David and Dayna Clarence
David and Dayna Clarence are a classic example of how the Rainbow model can guide people to success.
Within two years of investing in their Northampton-based franchise the husband and wife team have taken turnover to nearly £1m and are employing 10 staff. They now run six franchise areas.
They have invested in a new 3,500 sq ft fast response centre and have developed a strong income stream from specialist cleaning services in addition to delivering disaster restoration services to Britain's leading insurers and loss adjusters.
Why did you want to go into business for yourself?
We had worked for other people for many years and we were making a major contribution to the success of the business. We decided to take the opportunity to be our own bosses and start making money for ourselves as well as having the satisfaction of building our own business. We also liked the idea of working together.
Why did you choose franchising?
There are three main reasons why we chose the franchising route:
1. David had worked in franchising and understood the benefits.
2. We really liked the idea of having an established brand behind what and who we are.
3. We wanted to be able to draw on the support and experience provided by the head office team and from other members of the network.
We can say that franchising was definitely the right decision for us.
What attracted you to the Rainbow International franchise?
David had worked in a Rainbow International franchise for six years which gave him a great understanding of the business as well as the technical and business skills required.
He had met lots of successful Rainbow franchisees who told him about how he too could be successful if he followed the Rainbow model and had a positive can-do attitude.
We both felt there was a wonderful opportunity to build a successful and enjoyable future with Rainbow.
How has business been since starting your franchise?
We have had two very successful years. We have had to work hard to build relationships but now we have some excellent relationships with our clients.
We took over an existing business and have rapidly built up annual turnover to close to £1m. We have continued to invest in the business and have grown our specialist cleaning services. An example of this would be investing in steam clean technology for kitchen deep cleans.
How do you manage the work/life family balance?
Believe it or not, we find it a lot easier having our own business than we did working for someone else. We have a six-year-old, a 10-month-old and another baby on the way. For us we didn’t just want to have our own business to make money (although that was one of the reasons!), we wanted to have a better life for our family and be able to see them grow up and we can honestly say that we do both; the latter more than we did when working for someone else.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone on how to win business what would it be?
Don’t try and sell! I have met with lots of clients from insurance companies, brokers right through to landlords and I have found what wins us the most and best quality work is just being yourself and listening to their needs. It’s very rare I will meet with a client and start reeling off our services etc. I like to meet with them, get to know them and offer the service they are looking for. Remember once you are in the door you can offer the other strings to your bow.
What business plans do you have to grow in the future?
Actually we have just expanded from a four-area franchise to a six-area franchise. This is very exciting as it means lots of new and existing clients to meet and greet. Both myself and David are very competitive people so we are always wanting to be at the top of every leader board and in for a chance to win awards.
What advice would you give those looking to start their own business?
The one piece of advice I would give anyone looking to get a franchise is listen to successful franchisees; they are successful for a reason. Soak up as much information as you possibly can and implement the same in your own business even if they are a lot bigger you can shadow the same methods but on a smaller scale.
The last thing I will say is if anyone is interested in investing in a Rainbow franchise: DO IT - it’s the best thing we ever did and we wouldn’t change a thing!