06 February 2024

What was your career background prior to starting your Refresh Renovations™ business? 

I came from a consumer electronic retail background starting from an entry level sales position to running my own store.

What attracted you to Refresh™ as a business opportunity? 

I had a bad experience previously with a building company and then when I was looking at doing some renovations on a property we were looking to purchase I wanted to partner with a company that had good systems and processes in place as well as putting the customer first. I found Refresh™ online and what they were offering resonated with me, much to my disappointment there wasn't a franchise in Invercargill. After a few weeks I thought maybe it is something that I could do and bring my retail customer service / operations experience to the building industry so I enquired and 5 years later here we are....

What is the market opportunity? 

The renovation market is absolutely massive and the potential to add value to any customer dealing with us is huge with most renovations being completed by smaller trade based businesses without solid operational support behind them.

What is the biggest challenge running this type of business?

If you come from outside the construction industry it can be quite hard gaining the knowledge to feel comfortable enough to feel like an expert when dealing with your customers, there is always a new challenge / problem to overcome. However once you really get into it you find that most of the challenges you will face are quite similar so after a bit of working in the business if you have the right mentality you learn how to deal with them before they even become an issue.

What is your best advice to run a great Refresh™ Renovation business? 

Take all the advice from people you can in the industry however don't follow what they say blindly as there is a lot of old school thinking out there and there is a lot of room for new ideas / innovations which will help you to bring a better experience to your customers therefore giving you another advantage in the market.

‍Who is the ideal Refresh™ owner?

Someone with people skills and wants to be in business day to day. 

Why is the Refresh™ model so compelling for customers?

Being able to deal with one point of contact who understands all parts of a renovation including all selections i.e tapware, tiles, flooring. Most trade based businesses are ok with organising sub trades however not with helping customers to make decisions etc.

What do you think of Refresh™’s marketing, and what are the most effective techniques you’ve used to find new customers? 

The branding is world class, marketing has been a struggle however is starting to see some really good progress and exciting times are ahead with this.

What is it like working with clients? 

Coming from a fast paced retail environment where most customers treat the relationship as very transactional I have found it awesome to be working with customers who you do actually start to build good relationships with. Being in a fairly small town I see a lot of my past customers around town and we always stop and have a chat.

What were key hires for you as you started building out your team? 

I first started with a renovation consultant however pivoted with some other ventures I had and went back to doing the sales myself as I was still developing my systems so was able to make calls on the fly. I hired a project coordinator and she has been invaluable doing a lot of the data entry, following customers up that we needed info from. All the stuff that takes time and attention to detail however takes away from time spent being face to face with customers. 

Any advice for the start-up phase? 

Do everything in person or via video call, never just send a quote via email and expect the customer to accept. A lot of the time customers will need you to walk them through your thought process and reasoning behind certain things. They will also need more information to be able to understand the documents / plans you are presenting. Every quote I present (bar very very small maintenance jobs)  are done in person in our office so we can spend the time discussing with the customer and coming up with solutions for their objections. It is too easy for a customer to say no thanks or even worse ignore you if you are not in front of them.

Any areas for improvement? 

There are always areas for improvement needed within my own business and HO are no different however that's how we grow a business by identifying those areas and working on them. i.e HO found the marketing was challenging at the moment and have put processes into place to get this sorted, in my own business we are trying to set up better QA processes to avoid costly issues (money & or time) at the end of projects.

Would you do it again?

Yes, the best move I have made in my working career so far. Refresh™ has opened a lot of opportunities. Hard work and things do go slower than you expect however they do get better as you build out your pipeline of work.

Interested in finding out more? Contact franchise