The long and short of V.I.P. Home Services

Bill Vis was featured in Business Franchise Aus & NZ magazine.

You can read the article here.

Here are some excerpts:

What made you decide to begin franchising?

Basically, I bought everyone off the market. After a while I took a $50 deposit for other lawn-mowing rounds, which I eventually changed to a membership fee. This was in 1979 and I’d never heard of the term ‘franchising’. I didn’t even realise at the time that I was indeed franchising my lawnmowing business.

What do you think sets V.I.P. apart from its competitors?

Our franchisees can enter our system at a level that suits them. In a way we view ourselves as life and business coaches. Although we’re in the lawn mowing and cleaning business, if you don’t provide good customer service you can’t retain clients. We encourage our franchisees to look after clients and follow our best practices. If our franchisees aren’t achieving the things they want to achieve, we have a strong commitment to work with them. This might mean being able to send their kids to private school, own their own home or take regular holidays. This might even mean helping them to set up their own self-managed super funds by connecting franchisees to professionals in the industry.

What do you feel are the positive aspects of mobile services franchises in comparisons to other options that are available in the market?

Firstly, there are no overheads or reliance on ‘position, position, position’. You can take your service to your clients. You’re advertising your business while you go about your daily business driving around. You have a constant billboard on the street with consistent exposure. We’ve estimated that from our 1100 strong franchise network that we generate over $5.5 million in free advertising. This is a powerful mechanism and we’re constantly encouraging our franchisees to upgrade their trailers and take pride in their work materials.

When looking at investing in a franchise, what do you consider to be the top three things people should be looking for?

Firstly, return on investment. You should achieve a 12 month return for what you pay in fees. Work out what your net return will be. Secondly, consider if you are buying regular clients or a territory. Finally, make sure you like the people you’ll be working with, especially the franchisor, as this relationship is much the same as a marriage.