Category Archives: Franchise news

We’re going for 15 from 15

Drain Doctor's convention was held at the Crowne Plaza in Bruges

Drain Doctor’s convention was held at the Crowne Plaza in Bruges

Drain Doctor Plumbing has voiced its commitment to further expand its business and has set ’15 from 15’ – 15 per cent growth in 2015 – as its target at its twenty first annual franchisee convention.

Everyone at Drain Doctor who attended the great long weekend of business presentations and social events at the Crowne Plaza hotel in the historic Belgian city of Bruges heard a bullish opening presentation from chairman Freddie Mitman, who is optimistic about sustained growth prospects for the company throughout 2015 and beyond.

He said: “Now that we are into our third decade in business it is essential that as a group we are firing on all cylinders in order to make strong progress. The past three years have been great. We established a break-through in acquiring jobs through the internet, national accounts grew by more than 15 per cent and some positive marketing was done in many areas. We need to keep that momentum by going for 15 per cent in 2015.”

Among the speakers at the convention who picked up on the same theme was Mary Kennedy-Thompson, president of Mr Rooter – Drain Doctor’s equivalent in the USA. She stressed the importance of maintaining momentum and the need to have a powerful purpose and a passion for what the business is doing.

She used the analogy of a motorcycle journey to explain. “Business has changed pace. It used to be made up of periods of ‘push’ and periods of rest. Now the need to grow requires more constant ‘push’. We must learn to ‘thrive in the push’, because time won’t stop and wait for us.”

She said that we must keep going – like a motorcycle – because when we stop we fall over.

“A certain speed of forward momentum must be kept up because it is this momentum that makes it easier to circumnavigate the obstacles you will need to go around, and move fast enough to negotiate bad things.

“Life is like riding a motorcycle. Your bike will go where you are looking. So if you’re coming to a corner don’t stare and get fixated on the hedge, look around the bend where you want to go. The bike will be capable of getting you around the corner.”

 

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Bedford Drain Doctor keeps winter fun on track

Thanks to the award-winning Milton Keynes franchise of Drain Doctor Plumbing the Xscape winter sports centre is all set for a bumper winter season.

Thanks to the award-winning Milton Keynes franchise of Drain Doctor Plumbing the Xscape winter sports centre is all set for a bumper winter season.

Snow may have come a little later than usual to some continental ski resorts this season but winter sports enthusiasts need travel no further than Milton Keynes for some winter fun.

Thanks to the award-winning Milton Keynes franchise the Xscape winter sports centre is all set for a bumper winter season.

The Drain Doctor franchise has recently completed its regular overhaul of all the drains, both internal and external, at Xscape. Franchisee Stuart Brock explained:

“We won the contract to maintain all the drains at Xscape. This includes all the external drains as well as the indoor plumbing including all the staff and public toilets around the facility.

“It’s a big site and we are there with at least two technicians for up to a week at a time to complete the work, which includes CCTV surveys to make sure everything is clear and free from damage, as well as any routine work that is required.

“We are of course also on hand in case there are any emergencies that need handling.”

Stuart launched his Drain Doctor franchise in January 2011. He provides a wide range of plumbing and drainage repairs, including high-pressure jetting, ‘no-dig’ drain re-lining and closed circuit camera surveys.

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Drain Doctor to the rescue

Drain Doctor Glasgow engagement ring

The rescued engagement ring

It will be a Merry Christmas for one lucky bride-to-be thanks to a technician at the Glasgow South East franchise of Drain Doctor. Thanks to some luck and perseverance he was able to reunite the ring and its owner in time for the festive season.

Drain Doctor received a call from soon-to-be-married Julie Emerson who was frantic because she had accidentally flushed her precious engagement ring down the toilet. Calls to other drainage companies had proved fruitless and Drain Doctor was her last chance.

Technician William Foster went to look at the job and although he gave Ms Emerson a less than 30 per cent chance of finding the ring he set to work. It is testament to the Drain Doctor ethos of providing ‘dazzling’ customer service that he persevered until the ring was retrieved.

Commenting on the job Julie Emerson said: “I had accidentally flushed my engagement ring down the toilet! I called Drain Doctor in complete desperation – another company had refused to come out as they thought it was a lost cause.

“Drain Doctor came out within a few hours of my call. The technician checked our drains and it turned out that they were blocked. After about an hour of investigation he found my ring! It was unbelievable.”

Drain Doctor franchisee Gary Wroe said: “My technician William Foster did a great job, carefully raking through the muck despite the slim chance of finding the ring.

“We aim to give businesses and householders across our franchise area the same ‘dazzling’ level of service which Drain Doctor provides across the rest of the country. This is just one example of that service.”

Ms Emerson added: “The guy was very professional and friendly and explained what he was doing. I am still in shock that he managed to find my ring.”

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Commuters stay dry thanks to Drain Doctor

Hatch_End_stn_buildingPlumbing and drainage specialist Drain Doctor has completed a three month contract – working mostly at night – to replace guttering and drains at the historic Hatch End railway station in Pinner, London.

Now operated by London Overground, the station – which provides services to Euston in one direction and Watford in the other – is being extensively refurbished.

As part of the refurbishment works Drain Doctor was called in to change all of the gutters using materials that were acceptable to the local heritage and enforcement officers. Under a separate contract for Browne’s Engineering, a main contractor to Thames Water, Drain Doctor also excavated and replaced all the main car park drains, many of which had collapsed over the years.

Local Drain Doctor franchisee Yiltan Hurer said: “The main challenge we faced was to carry out this work safely without any risk to other contractors or the public. This meant that a lot of the work had to be carried out overnight so one of our teams was essentially working on this one contract for nearly three months.”

The Drain Doctor contract also included additional works at nearby Bushey and Carpenders Park stations.

The Grade II listed Hatch End station was built in 1911 for the London and North Western Railway to a design by architect Gerald Horsley, son of the painter John Calcott Horsley. It is built in contrasting brick and stone with a Romanesque arched door and a near-pyramidal roof topped by a cupola with a clock and weather vane.

Architectural critic and Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman is said to have described it as “half-way between a bank and a medium sized country house”.

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Franchisee family ensures future expansion of business

david & denise BaddeleyThe future of the Birmingham Central and South franchise business of Drain Doctor is secure. The business will stay in the Baddeley family as Michael (28), son of franchisees David and Denise, comes on board to help with future expansion.

Denise Baddeley said: “Michael has been with us since his uni days when he used to work during the holidays to earn extra money. Now he is with us full time.”

Michael is fulfilling an important role in the business, learning every aspect of running a busy plumbing and drainage franchise. He specialises in undertaking CCTV drain surveys using the Wincan system. However, he also assists the technicians on jobs and works in the office as a customer service represenatitve and is also involved in the accounts and day-to-day running of the business.

Denise continued: “We have found a dual role for Michael and he is really multitasking in order to get a real feel for the whole business.

“David and I run the franchise business as a partnership – David looks after the technicians and the technical side while I look after the office, admin and accounting. The intention is to make Michael a partner, when he will take on responsibility for all that.

“We are slowly reducing our time at work and should take a couple of days off a week but we’re not always able to do that due to pressures of work because we are still very much involved in the business.

“As Michael becomes more experienced our role will diminish until we eventually retire leaving the business in good hands.”

The franchise currently has four technicians. They are now expanding and looking to take on one or two more technicians to cover the south of Birmingham and parts of the Central and West Midlands. Denise said that the area they are in is very competitive but their customers return time and again because of the high levels of service the franchise provides.

Michael is enjoying the challenges of learning the business inside out but he still finds time for sport. He said: “I studied sports science at university and still play hockey at national league level. However busy I get at work I still find time for that.”

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Succession planning at Coventry Drain Doctor

Coventry Drain DoctorSince starting his Drain Doctor franchise business back in 1996 it has always been Alan Langford’s intention to retire and hand over the reins to his son Ciaran. Rather than retire and sell the business Alan wanted to create a legacy to pass on for his son to continue to develop and grow.

Alan is one of several Drain Doctor franchisees that have built up a successful business strong enough to pass on to the nex generation. It is a testament to the strength of the Drain Doctor business model that this is a viable goal for anyone considering a Drain Doctor franchise.

Ciaran has been working with dad Alan since the start and is now the firm’s senior technician but ideally Alan would like him to become operations manager. Alan said: “I would like to see Ciaran taking over the day-to-day running of the business, allowing me to take more of a back seat.

“That hasn’t been possible in recent years, particularly now when we are as busy as we have ever been.”

Alan was able to ride out the worst of the recession and now business levels have recovered to what they were before the downturn.

“We have been extremely busy and we are now getting back on top of the workload. Over the next three to five years I would like Ciaran to be less hands on technically and take on a role running and marketing the business,” said Alan.

Alan said that Ciaran is clued up on internet marketing and gets him into the office a couple of times a week to prepare quotes ,follow up leads, undertake internet research and some social media marketing using Twitter and Facebook.

Ciaran has plenty of experience marketing in the digital age. He said: “I run cross fit classes a few evenings a week and I use social media and the internet to market those.”

“I’m not ready to go just yet though”, said Alan. “I still get a buzz out of the business even though I am reaching retirement age.”

Owning a Drain Doctor franchise is a sound investment for the future. It can finance a retirement if your not planning to pass the business on – or your kids want to pursue other opportunities.

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Drain Doctor’s youngest franchisees look to the future

NEW Leicester_7_2_11 - CopyThe youngest franchisees in the Drain Doctor network, Yasser Yusean and Samantha Brain – who are both in their mid-20’s – are showing that age is no barrier to success in franchising.

Yasser (24) and his partner Samantha took on the Leicester franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing (www.draindoctor.co.uk) offering emergency plumbing and drain repairs in the city and the surrounding villages back in 2011.

They run the franchise between them. Yasser is responsible for the technical side of the business and marketing activities while Samantha deals with the accounts and day-to-day running of the business.

Taking on a Drain Doctor franchise was the obvious choice for Yasser, who has always worked as a plumber. He started with Drain Doctor as a part-time assistant while he was still at school, coming to work at weekends, before being employed as a technician with the Drain Doctor franchise in Derby.

“Working as a technician I already knew all the Drain Doctor systems. When this franchise became available it made sense to take it on”, said Yasser.

“Drain Doctor has a proven system. It offered a recession-resistant 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.

“The last few years have been hard work and we are now in a good position to begin expanding. We are looking to take on a new technician and van in the near future.”

Samantha added: “When Yasser said he wanted to take on the Leicester Drain Doctor business I gave my full support. I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to run our own business and use all the skills I have to provide ‘dazzling’ customer service.”

Yasser enjoys the challenges of the business, particularly the emergency work, and getting to know new people through his ongoing marketing efforts.

“I am regularly out introducing myself to new customers, both commercial and domestic, and I enjoy helping out on national accounts. The Drain Doctor network is a great opportunity for young people with energy and a strong ambition to run their own business.”

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