimes I would come home, change uniforms and go straight out cleaning – but it grew and after five years we quit our other jobs to work full-time on our own business. That was in 2015 – now we have 21 clients, are working around 20 hours a week each, and are making much more money. 

‘We have had so much support from CrestClean. Neil Kumar, our regional manager, not only found our clients for us but understands our goals – he is the one who suggested buying our own house rather than spending money renting, and even helped us find properties. We are so grateful!’

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Malcolm Brown knows all about buying houses – he and his wife Shashi own four of them in the Bay of Plenty. It’s a big turnaround for a man who had to start again financially when his first marriage ended after 26 years and he had to sell his his previous four properties. But six years ago he married Shashi, five years ago he bought his CrestClean franchise, and it’s been all go ever since.

‘I was a sales rep for 17 years, always on the road and paid on commission,’ he recalls. ‘I did well – I’ve always been very goal-motivated – but I absolutely hated it. Shashi is also very driven, so when we got together 10 years ago we moved to Tauranga and she set up a hairdressing salon there. Once it was self-sufficient, she said it was my turn.

‘Over the years I’ve learned that if you are going to do something, aim for the best...

This article is published in full in our most recent issue of Franchise New Zealand magazine. Request a free print copy or read the entire article in our free digital magazine.

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years. Our thanks to everyone who shared their very personal stories with us for this feature.

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