Recently, Eden Exchange spoke with Damien Herzick who is a Regional Franchisor for Jim’s Fencing in Gawler, South Australia. Damien discusses how Jim’s Fencing differentiates its brand in the market, who would make the perfect Franchisee and why Jim’s Fencing is such a lucrative opportunity for the right person.
EdenExchange: Thanks for speaking with us Damien. Can you tell us a bit about your background and career? How long have you been at Jim’s Fencing and how did you first get involved with the company?
Damien Herzick: I have been running my own business since the day I finished my apprenticeship as a mechanic when I was 18 (that’s 26 years ago now). Originally I started with a traditional mechanical business and was in that job for eleven years. I started looking for a new challenge and through a friend started Jim’s Earthworks. I worked with that for twelve months, and while I enjoyed working in Jim’s system I felt a desire for change which made me move over into fencing. I started up Jim’s Fencing Gawler and worked at it for three years when the opportunity popped up to buy the whole state and become a franchisor, which I gladly did and have now been doing it for eleven years.
EdenExchange: In 2015 you were awarded for Excellent Customer Support. What does this award mean to you?
Damien Herzick: I don’t think anyone really likes to talk about their awards and medals. I am not one to brag about my achievements and I certainly don’t wave that thing around or draw attention to it. I just love my job, respect my team and love being my own boss. That makes a difference in the way you do business from the way you communicate with your customers to the way you support your franchisees. I was proud to receive this award. It just reinforces that you are at least trying to do the right thing for all the franchisees. It all really came down to my franchisees and the work that they do every day. Support awards are not one persons achievement but a team effort from everyone.
EdenExchange: What do you see as the advantages of working as a franchise?
Damien Herzick: Whether it is mechanics or fencing it all comes down to the same thing. For me, it’s the level of support that separates franchises from traditional businesses. As a franchisee, there is always someone there to lend a hand no matter what issues arise, and the ability to be able to register for work and have leads supplied almost straight away. Being in business by yourself instead of for yourself is something I would just never recommend to anyone. There is a lot of hard work involved in running a business every day. To be successful in a business as a sole person you really need to be the jack of all trades. There aren’t that many people out there who can be the perfect builder, supporter, marketer, salesman and manager all in one. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone like that exists, at least not anyone that I know.
EdenExchange: 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?
Damien Herzick: I think there is a lot to be said about how to best go about your business. I always say to my franchisees that it’s not an easy road running your own business, but if you work hard and follow the system that has been created for you, then you can set yourself up for a rewarding lifestyle. It really is about how much work you put into your business to what you get out of it. Nothing that’s done with a minimal effort ever gave great rewards I think. So I would discourage anyone looking to score quick money for easy work. If you are in it for the work-life balance you need to make sure that your working days are running efficiently, and you need to use your time wisely. That alone requires attention to detail and working hard the best way you can. And if you are just interested because your mate said you could earn some decent money for less work then a franchise just isn’t for you.
EdenExchange: Can you tell us about the initial training and support provided to Jim’s Fencing franchisees? After that, what ongoing support is offered?
Damien Herzick: The eight week paid for training is one of the main things that help to set up a successful business moving forward. A well-constructed training program going through all the procedures to not only help with the construction side but also quoting and most importantly bookkeeping. The support after is vital for ongoing success. To have someone who has already walked along the path there to help is a great part of the system. You don’t really need to have great business skills to inquire about a franchise. It really all comes down to having good people skills and a drive to do the hard work. We give you the business basics in the training package to get you started. After that, it is just a matter of finding your comfort zone. I mean to say if you are bad with numbers and bookkeeping, don’t worry, there is a solution for everyone and we never send you out on your own unless we know you can handle it.
EdenExchange: In your opinion, what makes for a successful Jim’s Fencing franchise owner? Is it experience, attitude or something else?
Damien Herzick: Hard work is vital but I also think that time management is the key. Time to quote, time to work, time for bookwork and time for family. The quicker you can work that balance out the more likely that your franchise will be successful. Dragging your feet never really gets you anywhere when it comes to success. So if something is holding you back from succeeding then make a change or just do something about it. Hesitation and reluctance to face the issues just positions you further away from the life you want and the reason you wanted to be a franchisee in the first place.
EdenExchange: What makes Jim’s Fencing unique among other franchising opportunities?
Damien Herzick: The Jim’s support system is second to none that I have seen. Also, it encourages growth in your own business without looking to take extra money out of your business. The Jim’s group have been in business for decades now, so they know what they are doing. Not many franchises can offer years of experience in business and a proven system. Jim’s also has the benefit of a recognised brand with 96% recognition across Australia. Reputation for good business makes a great difference to someone starting out as a franchisee for the first time. Knowing that you have the best training and support around and many have succeeded as franchisees before you gives a sense of ease to those starting out, and takes some of the weight off your shoulders when making the decision about buying a business.
EdenExchange: What are some of the challenges you have overcome since joining Jim’s Fencing? and what are some of the key achievements you are proud of?
Damien Herzick: There are always challenges with running your own business. As they say, if it was easy everyone would do it. Challenges are just problems that need solutions so I focus on what needs to be done every day to do the best I can as a business owner. I’m proud of what I do every day in my business. As a franchisee, I’d say I probably had it a bit easier as I have had the experience as a business owner since I was 18. Not everyone starts out that way, so I didn’t really have the same challenges that others might have experienced. I think for me it was just getting settled into the business, learning the ropes and getting used to wearing the Jim’s shirt. At least compared to those being their own boss for the first time.
EdenExchange: What is the best thing about your job, what drives you to do what you do?
Damien Herzick: There is a lot that I really like about my job. I was a mechanic and now I’m a fence builder. I’ve always liked a job where I can get my hands dirty and just get stuck into it. There is just something about this kind of work that is satisfying, I really enjoy doing what I do. I also love to see new franchisees grow as business owners , and see them run a successful business of their own. My family is what drives me to do my best and as an extension of that my franchisee’s families drive me to want what’s best for them. Franchisors are not just an operator at the end of the line. We are fellow fence builders who can have a laugh, chat a bit about home life and ask each other about our day. At the end of the day if my franchisees are making good sales but are miserable then I know I’m not doing my job right. I want them to achieve a balance and a love for the job as I do. Knowing that someone out there can have a better life because of me drives me to be a great franchisor and a great work mate.
EdenExchange: Thanks Damien, it was great chatting and we hope to hear from you again soon.
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.
Jim’s Fencing was set up 20 years ago as an extension of the Jim’s Group, the largest and best-known home services business in Australia that now has branches in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Coupled with your pride in quality workmanship and service, you can achieve direct rewards for the effort you expend in your own business. A Jim’s Fencing franchise is a fantastic opportunity to run a business, with the support of an organisation that offers a rewarding lifestyle and excellent financial gain.
With over 3,700 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 Fencing, speak to us today to discuss how Jim’s family could be right for you. Jim’ Fencing is there to help you succeed, call 131 546 today or fill in our enquiry form.