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Posted:12-June-2023

I wish I had done this 10 years ago!

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  • Name:             Liam Dyson
  • Location:         Rochdale
  • Franchise:       Rochdale, Oldham & Bury
  • Date launched the franchise: 13 March 2023

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

I had been a builder for 20 years and had spent the past few years trying to come away from the tools.  We had 5 staff and several regular subcontractors.  I loved building something that customers would enjoy for years to come.

Can you also tell us about Drain Doctor

Drain Doctor is the UK’s #1 Franchise Opportunity in the recession resistant Drainage and Plumbing sector, providing essential services to homes and businesses nationwide since 1994.  I bought Drain Doctor Rochdale, Oldham & Bury.  It was right on my doorstep and felt like very familiar territory.

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

I had always felt a little “out on a limb” with the building work.  When things were tough (and builders will know how tough those days are), you kind of have no one to talk to, or to support you.  Drainage was very familiar, having started many projects in the ground, drains were our first port of call before the foundations were laid.  When I realised that coming off the tools was going to be a prolonged exercise, I started to wonder what else I could do, before getting a little older narrowed my options.

Franchising seemed like the natural choice for me.  There are people to talk to, to support you, when you need them. Other franchisees offer tremendous support and though you are running your own enterprise, you feel part, of a bigger team.

How did you raise the finance?

We had some money aside to purchase a rental property.  We already have a few properties, but knew the money could also, go towards something new.  I had 2 years previously, supported my wife in changing her career and decided, I too could change my own.  We also asked NatWest to support our application with a business loan.  It’s fair to say there were a few sleepless nights between signing the loan agreement and signing the franchise agreement.  I undertook a lot of due diligence initially and knew, I was beginning my new career with a business that also has a vested interest in helping you grow, whilst having good morals about the way they do business.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

Support was available throughout the process and then the time came to have 2 weeks training at head office.  A week of business training, useful for those who may have never been self employed or ran their own business, then a week of

Technical training so that you felt well equipped to be servicing your first customers.

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

Positively varied.  You need wear many hats but if you’re a task master, reasonably organised and determined, you will soon be on your way to growing a successful business.

Have you had to overcome any challenges? What have been your key successes so far?

All businesses rely on great staff.  Finding your first employee with whom you will rely upon to help grow your business is a big challenge.  There is also much to organise prior to going live.  Our key successes are the positive feedbacks we are gaining from customers for providing good service.

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

I am honestly telling myself, I should have done this 10 years ago. Yes, it is early days and yes, we have many hills to climb.  But we have a business model to follow thus if we keep plugging the work, delivering good service to our customers and developing our presence within our territory, the rewards will be well worthwhile.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

You have to make yourself take time out.  Running any small business can be tough, reward yourself with the time you deserve, to compensate for those days where the hours just pass you by.   

If you have staff, how do you retain your best staff and keep morale high and productive; how do you incentivise your staff and recognise success?

Staff need to feel part of a team.  The best staff stay and grow with your business.  Only ever promise what you can deliver and always challenge their learning to keep them informed and knowledgeable.  Training develops new skills and treating people with kindness and respect goes a long way.

Can you tell us about any community involvement, including any local partnerships, incentives or charity work you are involved in?

I have barely had my feet touch the ground since launch, but now feel able to get out and about a little more, meaning I will soon be looking for community projects in which we could be involved.

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

It is a big step to take, but not one you should be afraid of taking if you are driven, determined, and prepared to work hard.  Have faith in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles, whilst knowing you are creating your own story in which you inevitably, determine the ending.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?  

A person with the drive and enthusiasm to take a chef’s special and add in extra ingredients to make an even more tasty dish.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to grow fast but sustainably. I want my family to become a part of the success and share in the journey we have all committed to.  It would be nice to consider that a successful enterprise could be one day be taken over by a family member.

If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?

I would have jumped sooner had I realised the potential out there.  Drain Doctor are well versed in helping create great businesses.  You will get out of it what you put in and it may not suit everyone.  I enjoy having a framework in which to operate and yet having the flexibility to diversify my business.  Letting others worry about the company website, the terms and conditions of sale, the branding, and the national accounts, gives me the freedom to spend more time growing thus the business development managers who help us along the way, are second to none in pushing us in the right direction.

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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