Having left his successful engineering company of 28 years, Jim McFarlane was looking to try something new to keep him busy in the few years leading up to retirement.
In his late-fifties and armed with a lifetime of experience and confidence gained from previously running his own businesses, Jim decided to seek out a franchise opportunity.
After exploring several options in the food and landscape industry, Jim found himself drawn to Gutter-Vac and reached out for further information and advice.
“Gutter-Vac were great – they immediately put me in contact with their other franchisees around Australia – not just one, all of them – to discuss their experiences,” said Jim.
“They told me, ‘We’re like a big family here,’ and I could really see that.”
After chatting with a few franchisees, Jim was convinced and, upon completing his Gutter-Vac training in Brisbane, invested $100,000 into starting up his own Gutter-Vac franchise in Albury-Wodonga.
“It may seem like a lot at first, but it’s a smart investment that includes training and guidance from Gutter-Vac, as well as a wealth of support from your network of fellow franchisees.”
Jim’s investment has certainly paid off. In its first year, Albury Wodonga broke every Gutter-Vac record and Jim received the company’s Rising Star Award. To top things off, Jim made enough profit to pay off his franchise and still have substantial earnings left over.
Jim contributes Gutter-Vac Albury Wodonga’s success to hard work, research and a large dose of old-fashioned customer service.
“Demography is key – 30-40% of people in Albury Wodonga are over fifty years of age, so it’s dangerous for them to be climbing up on the roof,” said Jim.
“It’s hard work but like any business, you’ve got to put the time into it and build up your brand awareness.”
“Also, be prepared to make mistakes in the first two to three years of business and anytime something goes wrong, make sure your customer service is 100%.”
So, what’s next for Jim? With the success of Gutter-Vac Albury Wodonga, in three or four years he plans to divide his lucrative franchise and sell off the businesses.
For his retirement, Jim plans to move to Bateman’s Bay on the south coast of New South Wales and spend his days playing golf, going fishing and pursuing his passion for racehorse breeding.
“The world’s your oyster – just keep working hard, help people and do the right thing.”
Sage words, Jim.