by Paramount Services
last updated 22/06/2022
Living The Good Life
by Paramount Services
last updated 22/06/2022
Paramount Services business creates enviable lifestyle for franchisees
It was almost 16 years ago when James Rao finally called full-time on his career in the printing trade. It was a career that had taken him to New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, and had seen him succeed in both engineering and management roles.
But times were changing for the print sector with the steady advance of digital technology, and James had long harboured a desire to be his own boss and steer his own course.
However, like many people he struggled to decide on what would be his next step. So he started looking on the internet and it was there that he first discovered the Paramount Services franchise opportunity.
James was already familiar with the franchising model as he had worked for a couple of franchised print companies in management roles. ‘That made investing in a Paramount franchise back in 2006 a relatively easy decision,’ he remembers.
With the full backing of Paramount’s experienced support team, James and his wife Sarita eased into the business. Commercial cleaning required new skills, and James is grateful for the mentoring and training delivered by their franchise support person, particularly during the early stage of their business journey. ‘Every time there was a problem to be solved, we’d go back to her. She taught me absolutely everything I know about commercial cleaning,’ says James.
The couple started by servicing just one large site in Penrose. Other sites soon followed, and the business grew steadily, employing more people along the way. To grow the business further, James and Sarita took full advantage of Paramount’s ‘shared contract’ option – an arrangement which brings together individual franchisees to share work on a single large site.
Paramount Services’ national key account manager Rajan Patel has worked with James and Sarita for the past four years, and he is full of admiration for their work ethic.
‘James takes full ownership and accountability for his business,’ he says. ‘He is very methodical, constantly thinks outside the square, and has always had an innovative approach to his business.’
Rajan says it’s no coincidence that most of James’ clients have been with him for more than four or five years. ‘He is totally solutions-driven in his methodology, and he sticks to a defined workflow which results in superior work for all his clients.’
Going that extra mile
Today, James and Sarita’s Paramount Services business stretches across South Auckland, from Remuera to Manukau and down to Karaka.
Asked if he envisaged achieving such success when he first started out, James says it was hard not to, because he is by nature a very positive – although humble – person. The 58-year-old also attributes their success to his Christian background and ministry. He speaks to hundreds of people every week at his church, so it is no surprise that communication comes to him easily. That has helped him to connect with clients, he says. It’s one aspect of the business that he has always been comfortable with.
James prides himself on always going that extra mile for his clients, and helping them out when required. He says it helps to have a ‘client is always right’ attitude.
‘All my clients know me and know if they want something extra done, some fogging or misting for example, I’ll always do that little bit extra for them. It’s good to do a little more than is expected, and for no extra charge. It’s that sort of attitude that not only keeps the client happy but also helps strengthen the relationship even further.’
Hard work reaps rewards
Life’s been good since James and Sarita made the decision to buy their Paramount franchise all those years ago. The couple are still actively engaged in the business, and step in whenever there is a staff shortage. But they are also grateful for the help they receive from their four grown-up children when the need arises.
Today, the Raos can enjoy time-out at their lifestyle block in South Auckland. There are chickens, goats and sheep on their property and with a swimming pool on site, extended family get-togethers are a regular occurrence.
James admits that having the extra time and income has resulted in a change of hobbies for him and his family. In the early years his spare time was mostly taken up with fishing. Nowadays it’s motorcycles that provide the excitement: the couple often take to the roads on their sporty Kawasaki Cruiser motorcycle, or to the water on their jet-ski during the summer. They enjoy getting out to see and experience the countryside around where they live.
‘Life has never been better,’ James says, and he now has plenty of time to sit back and reflect on that important decision taken 16 years ago that changed their lives forever.
‘Paramount has certainly exceeded our expectations.’ he says, ‘and has helped bring our family closer together.’
Paramount has won numerous Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards over the years, including the Supreme Franchise System of the Year title three times. ‘After 40 years of refinement and testing, the Paramount business process and support system, fully developed in-house, has never been stronger or more relevant,’ says Rajan. Its ability to adapt to the times has indeed been ‘paramount’, and times have changed. Post-pandemic, Rajan has noticed a shift in focus that takes into account the requirement for more sanitising treatments – an add-on to the traditional general cleaning tasks.
‘There has also been a trend towards more domestic cleaning, particularly with the increase in home-based businesses and working from home. These factors have helped many of Paramount’s franchisees to grow their businesses even further,’ he says.
Not surprisingly, Covid-19’s arrival created a lot of disruption to the business and a degree of rethinking. James says that many of his clients were affected, but most have now recovered from the lockdowns and are back stronger than ever. He’s especially grateful for all the support and help provided by Paramount during those testing times.
Rajan says that while he gets great pleasure from meeting satisfied and happy clients on his regular visits to their premises, it’s also satisfying to see franchisees achieving their personal, business and financial goals – just as James and Sarita have.
‘The success of James and Sarita in South Auckland is no one-off – it’s just one of many examples of what our franchisees can achieve when they believe in themselves, work hard and maintain a genuine desire to serve their clients.
‘Paramount’s key point of difference lies in its extremely well-structured franchise system and business model which help franchisees to succeed. When your reputation for excellence precedes you, it’s only natural that more opportunities present themselves.
‘This is why Paramount has a number of franchises for sale around the country right now – with guaranteed work from day one backed up by ongoing business support from our customer relationship managers, account managers and franchisee support team. Contact us today to find out how you could change your life.’
See this advertorial on page 44 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 2
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