Franchisee Story—– Interview Sandy Archibald
By Muhammad Atif
Editor’s Note: Sandy Archibald joined Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning as a new franchisee in Northern Rivers NSW Territory in Nov 2020. Her performance is stunning, and her income, satisfaction and life quality have far exceeded her expectation before making the franchise purchase decision. As one of a few lady franchisees in Elite franchise system, her story is representative and encouraging for anyone who is looking for a career change.
1.How and when the idea of joining Elite Dry came to you and how it has impacted your life?
I have been quite passionate about owning a franchise. I scrutinized and checked out other franchises and competitors, gained knowledge, and then decided to go for Elite. The process of researching and understanding took me 6-8 months.
Talking about its impact on my life, I have become self-employed that is quite relieving and it has got me control over my working hours.
2. So why did you choose Elite over other companies?
I tried looking for all type of franchises, not just carpet cleaning. I chose Elite over others because I liked the fact that it was Australian owned and I also like the fact that products were made in Australia, besides its low fee structure set up also appealed me.
Another advantage is that they don’t have a call center for local calls so I like the fact that when people ring the 131 580 number, they are directly talking to me that allows me to have direct interaction with potential customers.
3. How you find the onboarding process with Elite?
It was nice to see that the Elite Head Office follows a due diligence process before taking onboard a franchisee so that the committed people will be chosen. This process protects the company as well as the potential franchise owners before they enter into an agreement.
4. What key benefits do you find working with Elite?
The key benefits that I find working with Elite is that products and equipment are sold centrally to me that saves me time.
I like the fact that enquiry calls come directly to me and I have control over pricing and scheduling the job according to my preference.
I also like that we have the support of other franchise owners if we need it which is very good when you starting but even if you are established it’s nice to have contact with existing people.
The fact that Elite’s carpet dry cleaning system does exceptional cleaning quality with high effective solutions and easy to handle machinery, which differentiate ourselves from other competitors.
5. How is it like to be a women entrepreneur and work in the cleaning industry?
People got surprised when I turned up at their door to do the job as they don’t expect a female to do it but all the people are very accepting of it and have been very encouraging to me. They asked me how I get into this business and when I explained its benefits, they congratulate me for entering into a male dominated industry and show great support.
- Do you find it convenient to manage your family and personal life while running the franchise?
It used to be a little big challenging to me when I started the business, trying to balance it with my family and personal life. I have time management skills that assist me in running my business. With that, my family is also supportive.
But I do feel lucky that I have the freedom to choose the hours I work, the days I work, I can be flexible around the things that I need to do while still having control over the amount of work I do.
If I want to work more time, I can do that, if I want to take a day off during the week, I might work on Saturday. I find a lot of flexibility now. I got a good work-life balance, while the effort that I put into my business is rewarding.
- How good the cleaning products are that you use and what results they produce?
The Elite products are water based, quickly evaporate, no residual, self-neutralize on PH, wool friendly and they are really simple to apply, and they do thorough cleaning soft furnish and dry in 1 hour on carpet.
The fact that all our products are produced at our Brisbane facility lets us assure our customers that we have control over the quality of those products.
It is nice to say to people that the products are Australian made and people really like this fact. It is a great selling point that we use to promote our business.
8. How the Elite team helped you before starting over?
I spent a week in the head office in Brisbane where I learned from the experienced technicians and gained knowledge that was required to start my franchise. Along with that, I also worked with the previous owner that helped me learn the aspects of the business before I started.
The cleaning process we were taught and trained to apply brings excellent results.
9. How supportive you find the Elite people?
People at Elite are friendly and supportive. I could hop on to them anytime and ask for answers to my questions related to processes or products. If they can’t help, they contact technicians and ask them to help. Or else, I can contact other franchise owners for assistance.
10. How the network of franchisees is helpful for a new franchisee?
I would like to point out that the franchises interact with each other in a friendly manner and if I have any questions I feel free to ask them out for help. They are very supportive and always welcome me and are ready to clear my queries. When I joined the company, I received emails and phone calls from other franchise owners welcoming me to the franchise which was quite touching.
11. What kind of response do you get from the customers once you do their cleaning job? Do they express amazement at the results? Something like ‘wow you did a great job!
Usually, I get incredibly happy customers once the job is done. When people find that the stain has gone that they thought would never go, they express amazement. We will get more customers when our happy customers talk about our services or products to their friends. That exactly we, as franchise owners, want at the end of the day and it helps grow our business.
12. What is the one thing that you like the most about Elite?
The thing I like the most is the independence of running my own business while knowing that the head office and other franchise owners are there to support whenever I need it.
13. Would you recommend Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning as a franchise business to others? Particularly to women who are looking to have a good career.
Yes, I would recommend Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning to others as a franchise business, especially women, it is not that physical as people normally think, females can do it. It is a good opportunity if you want to be self-employed and enjoy your freedom.