Paramount - Gary Camoin

What does winning the FANZ award mean to you or your business?

Being a finalist and winner at the 2021 FANZ awards has been very humbling. The old cliche of there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ cannot be any more true than in the commercial cleaning industry. I have/had the honour of working with amazing people, and a team that goes out daily and continually tries to provide the best service possible to our clients. Without the team I have around, this wouldn’t have been possible. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I am delivering a superior level of service to our clients, something I continually strive for.

What has been your biggest challenge in the last year and how did you overcome it / or are overcoming it?

Over the past year, the big “C” has caused some challenges for our business just like it has for so many others. One thing I continually do is try to spot opportunities where we could pivot to not just adapt to the current climate but also grow. Having a good team around us that we can rely on has helped reduce the areas that I needed to concentrate on. I work at all our clients’ facilities when we get new clients on and therefore can jump in at any stage to cover for staff if required. Finding staff has been a challenge, but the team often has friends/ family that they can recommend to join our team. Having good relationships with clients and being honest about challenges that we might be facing is key, and something they respect.

Would you recommend becoming a franchisee and why?

I think franchising is a great way to get into business. You get to have a reputable name/ brand behind you and support/ systems that have been tried and tested. Paramount has a team of experts in various areas, which you can tap into depending on your circumstance. I have enjoyed that I can draw up proposals for clients while Paramount helps on the accounts side, allowing me to do what I do best, servicing our clients. So many people dream of being their own boss but are put off by all the areas that you are required to cover. Paramount has helped me to achieve this dream with the support required to learn and grow. I occasionally meet with local franchisees to compare processes, ideas and industry-related information.

What tip do you have for others that would like to enter the awards?

For me, personally, entering the awards is a by-product of the work you and your team perform daily. It was an honour and I was surprised when paramount asked if I was happy to put an application in. Working in your business daily you notice small things and processes that you need to improve. Building a team with integrity and the ability to work alone and in a team is paramount. I strive to build and maintain customer relationships, and when we have any problems, I rectify them as soon as possible. Matthew McConaughey said it brilliantly; one thing you need each day is something to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase. This helps you stay motivated and work through any challenges that you face along your business journey.

The Coffee Club - Andy Lucas

What does winning the FANZ award mean to you or your business?

It’s recognition of the hard work from all our franchisees and team members, and the many suppliers and service providers who have assisted us over the years. Often, we are all so busy that we forget or don’t take time to reflect on our achievements, so this is a great way to be reminded of the hard work and accomplishments, particularly after a very difficult few years.

What has been your biggest challenge in the last year and how did you overcome it / or are overcoming it?

Remaining positive throughout a year which was very difficult, and for most of the time we felt helpless. That was very challenging, especially since the foundation of our business was built on the high level of support to franchisees. We were, however encouraged regularly by those around us, either friends, family and suppliers to keep going. And even within our own support team, there were many moments we supported each other when it was needed. Something as simple as a group messenger chat during lockdowns, used to keep our spirits positive, sharing jokes or just keeping in touch with each other.

What tip do you have for others that would like to enter the awards?

Don’t enter just with the hope of winning, but instead, enter with an open mind and be prepared to look at your business from a different perspective and challenge yourself to think about how you can improve your business processes. Even if the process of entering allows you to make just one positive change in your business, it is worthwhile.

Franchise New Zealand media - Simon Lord

What does winning the FANZ award mean to you or your business?

Franchise New Zealand was founded as a print magazine 30 years ago this year, so it’s a great way to celebrate. We’ve grown a lot in that time, adding the website (one of New Zealand’s first!) in 1997, and then the email newsletter, digital magazine and social media as technology changed. All our work is aimed at promoting franchising and educating people about the pros and cons of buying a franchise, and we focus on free distribution media to help people get that information easily. We also make a positive contribution through our support of surveys, events and activities that help people make connections and understand franchising better.

Despite being a small, independent company, we’ve always tried to provide thoroughly professional yet personal service. Subjecting ourselves to the scrutiny of independent judges was a big test, so winning is a wonderful validation of our systems, processes, products and people.

What has been your biggest challenge in the last year and how did you overcome it / or are overcoming it?

The media landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Since Covid, the pace of that change has only accelerated. When the first lockdown was announced, we were about to publish our latest issue. Along with our printers, we moved heaven and earth to get the magazine printed early, then magazines were declared ‘non-essential’. Fortunately, we already had a stable platform which could cope as digital magazine readership surged from 4,000 to over 14,000. Digital platforms and the website now make up over 50% of our readership.

There was considerable uncertainty about the following issue. We sought to reassure the franchise sector by committing to publication but allowing existing clients flexibility on their advertising contracts. By consulting them all individually, we were able to provide clarity and bring out an issue which, while smaller, helped strengthen relationships and reflected the resilience of franchising in general.

Would you recommend becoming a franchisee and why?

Buying a franchise is a great way to get into business. It reduces risk and provides training, marketing, a proven model, buying power and ongoing support to help franchisees make the most of their investment. But not everyone can be a franchisee. Some people are more comfortable as employees, not wanting to take risks and make big decisions; others are too entrepreneurial, not able to follow systems or take advice. Franchisees operate somewhere between the two.

Also, you have to choose a franchise that suits you personally. Indoors or outdoors? Working from home or running a restaurant? Early starts in a bakery or late nights in a pizza place? You’ll be working hard, so it’s important to do something you enjoy. And even within the same industry, different franchise brands have different cultures. Which one will suit you best? These are the types of things we educate our readers about.

What tip do you have for others that would like to enter the awards?

We’ve interviewed lots of Award winners over the last 26 years, and everyone has always said that the entry process is a great way of focusing the mind. It makes you look critically at your business, see what you are doing well and explain why, and see where there are opportunities for improvement.

One thing we found valuable was setting out the 5 key questions the judges asked and then making sure we answered those questions fully, and that the right information was under the right heading. That ensured nothing was missed. You also have to produce facts and figures to back up your statements, so it requires you to have systems in place that measure results, trends and progress – all good disciplines in any business. Although entering was a lot of work, the process makes it worth it. Winning is a bonus!

Just Cuts - Angela Parry Marshall

What does winning the FANZ award mean to you or your business?

To be recognised on a national level by the Franchise Association of New Zealand is both humbling and rewarding. In our field of Community Contribution, we choose to support a specific community need when we saw a worthwhile cause but did not expect National recognition. In these unstable and gloomy times, it has been a fabulous ‘feel good’ for us. Interestingly, even our clients have expressed delight – the ‘feel good’ being passed onto them because they see themselves supporting a local and community active business.

What has been your biggest challenge in the last year and how did you overcome it / or are overcoming it?

Staffing levels have hit every business, especially those of us in retail during this international pandemic. Where to recruit, how to recruit and then to find no one coming forward has been, and still is, disheartening and frustrating. This situation has created a higher level of anxiety and pressure for our dedicated and hardworking team. So, our challenge, as owners, is to ensure our existing team members are happy and to support them in any way possible.

Would you recommend becoming a franchisee and why? For example, what does it mean to you to belong to a franchise? (Support, business development etc.)

We had owned our own salons in Australia and although successful in their own way, there is no comparison with owning a business within a Franchise. The simple security of a tried-and-true formulae takes away an enormous amount of stress in just the simple everyday operating functions. Added to that, levels of advertising, target markets being fully understood, and in today’s complicated digital environment, having access to people who are specialists in specific fields, allows us to concentrate on what we do best – taking care of our Teams. And then the bonus of contact with fellow Franchisees, many who have had years of experience, cannot be calculated! There is always someone to talk to!

What tip do you have for others that would like to enter the awards?

As business owners, we work jolly hard! Even more so in the current climate which isn’t going away any time soon. I heard someone say the other day, “I know history can repeat itself, but I didn’t expect the entire 20th century in a 2-year span!” Don’t be afraid or too shy to put your hand up and say – WE ARE THE BEST WE CAN BE! People ARE interested, we NEED success stories, we NEED good news. Don’t underestimate your clients – they are thrilled when a business they support achieves peer group recognition – it sort of validates them for their good choice in their support of you!

Clean Planet - Ray Boonen

What does winning the FANZ award mean to you or your business?

Being recognised by the Association was very affirming after 10 years of building a successful business from scratch. And what made it all the more special was that my colleague, Nicola Moore, also won an award. We are a team of two, so pretty amazing result. It was heart-warming to receive many messages of congratulations from friends and business associates following the publicity generated by the local media’s coverage.

What has been your biggest challenge in the last year and how did you overcome it / or are overcoming it?

Covid of course had a big impact on us, and everyone else but we were able to keep all our services going while being responsive to our clients’ needs. We look after most of the medical centres in Hawkes Bay, and their needs were continually changing as we went through lockdowns and rapidly evolving protocols.  Being a cleaning service, there was more need for us than ever and we had a 20% growth in Turnover, which was exciting yet tricky when juggling this with the impact that Covid has on our systems. I am so glad that we had invested in good systems, which meant we could manage all of this without getting unduly stressed.

Would you recommend becoming a franchisee and why? For example, what does it mean to you to belong to a franchise? (Support, business development etc.)

I really like the franchise model, particularly for the cleaning business. Most cleaners work for minimum wage, usually invisible and unthanked, and all too often disrespected. The 38 franchisees that we have set up in Hawkes Bay are providing the same service, though with infinitely more dedication and ‘love’, earn a good income, develop long-lasting relationships with the clients where they become valued members of the client’s team, and know that I am 100% behind them – I’m completely focussed on their success. The biggest buzz is watching franchisees in this region being able to buy their first home and transition out of the vulnerability of being a renter. This would simply not be possible on cleaners’ wages.

What tip do you have for others that would like to enter the awards?

I do not find writing about myself easy, but in the end, I enjoyed the process of encapsulating the values and processes that have been the foundation of our success. It is good to stop and do a ‘stock take’ of what one has achieved. And celebrate it, regardless of whether you win or not. Don’t be shy, FANZ do a great job with the awards all the way through the process.