Name: Ben Mazerralla
Franchise: VIP Fencing and Home Maintenance
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your V.I.P. Fencing and Home Maintenance franchise?
I think that outside of the paid training element that taught me the trade, as well as how to run this specific business, the big one for me was the having a well-respected brand name behind me, there is enormous value to having a brand as it brings instant credibility and opens doors up that would be difficult to open otherwise.
What did you do before taking up a V.I.P. Fencing and Home Maintenance franchise?
I have had various employment in the past which included running my own chauffer driven limousine service which had multiple cars and staff.
How did you raise the finance?
I did this with the help of the V.I.P. business finance broker, he was very helpful and assisted me with obtaining a loan that worked for me in my specific circumstances.
What training and support did you receive initially and on-going?
I received the 8 weeks paid training package which included both a business training component as well as an on the tool's component. We receive regular emails, calls, newsletters and meetings that have an array of useful tips and information. I like the fact that the meetings held are fun and of an informal nature (also not too many of them) and it’s great to catch up with my colleagues at these, we laugh and learn a lot!
What is a typical day for you as a VIP Fencing and Home Maintenance franchisee?
Building fences along with quoting for work which now is mostly via referrals.
What challenges have you faced?
Early days I found it tough to manage my time but after I got into the groove things became much easier in this area.
Has becoming a VIP Fencing and Home Maintenance franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Definitely, my time is now my own to spend and devote to as I see fit which is a huge difference compared to working for someone else and my last business.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your VIP Fencing and Home Maintenance franchise?
I mostly now work on referrals as mentioned above which is mostly due to giving great customer service to my customers and asking each if they know someone who might need a fence done. I also take the time wherever possible to meet neighbours to introduce myself and if that’s not possible I put a letter of introduction into their letter box so they can see who I am and find out more about me and the services I offer.
What differentiates your VIP Fencing and Home Maintenance franchise from the competition?
The overall relaxed nature of the business whilst also striving to be the best in the industry, this sounds to be at odds but is in fact what happens.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Lots of hard work and sacrifices made early days as well as a willingness to learn will go a long way to making you a success.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Ask yourself firstly do you want to keep doing what you are doing now for the rest of your life and if the answer is NO then stop thinking about it and take some form of action into finding out if a franchise is for you.
What are your plans for the future?
I was thinking of putting a staff member on but instead have decided to purchase a Kanga machine which in turn can help me to take on work I would have struggled to do otherwise. So, my immediate future plans are to make the machine broaden the scope of works I can take on.
Would you do it again?
Sure would, since getting started I have never been without work and as a rule I am booked out for at LEAST 3 MONTHS at a time! The income I am making has far exceeded what was suggested at the time of inquiry so am a very happy camper that is positive about both my financial future as well as my new-found lifestyle.