When it comes to selecting our new Refresh Renovation franchise owners, what makes a good match?
It’s important that the ‘fit’ is right for both of us. You’ll want to know exactly what Refresh can offer you, and that you will be supported in operating a successful business. Similarly, we want to ensure that new franchise owners have what it takes to succeed – and will add value to our Refresh Renovation brand.
A strong business focus
First and foremost, our franchise owners need a good head for business.
“Some people assume that we’re looking for people with building or construction skills, but that’s not the case,” says Refresh director, Chris Caiger.
“You may have a builder or tradesperson who is very talented and skilled in their work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are also a strong businessperson. We need people who will bring a set of business-focused skills to the table.”
This approach is backed up by research on the renovation industry from Harvard University*:
“…many contractors enter the industry to mainly practice their craft or skilled trade and not to simply operate a business. Yet skilled tradespeople may have very little formal business training in areas such as marketing, accounting or finance […]
“Franchisors are looking first and foremost for leaders with strong business acumen, as opposed to trade skills, because sales, marketing, management and leadership skills are more critical for successfully operating a franchise business.”
Ambition to grow
It’s also important that our franchise owners have the ambition to grow their business. While Refresh has a base target of annual turnover, that’s just a starting point.
Unlike the one-person builder, the Refresh model allows franchise owners to scale up their teams to work on multiple projects at once.
“This makes it easier to grow bigger, faster,” says Chris. “Our proven business model also removes the usual risks facing a start-up, and the usual barriers to growth.”
This ability to scale-up means the Refresh model is very different from the sole builder/business operator. Rather than simply reaching a point that offers a comfortable lifestyle, Refresh owners need to have a bigger vision.
“We want people who will strive to scale up to a five-million-dollar business – and beyond.”
The key skills needed
Many Refresh franchise owners have either previously run their own business, or they have gained valuable and relevant skills from a corporate career. The Refresh model provides the best of both worlds to a new business owner.
“Similar to a corporate role, our proven structures and processes are already in place for you to use,” says Refresh director Jon Bridge. “But the difference is, as the business owner, you get to directly reap the rewards from your efforts.”
Running a successful business requires certain key abilities, says Jon. “You need the management skills to plan well, hire well, drive sales, and deploy your resources effectively. Coupled with providing great customer service and experience, those are the things that matter.”
Strong communication and presentation skills are also an asset, as well as being organised and hard-working.
“Our support systems allow you to achieve a good work-life balance, so you don’t need to work around-the-clock like many new business owners do. However, you will need to be prepared to roll your sleeves up, and be very proactive in managing your projects.”
So, are you the right fit?
As mentioned above, it’s important that the fit is right for both of us. That’s why, before inviting new franchise owners to come on board, we have a structured process that we follow. This includes scheduled sessions where we talk through our mutual expectations, and explain in more detail the skills and attributes needed to run a successful franchise.
*Joint Center for Housing Studies Harvard University “Achieving Scale in the Residential Remodeling Industry”, April 2014.