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Major award for million-a-year drains expert


A drains expert who put away his tools as an experiment and decided to manage his business instead has more than doubled his turnover to £1 million a year.

His spectacular success has won Drain Doctor Oxford owners Jon Parker and his wife Lisa a Great British Franchisee Award – one of the highest honours in the industry.

That’s not just good news for Jon and Lisa, who set up their business 11 years ago, but for their employees who include both their daughters and two of their nephews.

“We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award,” says Jon. “We were growing the business, year on year, but plateaued out when we had three vans and a £400,000 turnover.

“Then we went to a convention in the USA run by Drain Doctor’s parent company and realised we’d only continue to grow if we acted as a management franchise instead of as owner-operators.

“In other words, I had to put my tools away, get off the van, and concentrate on growing the business and managing our team of engineers.

“It took several attempts, and I only succeeded after banning myself from picking up my tools for a year.

“That led to us employing more engineers, managing them to the same high standards we held ourselves to, and devoting time to growing relationships with our commercial customers which resulted in astronomical growth.”

The couple have seen many competitors come and go, and believe a major factor in their success is the way they reward and incentivise their employees.

“They’re our greatest asset and we treat them that way by trying to enhance their lives in the workplace as well as personally,” says Lisa. “We share our profits with them and even give them extra holidays for exceptional work attendance.”

Jon and Lisa are particularly proud of one of their technicians who stopped his van to help an elderly couple who’d broken down on the way to a funeral.

It had absolutely nothing to do with his work for Drain Doctor, but he changed the wheel for the couple who were in their eighties and ensured they made it to the funeral in time.

Jon and Lisa’s success won them the 2021 Customer Service Award at Drain Doctor’s annual conference in 2022, and Franchisee Recruitment Manager Owen Barton is full of praise for them.

“Jon is a beacon of operational and technical excellence for our network,” he says. “He’s the first on the list for all training, support and conference events, accepts that he never stops learning, and regularly helps with peer-to-peer support.”

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