Brisbane East Husband-Wife team climb franchising echelons of Australia
Kristy and Murray Pendlebury of Gutter-Vac Brisbane East have been awarded Franchisee of the Year of Australia’s top franchises, Gutter-Vac, placing them high amongst the most successful of Australia’s 98,000 franchise outlets.
Kristy and Murray Pendlebury say their strong focus on growth, customer service and an ability to attract repeat business from happy customers has seen their business go from strength to strength.
After just two years of operating the Brisbane East franchise, Kristy said their team has grown significantly, now employing two administration staff members and three technicians to keep up with demand in the area.
“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of commitment, but we knew what our goal was, and we just focused on that,” Kristy said.
From the outset, Kristy knew that meeting their financial targets each year would be the key to generating substantial growth for the business.
When they first purchased the business at the end of 2018/19 financial year, it had an annual turnover of $285,000. In their second year of operating (2020/21), they achieved $400,000. This year, they’re aiming to reach their target of $600,000.
“It has definitely changed our financial outlook. We’ve now got a 10-year plan thanks to the business and we’re able to think about renovating our house and being able to pay it off far sooner than expected.” Kristy said knowing their strengths and weaknesses and understanding what each person can bring to the business is critical. “As far as making phone calls goes, I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t my strength. Now we employ staff that are great at talking to our customers so that I can focus on the business strategy including more administration.
“Murray likes to do the in-the-field stuff. He’s very good at quoting and customer service and doing the physical work and he likes to be outdoors whereas the planning, finances, marketing and strategic stuff, that’s my part of the deal. “If you can’t provide that then find somebody who can. Don’t be scared of letting people into your business to help you.” Kristy said ensuring that their technicians had enough support when out on jobs was important.
Their franchise works on a two-man team model, with two trucks out on the road delivering an average of eight jobs a day each. “The idea of running two-person teams is because it’s such physical work and very tiring in the heat so we wanted the guys to be able to work five or six days a week without being exhausted. “That’s been our structure from day one. “I think our employees are key to our growth.
I also think the other thing is, don’t be afraid to spend money to make money. Invest in marketing and advertising. You might spend one thousand dollars, but you could make four thousand back, so I think committing to that and getting your name out there is something that really works.” Kristy said that offering additional services has played in key part in the growth of the business.
As well as gutter cleaning, their franchise offers solar panel cleaning, pressure cleaning and roof cleaning. They also offer a bird proofing service as well as calls for cleaning ceiling cavities. “We’re finding that with a lot more people renovating and spending money on their homes at the moment, they need their ceiling cavities cleared so we go in and remove old insulation and get it all ready for the builders to come in.
Kristy said one of the biggest benefits to owning their Gutter Vac franchise has been the flexibility it offers her family, which gives Murray the time to coach their son’s football team a couple of afternoons each week.
“The business had definitely allowed us to have that flexibility. For example, we don’t work on Saturdays at the moment because it’s football season, and we can control the number of jobs we take on, because we know that Murray has to finish early some days to go and coach the team. “One of the highlights of the business is when you get customer feedback telling you that your customer service is amazing, or they ring the real estate agent or home assist service and give great feedback; that’s when you know you’re doing something right.”
Gutter-Vac was founded 26 years ago, to become the world’s first and largest gutter vacuum cleaning franchise, franchising since 2000. Today, Gutter-Vac offers the most advanced and highest quality gutter vacuum cleaning service, with a proprietary Gutter-Vac system that is convenient, safe and offers superior value. The network, with its head office in north Brisbane, remains led by founder and franchisor Warren Ballantyne, who is proud to lead a strong franchise network of around 90 territories throughout Australia. For more information on Gutter-Vac, including franchising opportunities, visit https://www.guttervac.com.au.