Recently, Eden Exchange spoke with Kimberly Burgess who is a Franchisor for Jim’s Kitchens. Kimberly discusses how Jim’s differentiates its brand in the market, who would make the perfect Franchisee, and why Jim’s Kitchens is such a lucrative opportunity for the right person.
Eden Exchange: Thanks for speaking with us Kimberly. Can you tell us about your background and career? Were franchise opportunities something that always interested you? and why did you pick Jim’s Kitchens in particular?
Kimberly Burgess: Wayne and I have owned our own building company for nearly 15 years. We have always worked very closely together and enjoy the time we share in life and in work. My role is in invoicing, customer relation, bookwork and other admin. Wayne’s role is management, quoting and on-road jobs mostly. I’m also a registered nurse, working full-time. Kitchens has been a trade for Wayne for the past twenty eights years so he is extremely experienced in this industry. As a couple we are fortunate enough to be able to work together like we do and make the most of it.
Eden Exchange: Which areas of Australia are you currently focusing on and what are some available opportunities unique to these regions?
Kimberly Burgess: Currently we are based in South Australia, however are now ready to branch into Victoria and New South Wales n 2018. We are eager for more business and want to expand into areas that hold great demand for our services. Victoria and New South Wales’ population has been increasing in recent years. There is demand in new housing developments and the reality renovation shows are encouraging Australians to renovate in a big way. Everyone now dreams of a bigger pantry, open plan kitchens, in-wall coffee machine stations, and a kitchen island.
Eden Exchange: What do you think are the advantages of working as a franchisee and managing your own business?
Kimberly Burgess: We like the autonomy. Your work schedule can be fit in around your own commitments and you can allocate time to do important things like watching your children’s important sporting/school events. You don’t have to see your children’s achievements second hand on someone’s phone or social media feed. You can do this without having to have permission from a boss. It is too easy to be caught up in work nowadays and not take the time to enjoy life. We’d rather be doing the things we want to do now and not wait until we retire to start checking off that old bucket list so to speak.
Eden Exchange: What advice can you offer someone working for themselves for the first time? How do you grow your customer base with Jim’s Kitchens?
Kimberly Burgess: Business franchising is mainly a mixture of common sense and self motivation rolled into one. The best advice I can give is do not expect work to come to you without hard work, it doesn’t happen overnight. Great customer communication and service skills have a huge difference in your franchise being successful.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. With the Jim’s Group we grow our customer base through referrals with other Jim’s divisions. Customers will opt for a Jim’s service if they have had a good experience in the past with another division of Jim’s. Often it is as simple as one of our franchisees saying to a customer “did you know Jim’s is in … now?”. With the Jim’s Group there is a network of overlapping businesses and when you have a huge job lined up, having the option of a Jim’s group franchise like Jim’s Skip bins, Jim’s Building inspections, Jim’s cleaning, Jim’s interior designs, Jim’s handyman, Jim’s Real Estate and Jim’s Plumbing sure does come in handy. Not to mention when a client asks for something new and trendy that we haven’t seen before, we have a network of other franchisees/franchisors across the country who are just a phone call away.
Eden Exchange: Can you tell us about the initial training and support provided to Jim’s Kitchens franchisees? What ongoing support is offered?
Kimberly Burgess: Initially Jim’s franchisee training is a 3 day workshop in Melbourne at the Jim’s Group head office. This is to educate new franchisees on the systems and procedures required to run a Jim’s franchise. Following this Jim’s Kitchens then provides on-site training for the Jim’s Kitchens Franchisee as well as first aid and OH&S. Ongoing support from the franchisor is continual. Support is given as often as required. We are always there to help. Jim’s work as a team and are not in competition with each other. Even though you are working for yourself, your fellow Jim’s Kitchens franchisees are more like on call work mates.
Eden Exchange: In your opinion, what makes for a successful Jim’s Kitchens franchise owner? Is it experience, licensing, attitude or something else?
Kimberly Burgess: There are many ways to succeed as a franchise owner, such as drive, determination and effort. What is most important is attitude and good customer service and quality. Positivity and optimism can go along way in making you successful. I’ve never known a customer to invite a sarcastic or rude tradesman into their home to build their kitchen, no matter how skilled they are.
Eden Exchange: What makes Jim’s Kitchens unique among other franchising opportunities?
Kimberly Burgess: At Jim’s kitchens we have a seven day call centre available for all customers and franchisees. The Jim’s brand name holds a huge importance to many customers across Australia. We have 96% recognition in Australia. That is almost unheard of if you think about it. When you are looking for a franchise business you really want to be able to tick the box with a well known brand with proven methods in business and skilled service.
Eden Exchange: What are some of the challenges you have overcome since joining Jim’s Kitchens? What are some of the key achievements you are proud of to date?
Kimberly Burgess: Every small business has its challenges, whether you are new to the area or simply starting up a new business from scratch. Our challenges included learning everything we could about the franchise industry, keeping on trend with kitchen renovation innovations and gaining new franchisees to build up our business. We are looking to bring in new franchisees this year.
Eden Exchange: What is the best thing about your job, what drives you to do what you do? Have there been many noticeable differences to your work-life balance since purchasing your own Jim’s Kitchens franchise?
Kimberly Burgess: Currently, we are both extremely busy and need new franchisees to services all the work. Sometimes you can find someone keen to be their own boss and go through the training only to decide that it wasn’t right for them, or their circumstances changed. We need to be patient and driven to find the right franchisees to come on board who will see it through. In regards to work life balance, we find running our own business as a couple very rewarding as we work well together. We can fit this around our family life and our times when we want to just get away and unwind. I don’t think we could have done that as easily before buying the franchise. What drives us is our determination to succeed. We don’t go to bed dreading the next days’ work and when we wake up we are happy to get stuck into it. We really do enjoy doing what we do.
Eden Exchange: Thank you for your time.
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About Jim’s Kitchens
Jim’s Kitchens are a division of the Jim’s Group with over 30 years’ experience in building, kitchen installations and trade project management. We take the guesswork out of kitchen renovations. The growth opportunities are fantastic for servicing all over Australia – they are looking for a Franchisee who is ready for a change in their life! The Jim’s brand is recognised by 94% of Australian adults & coupled with the accrued business acumen and proven systems, your business will have an enormous head start over your competitors.
Jim’s Kitchens provides you with the opportunity to work in an indoors environment, the convenience to work your own hours building and installing kitchens. You can be your own boss and build & manage your own business without limit.
Jim’s Kitchens will be there to help you reach your goals, with full training and ongoing support. So if you are ready to grow a successful business then they want to hear from you today.