Tag Archives: franchise management

Football boss Karren Brady says plumbing course better than university

According to an article in a national newspaper, West Ham vice-chair (and former Birmingham City boss) Karren Brady believes a course in plumbing is better training for an entrepreneur than a university degree.

Who are we to disagree?

As a national franchise business, Drain Doctor uniquely combines plumbing and entrepreneurial skills. You don’t need to be a plumber to run a Drain Doctor franchise but several of our best franchise owners did start out as plumbers – and still turn out to tackle plumbing and drainage emergencies themselves when they need to.



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Chartered civil engineers take up Drain Doctoring

Krishna Moorthy has taken up 'Drain Doctoring.'

Two chartered civil engineers with over 30 years experience have left the board of a blue chip engineering consultancy to start their own plumbing and drainage business. Krishna Moorthy and Paul Fleetham have taken over the London South East, Bromley and Bexley and Tonbridge Wells franchise areas of Drain Doctor Plumbing.

As chartered civil engineers Krishna and Paul had progressed to the board of a blue chip consulting engineers that turns over £200 million per year. When the company was taken over by an American firm and the board function was moved to the United States he decided to review other business opportunities. Krishna will be the Director in-charge of the operations and Paul Fleetham will concentrate on business development. 

Krishna said: “I looked at franchise businesses related to civil engineering that would also provide a service to the public. I also wanted to remain in the maintenance and construction sector. 

“The idea of buying a going concern with the franchise support of a national organisation appealed to me. The London South East franchise presented an existing business linked to the sector that I wanted to be involved in and has an excellent reputation, built up by the current franchisees Alvin and Korina Jones. 

“After researching the business I spoke to a number of bankers about the opportunity. They all said that they would provide me with the maximum amount of finance available for a small business start-up if I went for a Drain Doctor franchise. That reputation and endorsement influenced my decision.” 

Krishna firmly believes that with the support of Drain Doctor he can take the business into new areas. He said: “With my experience there are a number of other things that I can bring to the business for Drain Doctor to consider beyond our core plumbing and drain repair business. 

“I would eventually like to exploit other niche areas of the market by extending the scope of the Drain Doctor business into other areas of civil engineering, capitalising on areas in which Paul and I have worked in the past. I would like to explore expansion into these areas with Drain Doctor backing.” 

Krishna is looking at areas including pipeline work for water companies, work on highways drainage, civil construction and providing survey services for local authorities. He has a three-part plan for expanding his business. 

He explained: “The game plan is first to get the optimum set up within the franchise area with the existing four vans and technicians. There is excellent potential to expand this. Currently the population of the franchise areas could sustain a business with up to 17 vans by maintaining the traditional Drain Doctor service. 

“Secondly, I would like to train my technicians for highways work in order to gain the appropriate licences so that we can tap additional markets. 

“Finally, I want to look at other ways of drawing on my connections and past experience to further expand our portfolio of services.”

Welcome Krishna and Paul.

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Brother and sister are Drain Doctor ‘young guns’

Natalie O’Brien and her brother Aaron Clark run the London South West franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing.

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.

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Drain Doctor franchisees hear that sustained growth will continue in 2010

We at Drain Doctor  have voiced our commitment to further expand our business at our sixteenth annual franchisee convention.

Staff who attended the long weekend of business presentations and social events in the historic Warwickshire town of Stratford-upon-Avon heard a bullish opening presentation from our chairman Freddie Mitman, who remains optimistic about sustained growth prospects for the company throughout 2010 and beyond. 

He said: “In many ways we are in the finest possible position to grow as the country begins to come out of recession. Shops are suffering, sales of cars are suffering, purchases for the home are suffering, and holiday bookings are suffering but Drain Doctor in comparison is not suffering.”

Senior managers from Drain Doctor’s head office gave presentations on various aspects of franchise management, including marketing. Geoff Burch of the hit TV series ‘All Over the Shop’ was a guest speaker at the event.

The presentations stressed that at Drain Doctor we are in a people business which requires passionate leadership in developing the Drain Doctor business and meeting the demanding standards which the company has set.

Other speakers at the convention picked up on the same theme. Among them was Mary Kennedy-Thompson, president of Mr Rooter – Drain Doctor’s equivalent in the USA. She stressed the importance of great people, customer satisfaction and passionate leadership in developing the Drain Doctor business.

The annual convention is organised by Drain Doctor for its franchisees. A number of franchisees were presented with awards for outstanding business performance.

Robin Banks, operations manager, Drain Doctor

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Welcome to the new Drain Doctor blog. We hope you enjoy it. 

Launched in the United Kingdom in 1993, Drain Doctor Plumbing has quickly grown to become the country’s largest emergency plumbing and drain repair service. It now provides a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year service across the country with each franchise area run as an independent business. 

The central principle is to deliver dazzling levels of service in a market plagued by cowboy operators who are overcharging customers for shoddy workmanship. 

Drain Doctor’s customers get fixed-price, no obligation quotes, a complete guarantee on all 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. 

March is proving to be a busy month for all of us. We have just served our one millionth customer – congratulations to Mr and Mrs Perkis of Hedge End in Hampshire who have won a luxury weekend break in Bath. 

Drain Doctor franchisees and guests also attended our three-day 16th annual convention and gala awards ceremony held in Stratford upon Avon. 

More than 100 franchise owners, staff and guests heard presentations from Drain Doctor senior managers and consultants on various aspects of franchise management including marketing and public relations. 

Geoff Burch of the hit TV series ‘All Over the Shop’ was a guest speaker at the event. 

Everyone at Drain Doctor is looking forward to a busy year.

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