last updated 22/06/2022
last updated 22/06/2022
Oncore franchisees’ move from employment to ownership pays off
The figures make impressive reading. Trading income for 18 months: almost $2 million. Cost of sales: under $1 million. Net profit plus shareholders’ salaries: over $550,000.
Those are good results for an established business, but for a new start-up, they are remarkable. And they are even more remarkable given that neither of the business’s owners, Jeremy and Sarah Lowe, had any previous experience in the industry they joined in August 2020.
Their success is proof that the Oncore franchise is for managers, not tradies. Jeremy was a regional manager with Flight Centre for 10 years, before Covid wiped out the travel industry. Sarah was an early childhood teacher before their Oncore franchise took off and she joined the business full-time. ‘I think you could say it’s exceeded our wildest expectations,’ they say – and they provide their P&L summary (inset) to prove it.
‘We found Oncore when we picked up a copy of Franchise New Zealand magazine. Property was something we were both interested in, and seemed a safe bet in Covid times. We didn’t have any experience, but we’ve dealt with tradies and knew what we didn’t like: poor communication, people not coming back to you, not turning up on time, using confusing jargon, treading dirt through the house, swearing … Oncore had the systems, the connections and the reputation to overcome all that.’
A real kick-start
Oncore is one of three franchises created by strategic marketing specialist Traffic to service the national home renovation, enhancement and maintenance market. The other two brands are Refresh Renovations and Zones Landscaping, giving Oncore franchisees access to considerable buying and marketing power, as well as a lot of expertise.
Dan Vincent, Managing Director of Oncore, says, ‘We’ve been able to negotiate some pretty sharp rates with suppliers and installers because of the amount of business we can bring them, which enables our franchisees to make a healthy profit margin on every job. And the new Healthy Homes legislation has boosted demand for our services, giving franchisees like Jeremy and Sarah a real kick-start, as their results show.’
The need is now
Healthy Homes aims to deliver warmer, drier and healthier homes throughout New Zealand – and sets fines for landlords who fail to comply. It means that as soon as a tenancy agreement is signed or renewed, landlords have just 90 days to bring their property up to the new standards. There’s a final deadline of July 2024 – just two years away.
‘That means huge pressure on landlords and, with 600,000 rental properties around the country, huge demand for trade services,’ says Dan. ‘Our franchisees provide a one call does it all service for property owners. They will conduct a thorough inspection, using Oncore’s custom-built app, and provide a comprehensive report on what needs to be done to ensure a home is Healthy Homes compliant – along with a quote for the work.
‘The franchisee will co-ordinate tradespeople to get the work done, including repairs, insulation, heat pump and extractor fan installation, before issuing a certificate of compliance. An annual re-inspection keeps things up to scratch, as well as generating repeat business.
‘It takes a huge weight off the mind of landlords and property managers, and it’s proved a real winner for our franchisees.’
Systems that deliver
So how did Jeremy and Sarah make the transformation from employees to owners of a hugely-successful business? ‘During our comprehensive training from Oncore, Dan suggested we focus on Healthy Homes,’ recalls Jeremy. ‘So I got clued up on the standards and the inspection procedures, then I went out with Dan in our Auckland territory. At $129 a pop, inspections brought in revenue straight away – some property managers were sending through lists of 20 or 30 properties. Those started turning into jobs, and it all snowballed from there.
‘Having the Oncore systems for lead generation, quoting, invoicing and managing people made a massive difference. They helped us find a few preferred contractors to start with, but now we have our own staff: two builders, a handyman, a dedicated Healthy Homes inspector and a part-time administrator, as well as Sarah and me.
‘Sarah is a list person and I’m quite driven, so we work well together. We said we’d get back to people within 24 hours of an enquiry, and then have a report and quote for them 24 hours after the inspection. It was long hours and hard work at first, but we stuck to it.’
And Sarah’s organisational skills are vital. ‘An established Oncore franchisee can be managing 100-plus jobs a month,’ says Dan. ‘Fortunately, our systems are built to cope with that level of demand – and more.’
The essential qualities for an Oncore franchisee are customer service, communication, project management, and professionalism. ‘Our 29 franchisees to date include former sales and marketing managers, accountants and IT people,’ says Dan. Investment levels start from $50,000 +gst.
‘We’re looking for more franchisees for areas throughout the country, and are keen to hear from anyone with the right skills – no matter what your previous career. Give me a call to find out more.’
See this advertorial on page 37 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 2
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