Former Valley’s-based cabbie James Jones, who has run his own taxi firm for the past four years, has started drain doctoring in partnership with his cousin, part-time fireman Robert Clarke, and Robert’s brother-in-law Andrew Hughes.
The Rhondda-based trio have taken on a franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing offering emergency plumbing and drain repairs to commercial and domestic customers throughout Cardiff, the valleys and the surrounding towns and villages. They are also operating the business in Newport on a trial basis.
James started his career as a team leader for Lloyds TSB before setting up his taxi business so he knows a thing or two about providing good customer service.
Andrew and Robert have both worked in drainage and jetting on civil projects. Robert has worked on drainage and road repair while Andrew has experience in civil engineering work with Welsh Water.
Realising that they had the skills to run their own business they started looking for a drainage repair business. Despite the recession Andrew and Robert felt that the time was right to start a business by sticking to an opportunity based on a tried and tested formula.
They began by researching franchise businesses and approached James, who already ran his own business, for support. He said: “I looked at the Drain Doctor business and realised it is a great opportunity to develop. Andrew and Robert were already doing a similar job and I was looking to expand my business. When I came across Drain Doctor I realised that it was a national brand that could help us to take our business to the next level.”
James was impressed by the company’s honesty. He said: “The business is not about sitting in the office waiting for the phone to ring. It is important to market properly. By working hard – and by following the Drain Doctor system that is there to help – success will follow, but it doesn’t happen over night. This was made clear right from the start.”
The threesome is starting with two vans with Andrew and Robert operating as technicians. James will run the marketing and administration side of the business with the help of his wife Gemma. They are also servicing the Newport franchise area on a trial basis so they recognise that they will need to expand. James hopes that they will be able to add a third van and technician to their business within six months.
Outlining their plans James said: “We aim to give businesses and householders in Cardiff, Newport and the surrounding area the same ‘dazzling’ level of service in plumbing and drainage which Drain Doctor provides across the rest of the country.
“Our customers get fixed-price, no obligation quotes, a complete guarantee on all our work, and a full 24 hour per day seven-day per week service with no call out charges – so people pay the same price for work at any time of day or night. What’s more, we turn up at the agreed time!”
Robin Banks, operations manager, Drain Doctor