“I’ve always liked being my own boss; I spent 35 years in the IT industry, I worked for corporate companies and also spent some time running my own business, with jobs that took me across Europe. However, eventually I got fed up of commuting huge distances, and decided it was time for a change.
Franchising appealed to me, as it struck the balance between the corporate elements I was accustomed to, and the freedom to work for myself. As an established, stable business model, Rainbow International stood out.
I explored several territories, and eventually found a resale opportunity in Somerset. The franchisee was not comfortable with the implications associated with changes in the insurance industry, which meant I was able to agree an appropriate price for the territory.
When the sale went through, I transferred the assets – including 13 staff, several vehicles and lots of equipment – to a new company. Over the past six years, I’ve set about diversifying the branch to capitalise on these assets and grow a profitable business model.”
A day in the life of Keith
The business has evolved considerably since I took it on in 2011. Originally, the team relied on centrally sourced insurance work, as well as carpet and rug cleaning jobs. However, I strongly believe that a franchise partnership relies on both parties working hard to increase the levels of business from each area that they are mutually responsible for.
Having been a salesman for over 30 years, I felt comfortable branching out into new markets: today we work with councils, local housing associations and industrial clients. Many of our staff have specialist skills, allowing us to undertake specialist jobs, such as bio hazard cleaning and asbestos removal.
At times, I work in the field with the technicians, and I specifically specialise in leak detection. However my day-to-day role centres around managing the business and solving problems as they arise.
I spend a lot of time networking, talking to customers, dealing with loss adjusters, overseeing the office and managing our accounts. It’s a diverse role, and I like keeping a close eye on all aspects of the business.
It’s hugely rewarding to create a happy, productive environment where staff are motivated to go out and perform. Being a Rainbow International franchisee gives me the support and freedom to do that.”