Up until ten years ago, I ran a family florist business in the South of England. My wife and I decided to move further north so she could commute easily to Harrogate. We did a role reversal – she would go out to earn, and I spent 12 months renovating a farm whilst buying a couple of houses, sharpening my skills as a handyman.
Then I became aware of a Rainbow International franchise in my village. I was asked to visit sites on a contracted basis, which involved a lot of manual work, as well as assessing structural relationships in a given building. My contribution prepped the spaces so employees could do their thing. I really enjoyed it. Once my kids started school, I looked at my situation and thought, Yeah, I want to partner with this company…
It helped that I had experience with every single job Rainbow perform. After I completed the training, my first-choice franchise sellers pulled out, so I settled for two branches in Pontefract and Castleford. Two years later, I invested in more. There are now four distinct teams under my leadership, which is testament to the steady rise in our profits over the last near-decade.
A day in the life of David
Much of our work lies in suburbs, where commuters travel to Wakefield, Leeds and other North West locations. They want their generously-sized homes to look incredible, and put a lot of trust in the specialist treatment we offer.
The physical side is what gets me out of bed – I’m always going to be a hands-on bloke! Yet I leave around a third of my schedule free for admin work. Every day, I join one my teams on site; we have several assignments to perform. Then I’ll pick my son up from school and spend the rest of the afternoon filling out reports and catching up on emails.
Sometimes, I’ll stay on-site with a client if I think I can get the job done in one go. Our business has reduced turnaround times, because I’m fastidious about new equipment. As a result, we’ve won a company award for our work; another, too, for the admin side, which is graded on the length of jobs, invoices and KPIs.
For me, staff are the biggest challenge. I’m in my 40s and expect a guy of 25, say, to be able to keep up with what I do. Managing workloads, holidays and expectations can be tricky, so it’s good to know I have the support of Rainbow Head Office when I need it.
Actually, before we opened the first branch, I thought I’d be handed the badge, the uniform, and that would be it… But I’m often on the phone to senior figures in the company, asking for their perspective when I get a stuck or seek advice.
Rainbow excel at letting you work your own way – with as much or little help as you want. That’s a big plus in a sector that has such a diverse client base.