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Ex-serviceman joins Drain Doctor


  • Name: Richard Elliott
  • Location: Derby
  • Franchise: Drain Doctor
  • Date launched the franchise: 10th May

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying your Drain Doctor franchise business?

I’m proud to have served in the British Army for 13 years, completing several tours including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. During my time I completed a number of promotion courses, spending my final 4 years as a PI Sgt in the Infantry, where amongst other duties I was tasked with training new recruits at the Infantry Training Centre.

After serving my country for 13 years, I spent the next 10 in Security (mostly of Oil Rigs and Fields) in the Middle East, progressing from

Can you also tell us about Drain Doctor 

Drain Doctor is the UK’s leading emergency drainage and plumbing franchise. With a 5-star Trust Pilot score we are the leading authority in delivering world class customer experience in this field. We deliver works that range from one time only domestic unblocking to Local Government Authority service frameworks and everything in between.

Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why Drain Doctor?

As an ex-squaddie, my life makes sense when there are systems, processes and checks in place to ensure the best results are achieved. Franchising gives me these things as a turnkey solution and so help shorten my route to success, by not having to build these systems, processes and checks myself.

After all things Brexit and COVID-19, I was on the lookout for a truly recession proof business model for me to operate within. The drainage and plumbing industry was one that I saw a constant demand for. Generally, the works we do aren’t a ‘considered purchase’ they are a necessity and so the economic or political climate has less effect on the demand for our work. My thoughts were validated when I understood the fact that Drain Doctor’s network turnover only shrunk by 12% in 2020, and 2021 saw the whole network bounce back with tremendous 25% growth delivering a record year in their 27year history.

I ultimately chose Drain Doctor, because the premium brand and focus on great customer service really resonated with me. And once I spent some more time really looking at the model and systems already in place, then speaking with likeminded people who had already taken the jump and were now growing their business and reaping the rewards, I couldn’t wait to get started.

How did you raise the finance?

Drain Doctor are approved partners with a number of high street lenders and brokers.

I specifically worked alongside NatWest, and Drain Doctor assisted with an internal franchise fee structure programme, to free up working capital for me in the crucial early months of operation.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

From the time I signed the Franchise Agreement in February 2022, to launching in May. Drain Doctor have been by my side. My business development manager has worked with me to get everything ready for launching my business with the best start possible. From van and equipment procurement to website development and pre-launch marketing, they’ve worked with me to complete every task necessary. They are there to help guide, support, but ultimately hold me accountable for getting it done.

During the past 12 weeks, I’ve also undertaken a 5 day residential business training course at Drain Doctor’s National Training Centre in Brackley where I learned all about the systems, software, marketing and operation of the business.

That was the followed up with a 5 day Technical Training period, again held in Brackley, Drain Doctor trained me (and my initially employed staff members) on the basics of the industry. We walked away with 3 industry recognised certified ‘tickets’ to ensure that we didn’t only meet, but exceeded industry regulations.

How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee

Varied is probably the best word to describe it, no day is the same. There are some days that I’m in the office writing CCTV reports and taking calls, others where I need to be out onsite lending my team a hand or simply quality controlling our service to our customers. But my main role is to grow the business, so I have structured time to prospect with local companies, follow up on leads and deliver after care calls to commercial customers who we’ve already recently serviced.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

Yes, simply put I know get to sleep in my bed every night and see my children every day, something that’s hard to do when your stationed in Iraq 8 months a year.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise? 

Don’t listen to the naysayers, there will be people (they may be family and close friends) who will discourage you from doing this. If you truly believe in yourself, find the right business to partner with for you and go for it.

Work hard and stay focussed.

Interested and want to know more about Drain Doctor ?

The Drain Doctor profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.

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