Eden Exchange recently spoke with Rob Jonker who is a Regional Franchisor in Queensland at Jim’s Test & Tag and Jim’s Fire Safety. Rob talked to us about his experience with Jim’s Test & Tag and Fire Safety and also provide some insights for entrepreneurs interested in entering small business and franchising.
Thanks for speaking with us Rob. Why did you get in to franchising? How long have you been at Jim’s Test & Tag? What were you doing prior to becoming a franchisor and how did you first get involved with the company?
I’ve been at Jim’s Test & Tag for just over 1.5 years now. I’ve had my own building business for the last 28 years and the reason I looked at Jim’s Test & Tag was to “get off the tools”.
Testing and Tagging is a lot easier on the body than the building game. I talked to some Jim’s Test & Tag franchisees from my area and it seemed like a very profitable business model. I knew very little about the industry so franchising was the way to go. All the knowledge and support was provided so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel to get going.
What areas do you specialise in? You currently have franchise territories available throughout Queensland. In your opinion, what are some of the factors making running businesses in your regions unique?
My region runs from Gladstone in the north to Brisbane airport in the south. It’s quite a large area with only 6 franchisees at the moment. While that means there are some areas we can’t correctly service at the moment, it also means there are very good prospective territories with next to no competition.
What advice do you have for someone looking to run a franchise for the first time? What’s the key message you tell new franchisees?
I always tell them to do their homework and speak to as many franchisees as they can. New franchisees are introduced to current franchisees and get a list of contact numbers for current franchisees.
I encourage you to ask all the questions you can before determining if franchising is for you. Franchising has a lot of positives like support, network and brand name but it needs to suit you as there are also some restrictions.
In your opinion, what makes for a successful Jim’s Test & Tag franchise owner?
A successful franchise owner should be a likable, social person, and a good communicator. Technical knowledge is easy to learn, communication is a bit harder.
What type of support does Jim’s Test & Tag provide once a new franchise has opened its doors?
I always try to convince a new franchisee to buy some clients off other franchisees before starting if they are available. This is just to make the start a bit easier in relation to cashflow and confidence. It’s a lot easier to sell your product if you have already had some experience.
Before the franchisee starts we’ll make a plan with clearly defined goals and a 10 point plan of daily activities. I’ll usually take them on the road to do some jobs together to get their speed and confidence up. I’ll help them with cold calling as well. If they haven’t bought any clients, we’ll work on my jobs. Some need more help than others. For some, it can take just a couple of days to get up to speed, for others it can take a couple of weeks. After that, I’ll call them a couple of times a week for support and we’ll also do regular business reviews.
What major industry trends should franchise buyers and sellers be looking out for? What’s your take on where your industry is heading?
Our industry, the safety industry, in my opinion is here to stay and may even become more strict. Government and businesses have come a long way in making health and safety a priority and educating their workers and themselves over the last 20 to 30 years.
What are some of the key achievements you are proud of at Jim’s Test Tag? On the other side, what challenges have you faced to get the business where it is today?
As I only started 1.5 years ago, my key achievements are still ahead of me. Although I’ve reached all my goals in my own franchise business, the best is yet to come.
What’s the best part of your job?
For me, the best past is the freedom to control your own times and schedule. I’ve been self employed for basically my whole working life. I don’t think I would be able to work for someone else. Second best is the financial rewards the business provided me.
Thanks for your time Rob.
About Jim’s Test & Tag and Jim’s Fire Safety
Jim’s Test & Tag, Australia’s first choice for electrical testing and tagging services
Looking for a new challenge and want to become your own boss? Nothing could be easier than owning your own franchise business with Jim’s. We will provide you with equipment, full training and ongoing support to help you with your journey to success.
With over 3,000 franchisees across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, the Jim’s Group is a recognised and trusted brand. Our franchisees enjoy the flexibility, lifestyle, income and ability to control their own time with their business.
If you’re interested to find out more or are thinking about becoming a Franchisee with Jim’s Test & Tag, speak to us today to discuss how the Jim’s family could be right for you. Jim’s Test & Tag and Jim’s Fire Safety are there to help you succeed, call 131 546 today or fill in our Franchise Enquiry Form.