V.I.P. Home Services proves resilient

By Sarah Stowe | 16 Sep 2020 View comments

What’s it been like operating a home services business during lockdown? Well, for V.I.P. Home Services, resilience has proven to be the key attribute across the network of franchisees.

With Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, franchisees have shown their resilience in the toughest of times, says Victorian regional manager Glen Glanvill.

“In general, our franchisees are doing well and the ones who are doing the best are those who have kept in contact with their clients. I’ve been really impressed with their attitude and resilience,” he says.

Peter Ash, a Lawn and Garden franchisee who has a number of staff, has made sure to qualify for JobKeeper, has been keeping on top of all the red tape and paperwork, and staying in touch with his regional manager.

Paul Newton is using his downtime to take care of business in a way that he usually doesn’t get time to.

“I’ve been working on my online presence and encouraging my clients to leave reviews. As well as that, I have been in talks with other businesses about sponsorship opportunities and they’ve been wonderfully responsive.”

Franchisees say clients have been extremely supportive throughout the pandemic.

For Jason Beck, the relationship he has built up with his clients is paying off in tough times, with some of them even offering to pay him while he’s not working.

The customer response has spurred on franchisee Paul Newton to work even harder.

“They’ve all been understanding with the restrictions affecting my ability to work and some are already trying to secure the first times I have available when we are able to go back to servicing.

“I appreciate my customers sticking by me during such a tough time and want to show my appreciation for them. We will hopefully come back stronger than ever — once we can go back to work, I know I am willing to work seven days a week to get my customers back to where they need to be.”

Franchisee resilience has been backed up by support from the franchisor.

“V.I.P. always ensures support is offered to franchisees, and that has been highlighted during this extremely difficult time,” says Glen Glanvill.

“As Victoria’s regional manager for V.I.P. I tend to be the first port of call, but we also have our call centre and a team of staff at head office ready to assist our franchisees — because it’s important for them to know they’re not on their own. We’re here to support them.”

Waiving of fees welcomed

The franchisor reports franchisees, including Home Cleaning franchisee Kristy-Ann Billen, have appreciated the waiving of monthly fees.

“We are so grateful for the fee relief; it gave such peace of mind,” says Kristy-Ann.

Paul Newton echoes the sentiment.

“It was very pleasing to hear that V.I.P. were offering fee relief, I hadn’t even considered that it would be an option for us as franchise business owners – it was a welcome surprise! It really does make a significant difference to business owners.”