Buying a franchise can have many advantages over starting a business from scratch. Brand recognition, low startup costs, marketing support and access to an established client base are just some of these.
Often what is just as important is the support and mentorship a new franchisee receives from experienced operators and professionals in the industry.
Eden Exchange recently spoke with James Jacka, who is a Divisional Manager of Australia and New Zealand at Jim’s Test & Tag and Jim’s Fire Safety.
Thanks for speaking with us James. Can you tell us about your background and career? Why did you get in to franchising and how did you first get involved with Jim’s Test and Tag and Fire Safety?
I was looking for a business that I could run that would provide the following attributes and Jim’s Test & Tag ticked the boxes.
It allowed me to derive an income of 100k+ per annum and also develop a saleable asset. It also provided flexibility as holidays and family are very important to me. Apart from this, I found a business that provided training and ongoing support for the skills I required to run the business successfully. It also need an entry investment of less than 100k to get set up and ready to trade with a proven system to follow.
What areas do you specialise in?
When I first entered the franchise, test and tagging electrical appliance and RCD testing (safety switches) was all we did. Now with the inclusion of Fire and Emergency and Exit light testing, I prefer to provide a holistic package.
This provides a few advantages such as a wider variety of work and a larger number of high-value of clients. On average, because of the higher value service offering we now have, I need less clients and have less travel time. I’m also more valuable to the clients and harder to replace.
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?
Be clear on your personal goals and find a franchise/business that fits.
In your opinion, what makes for a successful Jim’s Test and Tag franchise owner? Is it experience, attitude or something else?
The successful franchise owners at Jim’s Test & Tag / Jim’s Fire Safety seems to all have three key attributes. Firstly, it is the positive attitude they exhibit with their customers. Secondly it’s the amount of activity they do daily and weekly either servicing customers or building tomorrow’s customer. Thirdly, it’s their communication with the rest of the group and how much then use the skills the group has accumulated.
What type of support does Jim’s Test and Tag provide once a new franchise has opened its doors?
The support is delivered in a few different formats for a new franchise coming into the system; post the information workshop, business plan and cash flow process, every franchise spends 22 days in the induction course covering technical skills, business management, sales and marketing.
After this, the local franchisor spends further time on the road and performs a business planning day. Business review days are formally offered every 12 months, although the proactive franchise owners do this more often. Ongoing regional meetings every 6 weeks and annual conferences provide a great opportunity to network with the best guys in the group.
What major industry trends should franchise buyers and sellers be looking out for? What’s your take on where your industry is heading?
Understanding the customers’ needs and being ‘solution driven’ is an ever changing game.
What challenges have you faced to get the business where it is today? On the other side, what are some of the key achievements you are proud of?
Personally, I found the initial months challenging. This was mainly because the back end of the business was disorganised. I was owed almost 20k by the end of the third month. It’s important for any new franchise owner to set their business up correctly from day one, otherwise things tend to get in the way.
What’s the most interesting part of your job? What drives you to do what you do?
The people in the franchise are a fantastic group of people, whether it’s sharing a win or a challenge being faced. We’re all in this together and generally happy to share as we all go through the journey.
Thanks for your time James.
About Jim’s Test and Tag
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 are there to help you succeed, call 131 546 today or fill in our Franchise Enquiry Form.