last updated 26/06/2018
reaching NEW HEIGHTS
last updated 26/06/2018
Auckland shows it’s ready for Accessman – franchisees wanted
Is Auckland ready for Accessman? ‘Absolutely!’ says Lena Harrington. ‘We opened our first branch there shortly before Christmas and almost every week we’re having to send up more equipment to meet demand.’
Lena is General Manager of Accessman, the South Island’s largest Elevated Working Platform (EWP) and scaffolding hire company. Specialising in items such as scissor lifts, knuckle booms, cherry pickers, telehandlers and other access equipment, Accessman already has franchisees throughout the South Island. Now it’s established its Auckland branch as a company-owned operation before appointing its first franchisees there to operate at least two more branches.
‘Company-owned branches demonstrate our obvious commitment to an area,’ says Lena. ‘They kick-start the brand and enable us to begin developing relationships with construction firms, builders, plasterers, electricians and others in our main target markets. Of course, many of our regular customers are already national companies like Leighs Construction, Ganellen, Dominion Constructors and Arrow International. Companies like these are welcoming our move to the North Island.
‘Whether an individual or partnership, Auckland’s first franchisees have the option of buying a fully operational outlet or starting from scratch. With Auckland spreading in every direction, the sooner they start, the sooner our franchisees will be able to capitalise on commercial and residential growth. Enquiries from other North Island centres are also welcome.’
long-time friends, long-time business partners
Christchurch’s Al McNeil and Phil Paul were among the first Accessman franchisees some 14 years ago. Today the long-time friends are as enthusiastic as ever, with Al confessing to living and breathing Accessman. In fact, the pair have added Accessman Timaru to their business portfolio and now operate two substantial – and very profitable – businesses.
Prior to Accessman, Al owned travel agencies and worked for an airline, while Phil knew all about Accessman as the former manager of the Blenheim branch. ‘When they started franchising, it didn’t take much for Phil to convince me to get involved,’ smiles Al.
Accessman started when founder Ross Pickersgill bought a scissor lift for his electrical business following the introduction of new legislation in 1992 which set safety standards for working at height. He also hired the machine out and soon saw a ready market. Today, there are over 800 EWP machines spread throughout the group.
‘As a partnership, Phil is more on the operational side while I look after sales, marketing and client relationships,’ says Al. ‘Here’s where Accessman has a real edge in a fiercely competitive market: the customer talks directly with the business owner, rather than a branch manager with no real power – that can make a big difference. But we’re not just an independent operator, either – we have Accessman behind us and never-ending support from Lena and her team.’
Becoming an Accessman franchisee goes way beyond having around $900,000 to invest, as Al explains. ‘This is a serious business. Comprehensive due diligence is a must, and it’s a two-way street with Lena and her team thoroughly evaluating each franchisee candidate. You must demonstrate that you have a good head for business, genuine empathy and preparedness to follow the proven Accessman business model.
‘Buying in to the Accessman commitment to best practice worker and workplace safety is also non-negotiable. Franchisees, managers and all staff must complete IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) or HIANZ (Hire Industry Association of New Zealand) EWP Silver Card training. We are also required to provide hirers with a safety induction on delivery of each machine, which itself is subject to rigorous pre- and post-hire safety checks. You don’t get to build a business of this size and quality by cutting corners.’
But once you’ve proved you have what it takes, Al says the training, systems and support that Accessman provides are second-to-none. ‘To become an Accessman franchisee takes deep pockets, good management and interpersonal skills and full-time commitment. But, believe me, the financial and personal rewards are substantial and worth every second we put into our two branches,’ he says happily.
‘If you want my advice, call Lena now – and when you get to the stage of doing your due diligence, come and talk to me. It’s the best decision I ever made.’
See this advertorial on page 15 of Franchise New Zealand Year 27 Issue 01
Contact details for Accessman
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