When an unexpected life event forced ex-pat Jon Parker and his wife Lisa to return to the UK they were looking for a franchise business with potential. They found it in the Oxford and Banbury franchise of Drain Doctor Plumbing and Drainage Ltd.
Jon has been in and out of the drainage industry for 15 years, starting as a plumber’s mate and more recently working as a night supervisor for a rail company.
Working on the London Underground has given Jon the opportunity to acquire training in a variety of aspects of drainage including London Transport’s site person in charge (SPIC) level certification and training on working in confined spaces in London’s sewer system. In three and a half years working on the underground Jon has had to deal with everything from blockages caused by discarded bicycles to a rat as ‘big as a fox!’
Jon and Lisa have experience in business administration and management. Jon explained: “In 2003 we had the opportunity to emigrate to Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca in Spain. Initially I didn’t have a job to go to but found work with Iberian International in its call centre. Within three years I became manager while Lisa worked in its banking and mortgage department.
“We had been in Spain for six years when I had another opportunity to go to New Zealand with my brother. Unfortunately, it was at this point that Lisa was diagnosed with a serious illness and we had to return to the UK.”
Keeping a positive life attitude has been important to Jon and Lisa. While Lisa was undergoing treatment Jon looked for new business opportunities close to the family home in Northampton. Jon said: “I was looking for franchise businesses in particular and after some research I found Drain Doctor – a business which is a perfect fit with my skills and experience.
“It has a proven system that offers a largely recession-proof opportunity where I can still be an independent operator running my own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation.
“I looked at other business ideas but you don’t get the same support that you do with a Drain Doctor franchise. With some other franchises you are left on your own. Drain Doctor offers great contacts with insurance companies and has a national account network that will help me to develop and grow the business.”
Lisa has now made a full recovery and will be assisting Jon with the admin side of the business as well as helping to look after their two daughters, Charley (12) and Millie (9).
The couple will start with one employee and two vans and hope to start expanding the business within a year.
Jon added: “We aim to give businesses and householders across our franchise areas the same ‘dazzling’ level of service 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”, said Jon.
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