by Paramount Services
last updated 31/03/2022
All Together Now
by Paramount Services
last updated 31/03/2022
Teamwork makes the dream work when you’re a Paramount franchisee
As you’d expect from an award-winning franchise, there are many features that make Paramount stand out. One of the most remarkable is the level of teamwork demonstrated across its entire national network, which has helped hundreds of people achieve their dreams.
For example, take a look at Paramount’s ‘shared contract’ arrangement, which brings together individual franchisees to share work on a single large site. At Rangitoto College on Auckland’s North Shore, Paramount’s key account manager Rajan Patel works in partnership with individual franchisees Bo Yang, Alice Chen and David Zhang to provide cleaning for the entire school.
Rajan, whose career spans the retail, safety and telco sectors, remembers why he originally joined Paramount. ‘I was looking for a more service-oriented position, and started out as Paramount’s customer service relationship manager. My main job was to understand the expectations of each client and then help the franchisees on-site to work out how to do the job quickly and efficiently every time – and profitably, of course. It was very satisfying.’
Rajan developed a marketing strategy to secure additional clients in various multi-tenanted buildings through the references of existing clients, with the extra work going to franchisees who wanted to build their own business, or to new franchisees to get them started.
Today, Rajan is a national key account manager for Paramount, and his portfolio includes a major bank, a hotel group and numerous large schools – including Rangitoto College. So what does he enjoy the most about his role?
‘Getting the best possible value for our clients and, at the same time, seeing all our franchisees grow their businesses by providing good solutions for those clients,’ he says. ‘Together, we become a one-stop shop for their facility management. Our clients see more accountability and productivity from us, and it means they’re only dealing with one person rather than multiple suppliers and service providers.’
Working partnerships equal better outcomes
Rangitoto College is a great example of how Paramount franchisees can benefit considerably from a shared contract arrangement when it comes to servicing larger clients. As Rajan points out, by working together on a site, franchisees like Bo, Alice and David can employ their own teams and get a business opportunity that they can comfortably afford. ‘It enables them to reduce the risk of going into business without sacrificing reward. And, because Paramount carry out the invoicing and collection, it reduces the risk further – we provide a turnover guarantee to franchisees for their initial term.’
Each franchisee has their own work zone within the site, with similar job specs meaning each franchisee can work as a back-up, or provide cover for another franchisee when required because of holidays or staff shortages.
Feedback on the shared contracts has been overwhelmingly positive, from both clients and franchisees, says Rajan.
It works for me
Bo Yang has been a Paramount franchisee for over 10 years, and is pleased with the steady growth his business has experienced.
After graduating from Unitec, Bo worked as a public servant for a couple of years. But with a growing young family, he decided to make a major career change. ‘I was attracted to Paramount because it has a fully-mature franchise and support system, which is a really big help to someone who is new to the business,’ he says.
‘When I was a college student I worked part-time for a Paramount franchisee, which gave me some initial knowledge of commercial cleaning – but running your own business is different.’
Bo says the franchise’s excellent management, solid profits and reasonable fees were all important factors in making his final decision. He financed his franchise from his savings, paying the balance off, interest-free, over four months. And while his friends were a bit sceptical at first, they were soon impressed as his business took off.
He says the level of training provided by the Paramount support team has been key to his success: ‘It’s been huge, magnificent. Thanks to them, we are always improving our tools and our knowledge on new cleaning methods or cleaning rules, particularly in recent times.’
He refers to Rajan Patel as his leader and guide. ‘Rajan is like a bridge that connects me with my customers, like at Rangitoto College. He passes on new information and feedback from the school and we discuss how to satisfy their requirements. It’s about working efficiently – we both identify any problems and search for the right solutions, which I then implement.’
Bo agrees that having three teams on the College site results in easier management and encourages a more efficient job outcome. ‘Each team has its own zone to work within, which means more energy and time to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. It’s also nice to have someone who knows the site cover for you when you’re away for any reason.’
Looking beyond 2022, Bo is keen to expand his business further, and perhaps specialise more in floor sealing or carpet cleaning – both of which are among the options available to Paramount franchisees.
He has some advice for anyone looking at joining Paramount. ‘Start with a small site first – by yourself or with your partner – and you’ll learn fast. Listen to what the Paramount team tell you. As time goes by, and you start growing your staff, you will spend more time supervising, but always make sure you’re hands-on as often as possible. That way, you maintain a high understanding of the job and know how to teach your own team and how to manage them.’
Changing times, consistent focus
Over the past two years, Covid-19 has presented numerous challenges for New Zealand’s commercial cleaning industry, and has again highlighted the strengths of the Paramount system, which has won numerous Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards, including the Supreme title three times.
With varying numbers of students physically attending Rangitoto College in recent times, there’s been a focus on regularly cleaning certain areas each morning and afternoon. ‘The goal has always been to make the buildings as safe as possible for teachers and students, and it’s a goal we strive to exceed every day,’ says Rajan.
He has seen a changing emphasis brought on by the pandemic, with people now much more conscious of how infection is spread. ‘This has resulted in a demand for more frequent cleaning of high-touchpoint areas, which means new cleaning techniques and technology to meet the requirements of decontamination and deep cleaning.
‘People are realising that professional cleaning is more important than ever. Where a client may have previously been serviced once or twice a week, now they want five days a week or even full-time in large sites. People find it reassuring to actually see cleaning staff on-site, rather than out-of-sight as was the case pre-pandemic.
‘And it means lots more business opportunities for new franchisees. Our shared contract system makes it more possible than ever for them to start with a low investment and then grow.’
The biggest buzz
Rajan believes the culture at Paramount encourages innovation, flexibility and responsibility.
‘We like to think of ourselves as open and progressive, with the latest cleaning procedures, eco-friendly organic products, and waste-minimisation procedures to help clients reach their environmental targets and franchisees work smarter and more productively.
‘We encourage input and ideas from our franchisees, because we are all working towards a common goal, and we really enjoy site visits, discussing ways to further improve services and productivity.’
Rajan says he loves meeting happy clients on his visits, but he gets his biggest buzz from seeing franchisees achieving their personal, business and financial goals.
‘We have seen so many people start with a small, even a part-time, franchise and go on to build something really impressive which has paid for their homes, their holidays and their children’s education. That’s what this franchise can deliver.’
It’s totally in keeping with the mantra of a family-owned business that has performed exceptionally well across New Zealand’s commercial cleaning industry for more than four decades.
Work where you want, when you want
Paramount has plenty of franchises available around the country, with guaranteed work from day one, says Murray Hamilton, Paramount’s National Manager. ‘We are one of the best-known names in the commercial cleaning industry, which means there’s no shortage of opportunities and, as Rajan has said, there’s now demand for daytime cleaning on some sites as well as after-hours work.
‘People like Bo, Alice and David have shown what can be done with our shared contract system, and there are plenty of individual sites too. To find out more about business opportunities with Paramount, contact me today.’
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