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Jennie’s Story

As Jennie celebrates being shortlisted for the British Franchise Association HSBC Young Female Franchisee of the Year, she looks back on her achievements and experiences as Managing Director of Rainbow International Derbyshire…

Jennie’s Story

Ever since I can remember, my mum and dad both ran their own businesses, so you could say I inherited their entrepreneurial spirit. Being raised by self-employed, driven parents played a huge part in the way I lead my team, win clients, and plan ahead.
Today, mum stands by me as not only my mum but as a franchise partner, colleague and business advisor. She planned to buy the Rainbow franchise with her friend and have me join the team as a technician. During initial training, I was identified as a desired ‘young face’ of Rainbow, and I was asked to run the franchise with her.

I couldn’t have been happier to accept the offer back in 2015… It’s allowed me to achieve so much, including Franchisee of the Month – twice!

We’ve since moved to bigger and better premises, added to our team, and elevated our fire and flood restoration knowledge. We operate four licensed areas within the East Midlands; our office is now based in Langley Mill.
Our technicians are trained to sample asbestos and complete NNLW asbestos removal – this has amplified our clientele massively. We also work closely with a contracting company, who can offer a reinstatement service following restoration of properties involved in insurance claims. It allows us to stand-out from our fire and flood competitors.

My greatest challenge to date has been the Cumbria floods that happened in late 2015. We were still fairly new to the process, yet we were asked to help with the clean-up of such a huge, heavily publicised weather event.

That meant we drove for hours to reach the large-scale damage, where we found drawers filled with water, meter-high water marks and properties turned upside down. All the hard work pays off to see a grateful expression on a homeowner’s face. When all the work is done, it’s so great to know that my humble Rainbow team can drastically change lives for the better!

A day in the life of Jennie

My day-to-day life has changed drastically compared to day one – I used to work seven days a week, and constantly be on call in case an urgent job came in. However, due to my determination and persistence, I now have the freedom to work when I like. As the team has grown, more and more weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I’m mainly office-based now, managing five technicians overseeing the vast array of responsibility split between each member of staff.

Since day one, I have followed the motto that customers come first – therefore I have hired a full-time sales and marketing manager, who has years of experience drawing customers in through tactical advertisement and building on those client relationships even more.

Our successes have allowed me to hire a claims handler who leads the technicians’ diaries, relationships with insurance companies and office admin. This means I can now take on a supervisory role, forging links with new people and companies to gain more commercial clients than ever. Throughout the day, I could be meeting new franchisees to help guide them, fresh clients or thinking of new ways to heighten our future prospects.

With the support of my amazing staff, I’ve managed to hit financial and personal targets for the business a whole year ahead of schedule. The additional support offered by Head Office and my surrounding franchisees has been invaluable. I will admit it does take a while to hone your experience for successful franchise management, but the payoff is outstanding. I can honestly say that I’ve never looked back!

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