Interview: Marching My Way To Franchise Success (ft. Isaac Pene Franchisee for Gutterknight Gold Coast)

Recently Eden Exchange spoke with Isaac Pene, a Franchisee for Gutter Knight. With an interesting tale about his life before franchising, Isaac’s journey represents the importance of change and how anyone from any career background can make a real go of a great business opportunity. Read on as Isaac lists the obstacles faced on his journey to become his own boss and why Gutter Knight is the one opportunity not to be missed.

Isaac Pene- Gutter Knight Franchisee for the Gold Coast

Eden Exchange: Hello Isaac, Thank you for this opportunity. Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and what your current role is in Gutterknight?

Isaac Pene: Sure, I will start by saying change is a great thing; sure it’s challenging and scary at times, However I felt it was necessary for both my personal and professional life. I had no prior experience in the construction industry,  no sales or marketing experience either… zip… zilch… nada. In fact, I was somewhat isolated from normal society while serving my country in the military for 26 years. I had  gained a lot of great skills and experiences throughout my military service, but I knew I had a lot of readjusting to do as I transitioned from the military lifestyle to the civilian business sector. Working for myself was always a long-term goal of mine, and I was very fortunate to meet Brian Brown who gave my partner and I an opportunity to own our Gutter Knight Franchise. We are now very proud independent business owners of Gutter Knight GC (Gold Coast) and are loving every minute of this new venture.

Eden Exchange: Can you tell us a little about what Gutterknight is and the services it provides? What is the difference between Gutterknight and other gutter based franchises?

Isaac Pene: Gutter Knight is a locally owned and operated business which provides high-quality Gutter Guard and leaf solutions for all different types of buildings ranging from residential through to commercial. From low set tile roofs, corrugated high set roofs, Trimdek sheds or commercial box guttering. As professional Gutter Guard installers we will provide you with the appropriate gutter guard leaf solutions to solve your problem. 

What makes us different you ask?

  • Product. Customers investing in Gutter Guard want to know that it’s going to last for a long time. The most common question I receive is how long will it last, will it rust?. I am always happy to explain to my customers that all gutter leaf guard products are Australian made and pass through many strict Quality Control processes to ensure the highest quality material available. We offer a range of different products that solve individual problems.
  • Warranty. We are so confident that our product and services are first class we not only guarantee the product but also importantly our workmanship. You receive a signed,12 Year Product and 20-year Workmanship certificate. A verbal warranty is worthless.
  • Family. Although we are independent business owners the Gutter Knight family is all about information sharing and professional development. We have great mentors for technical advice and business coaching and all Gutter Knight Franchise owners are always willing to share their experiences and help out.
  • The Service. One point of difference is the timely and professional conduct of the Technician. Turning up on time, completing the installation on time, cleaning up after the installation is all part of the Gutter Knight standards. If the situation changes (for example is there inclement weather) then good communication is always maintained, so my clients are fully aware of what’s going on. Again, a very simple but effective way to stand out by maintaining some basic fundamental business standards.

Eden Exchange: How long have you been with the Gutterknight franchise and what are your highlights so far? Is there anything of note that has changed since joining the franchise.

Isaac Pene: We have owned our Gutter Knight business now for 10months and  we are still learning new things every day. My highlights are without a doubt every sale that I convert. Whether it’s a 10 m sale or a 180 m sale, the satisfaction I get from the final handshake means I have successfully solved my client’s problem; my clients trust me, they trust my business practice and they trust the product.

Eden Exchange: Has you business exceeded all expectations so far? How does your work-life balance compare to time before owning a Gutterknight franchise?

The demand for Gutter Knight comes down to quality regarding product and services.

Isaac Pene: Work-life balance when owning a Gutter Knight business is excellent. In my opinion, it’s really simple, spend time planning out your individual/family goals, combine your business goals, write them down and action them. My weekly routine remains similar most weeks, but the flexibility of owning a Gutter Knight business means if I am installing and finish at 2 pm then my day is finished. On the other hand, if a quote comes in on my way home at 5pm then I will work late that night to complete it.

Eden Exchange: What do you think is driving the demand for Gutterknight? Is there something unique about Australia’s climate or are their other environmental factors creating the demand?

Isaac Pene: I think the demand for Gutter Knight comes down to quality regarding product and services. Consumers want to solve their blocked gutter problems at a competitive price with a product that will stand up to the harsh Australian environment. We utilise Australian made products for Australian made homes and conditions. This gives gives consumers the confidence that investing in a Gutter Knight Gutter Guard will afford them the benefit of a product that will last and more importantly do the job.

Offering the Fire Ember Guard that meets the new Australian Standards requirement for Ember Guard is also attracting consumers. There is an increase in new buildings in fire prone areas that require Ember Guard to be installed. Building and roofing companies are aware that Gutter Knight products meet these requirements along with the Building Code for Australia standards. Gutter Knight franchisees are encouraged to network and start building relations with local building and roofing companies to expand on the Gutter Knight brand, which will and has increased demand.

Eden Exchange: According to the Gutterknight website a franchisee has the option to be either an installer and builder or an administration and managerial style of franchisee. Can you elaborate on this? Are there different ways to run a franchise with Gutterknight?

Isaac Pene: There are different ways to manage a Gutter Knight franchise, and it completely depends on your personal / business goals and what motivates you. The Gutter Knight business model has the processes and resources in place that allow you to choose how you run your business. The Gutter Knight franchisee package offers an in-house training programme that gives you on-site installation training, on-site sales training, guidance from franchisors as well as ongoing advice. This way, if at any time your situation changes and  you have to make a change, you have the flexibility to change the way you manage and run your business.

The Gutter Knight business model has the processes in place that allow you to choose how you run your business.

Eden Exchange: Can you tell us about where you see your business in say the next 5 years? 

Isaac Pene: Our long-term goal is to expand our Gutter Knight Gold Coast Franchise brand by networking and gaining the trust of our local building & roofing companies and property managers around the Gold Coast region. New infrastructure projects are popping up everywhere including Pimpama and Coomera where plans to build a new school for 1000 students are set to open in 2019.

Logan City Council has also revealed development plans for the Flagstone / Jimboomba area and announced that the region had the highest number of houses built in more than a decade. The residential housing boom in the Gold Coast means that there is great potential for increased business. However, we know it won’t just be delivered to our front doorstep. We need to keep growing and networking so we can turn this opportunity into a success.

Eden Exchange: What in your opinion characteristics that make a successful Gutterknight franchisee? Are there any personalities that suit the Gutterknight business model best?

Isaac Pene: Motivation drives success. Gutter Knight has all the procedures and processes in place for anyone to join the Gutter Knight family and be successful. Like many other small businesses, motivation to succeed is a critical factor in this business. If you are willing to follow the proven successful business model of Gutter Knight and you have the motivation to learn and grow your  franchise, then you have the attributes that Gutter Knight is looking for to join and uphold the high standards.

Eden Exchange: Thanks Isaac. It has been a pleasure talking to you and we hope to hear from you again soon.

About Gutter Knight

Looking for a very simple business that earns exceptional income that can be run under management or done by yourself – supply and installing gutter guard?  Gutter knight is an Australian owned and run business based in Brisbane with owner operators around Australia who provide high quality, value for money gutter protection available for residential through to commercial applications. All products are Australian made / product of Australia and pass through many strict Quality Control processes to ensure the highest quality material available. From start to finish you can expect first class service. The actual business owner will personally meet you onsite, on time, and will listen to what you require. They will answer any questions that you may have about the process and will suggest some options and ideas to assist you in making your decision for your individual circumstances. You can be assured you will be offered ‘real personalised advice’ that is right for you.. Unlike other companies, Gutter Knight not only guarantees its product but also importantly our workmanship. We will clean up the site so well that the only way you will know we have been there is from your leaf free gutters and added value to your home.