Looking for a family-friendly business? V.I.P. offers you flexibility and the chance to grow
There was an urgency in speaking to Jay and Rick Savage in Kaiapoi – it was a holiday weekend, and the couple were just heading off camping for a few days with their little girls. ‘That was one of the reasons we became V.I.P. franchisees,’ says Jay. ‘Family means everything to us, and V.I.P. is the most family-orientated franchise we know. It’s part of the culture – Estelle and John Logan, the national franchisors for V.I.P. in New Zealand, brought up their family when they were franchisees themselves, and if they could, we can too!’
Jay is a former merchandising manager with Fonterra, and husband Rick also spent several years in the corporate world. ‘But I’m an outdoors man at heart,’ he says. ‘Even in my spare time, I used to do gardens and lawns for friends and family. We were both looking for some change in our lives and with two little girls, then aged about two and seven, we decided to look for something that would give us the flexibility in our working lives to enjoy them and bring them up properly while still giving us a good income.’
Why choose V.I.P?
‘We were friends with a couple of V.I.P. franchisees in the Christchurch area, and although we looked at a couple of other companies, we decided V.I.P. was the best. We liked how open they were – Estelle, John and their team are so knowledgeable in their field and all the questions we asked were answered more than 100 percent,’ says Rick. ‘They gave us far more information than we thought they would, and no question was too silly – the more we asked, the more they answered.’
Rick and Jay’s new territory included some existing clients from a former franchisee who was retiring, and in the three years since they have grown their business considerably. ‘We have a well-established reputation in the area, and we take pride in our work,’ Jay continues. ‘We take lots of before-and-after photographs and we have many happy clients – they pass on our name and we pick up more clients as a result.’
V.I.P. has achieved its reputation because it has concentrated upon training and high standards. ‘We don’t just mow a lawn,’ Rick explains: ‘We trim, mow, blow and leave it in a state of perfection, and our clients appreciate that.’
Jay says, ‘You need to be a people person in this business. We deal with a huge range of clients from the very young to quite elderly, and it’s not all about getting in, doing the job and getting out. We have become very friendly with some and it’s lovely when they share fruit from their gardens – it’s more than a business.’
The support you need
V.I.P. offers two different types of franchise: outdoor (lawnmowing, gardening and outside jobs) or indoor (all types of cleaning). ‘You choose the level you start at and then go through a comprehensive programme which trains you not just in working efficiently to maximise your earning power, but in setting goals and managing your business too,’ says Estelle Logan. ‘You also enjoy the security of an income guarantee while you are getting established.’
But it doesn’t end there. ‘V.I.P. supports us with ongoing training, helping us learn new skills and sharing experiences with other franchisees,’ says Jay. ‘We have regular meetings, in person or online, and it all helps you to enjoy your business and do your best.
‘Of course, Covid-19 threw a huge spanner in the works this year, but it brought out the best in the V.I.P. team and demonstrated how much they really care for us franchisees. They waived our fees for the duration of the lockdown period, and kept in constant contact with suggestions for working on the business, procedures for re-start and even games for the kids. In turn, we phoned all our clients individually to make sure they were OK and had some kind of support in place.’
So has Jay and Rick’s V.I.P. business been a success for them and their family? ‘Oh yes,’ says Rick without hesitation. ‘It’s been a great experience – we enjoy working together, have a thriving business and have time for the growing family.’ Jay adds, ‘It works really well as I can get the girls to school for the morning drop-off then either join Rick a couple of days a week, or do some of the other garden jobs. There’s never any shortage of work.’
Estelle Logan says, ‘Jay and Rick have established a great business over the last three years, and as it grows further they can choose to expand, employ staff or sell excess business to new franchisees joining V.I.P. There are no expensive premises or equipment, there’s no rent to pay and minimal fixed costs. They don’t have to worry about redundancy or reduced hours, and they know the V.I.P. franchise is behind them all the way.
‘Above all, they have time to enjoy their young family without worry. If you want the same, we have opportunities available in your area right now, with a variety of investment levels. Contact us today to find out more.’
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