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20 Years of success and counting with Rainbow International

Noreen Hughes and her husband Kevin have been part of the Rainbow International franchise since 1996. Starting in East Kilbride, they now have eight territories successfully up and running. Kevin started the business as a sole trader but, due to ill health, had to take a step back. Cue Noreen; a business leader with passion and drive!

“I worked at the Bank of Scotland for 19 years and was still working there when Kevin bought the franchise. When I had my first child I took time off for maternity leave but returned to work afterwards. For work I was travelling all over the place so when I found out I was pregnant with my second child I decided to take a career break. In 2007, when all the floods hit, I went back to working full time but within our business.

“The skills from my job at the bank have really helped me with running the franchise. People skills were important in my last job and they’re really important in this one too. Part of my job was in marketing and sales and involved getting people on board with what you’re selling, that’s really helped with Rainbow!”

Rainbow International is the leading supplier of damage restoration services and part of global franchising giant, The Dwyer Group. With over 80 locations in the UK, we are the number one company dedicated to providing residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services. The business offers you the chance to build a long-term, profitable management franchise and enjoy the benefits of an established and trusted brand.

Franchising is a great way for many to get into business with the added support of a team of experts behind them. Not unlike Noreen and Kevin, many people want to benefit from an established brand rather than set up their own business. Rainbow International seemed like the right choice for them and they felt they were well suited to the opportunity.

“Kevin and I had been working in London when we first heard about the concept of franchising. Kevin was very keen to leave his job and move back up to Scotland so he had a look around at the opportunities that were available. We chose franchising for the support and the network of people around you. One of the major factors is that you’re never on your own, you’ve always got someone to fall back on if you need it. There are procedures in place and you benefit from the experience of both the team at head office and a whole network of franchisees.”

“The people we met at Rainbow International were really energetic – that was one of our main reasons for choosing Rainbow. It gave us confidence in the business and the support that we would receive. There’s a localised market for the service so there are people on your doorstep that you can contact for business. Through my banking experience, there was also an opportunity to make contacts within the insurance industry. There seemed to be a good opportunity to build the business and we achieved sales of £200k in our first year.”

Noreen and Kevin successfully established and have grown their business for almost 20 years. They love the freedom that franchising brings to their lifestyle. Having worked in London for a number of years, they’ve certainly seen a change of pace.

“Franchising gives you the power to control your own future and gives you the opportunity to build a business. When you succeed you get a much greater sense of achievement and you’re in a much better position financially. We’ve had a few rocky times but we’ve always had the support of head office and other franchisees. We’re a close network so we’re always willing to help each other out and offer guidance where?it is needed.”

“It’s quite scary when you first start. You put everything you have into the business and you hope it all works out. We really hit the ground running when we first launched and were extremely busy! Now, I feel a sense of personal achievement that we’re still here and have such a successful business after so long.”

Founded in 1981, Rainbow International has over 30 years’ experience in disaster recovery and specialist cleaning. Its proven business model has been successfully operating in the UK for 28 years and franchisees supply damage restoration services for many of the UK’s top insurance companies. In the UK, Rainbow International is operated by a division of the ISS Group, one of the world’s largest Facility Service Providers. Franchisees are renowned for being the first port of call when disaster strikes. Rainbow International is a full member of the British Franchise Association, promoting ethical franchising and a robust, sustainable business model.

“My advice to anyone looking into buying a franchise would be to investigate all of the opportunities that are available to you, see what’s required and whether it suits your skillset. When gathering information, speak to as many franchisees as you can and do a day of work experience with them to get a real feel for the business.”

With a successful 20 years behind them, you’d be forgiven for thinking Noreen and Kevin might have plans to slow down…but not so!

“My plans for the future are to keep growing the business! We have our own office space and 14 staff so we want to keep expanding and look at getting more people in.”

Noreen had been helping Kevin out with the admin and finances alongside her own job as an Associate Director at the Bank of Scotland. She became Managing Director of their Rainbow International franchise in 2010 in order to keep the business running as Kevin was no longer able to take an active role within the franchise.