A young plumbing and drainage technician and a top 30 chart singer joined forces to start their own plumbing business in 2009. They are continuing to expand in spite of difficult trading conditions.
Aaron Clark (25) and his sister Natalie O’Brien (33) took on the London South West franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing (www.draindoctor.co.uk) offering emergency plumbing and drain repairs throughout Richmond, Twickenham, Esher, Kingston and Hounslow in June 2009.
They were so successful in their first few months of trading that their franchise was awarded the Most Progressive New Franchise 2009 at the national group’s annual awards ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Stratford upon Avon earlier this year.
Aaron, who has always worked as a plumber and was once employed as a technician with another London Drain Doctor franchisee, said that the time was right for him to take on his own business.
“Working as a technician I already knew all the Drain Doctor systems. When this franchise became available it made sense to take it on.
“Drain Doctor has a proven system. It offers a recession-proof opportunity where I can be an independent operator running my own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation. We aim to give businesses and householders in South West London the ‘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!”
Aaron started trading by providing the plumbing service himself. He then recruited a second technician. Another technician was recruited so that Aaron now concentrates on quotes, booking CCTV checks for customers and marketing activities.
Aaron’s sister Natalie O’Brien runs the office. Natalie is a mother and former singer who had a top 30 hit in 2003 with a dance cover version of Air Supply’s ‘I’m all out of love.’
Natalie said: “I left the music industry to have my children and qualify as a book keeper. I am now training as an accountant. When Aaron said he was taking on the London SW Drain Doctor business I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to help run a family business and use all the skills I have to provide ‘dazzling’ customer service.”
Aaron and Natalie’s plans for expansion are ambitious. They intend to expand further, recruiting a third technician in June and a fourth by the start of 2011. They will then have four fully equipped vans covering South West London.