What has buying a new house got to do with becoming a Master Regional Franchisee (MRF) with Clean Planet?
According to Roy Boonen, Clean Planet’s MRF for Hawkes Bay, one of the unexpected benefits of working with franchisees is helping them achieve big goals that change their lives, like buying a house.
“Six of my franchisees have bought their own house in the last two years,” says Roy. “That’s something I’m incredibly proud of. When they invite me to see their new house and celebrate with them, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
“Our franchisees work really hard to achieve their goals and transform their lives. Most of them are immigrants which means they have to overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles to build a successful life for themselves and their families and I’m proud Clean Planet is a part of their journey.”
Since Clean Planet was established in 2008 the company has grown from 3 franchisees to more than 160 franchisees and operates 12 Master Regional Franchises around New Zealand. MRFs are effectively Regional Managers and are responsible for introducing Clean Planet to a new region; expanding the customer base; recruiting, training, managing and leading a team of franchisees; maintaining service excellence for clients; and building customer relationships with commercial and office cleaning clients.
Roy Boonen was the company’s first MRF and he has grown the business in Hawkes Bay to 27 franchisees. A Hawkes Bay local, he’s the former CEO and director of ethical finance and investment company Prometheus and was also the general manager at Taruna College. He wanted a change from the corporate world and liked the idea of being his own boss.
“I started the Hawkes Bay territory, slightly before Clean Planet was ready,” says Roy. “I was driving the car before the wheels were on, you could say! But I loved figuring out how to do things and with the support of the Clean Planet systems, it’s worked out really well.”
Roy has all of the traits Clean Planet looks for in an MRF:
Business experience/financial aptitude;
People management/leadership skills;
Motivation — can include financial, working for yourself, interest in the environment, making a difference;
Business Planning skills;
Existing network to leverage for prospects and franchisees;
Willingness to learn;
Resilient and optimistic;
Enthusiasm for the brand and our sustainability ethos.
“The first step when I set up Clean Planet in Hawkes Bay was to find sales,” says Roy. “It helped that I already had a good network in the region. It was harder to find good franchisees. I ended up calling on a group of friends to do the cleaning in the first few months before I got some franchisees on board. We’ve had a waiting list of franchisees ever since and almost every week I get contacted by someone looking to buy a franchisee because they have friends who work with Clean Planet who have lots of good things to say about the company.”
Roy also rates people skills as vitally important.
“I visit all my franchisees in their homes,” he says. “We talk about their kids, life and the business. I am friends with all of my franchisees because I am totally dedicated to their success.”
“Cleaning is not rocket science. It requires an honest attitude, delivering what people pay for, doing it with a smile and resolving issues without making them more complicated than they need to be. You’ve got to build a reputation for the organisation and for yourself.”
For MRFs, Clean Planet has many benefits including a strong brand and business model and systems that work. MRFs purchase the rights to manage a region and share the revenues generated from customers and new franchises purchased. Like Clean Planet franchisees, MRFs get all the support they need to make their business a success.
Brendon Coffey, the company’s largest MRF with 50 franchisees in South Auckland, has been with Clean Planet for three years. With 40 years’ experience as a chef in the hospitality industry, including ten years in Fiji, Brendon came home to New Zealand to start a business with his wife Sharon.
In the pic – Brendon (Centre) with wife Sharon (right) and daughter Natasha (left)
“We wanted more control over our working lives,” says Brendon. “We looked at starting a cafe but it required a significant investment and I also knew how competitive the hospitality industry was.”
“We decided to think outside the box and that’s when I heard about Clean Planet. I wasn’t looking for a cleaning franchise but I met with them and one meeting led to another. I liked the idea of a business with the support of a franchisor because it meant I didn’t have too many overheads. I liked the concept of clean and green because as a chef I was all about working with local farmers and sustainability.”
Having worked overseas for much of his career and also being married to a Fijian Indian woman, Brendon has built strong relations with his franchisees and views them as family.
“One of our motivations is to help other people be successful in their business,” he says. “To do that, I coach our franchisees to understand they are business owners, not employees. They have to understand how to make decisions and meet the needs of their clients. We have some franchisees we hear very little from and others who we have to practically run their business for them. That is part of the challenge, helping them make that transition.”
“A lot of our franchisees have full-time jobs during the day. Running a cleaning business is something they do over and above their day job. It is important for the MRF to understand the franchisees are not buying a cleaning business because they have nothing else to do. I am sure they would rather be at home with their family instead of cleaning in the evening but they do it for a very good reason. They have a purpose in mind, whether that be to pay off a mortgage or save money for a deposit or to help kids with their education.”
“Everybody is different but everybody has a story. As an MRF you need to listen, show some humility, problem solve and understand things from the franchisee’s perspective. We have the opportunity to work with people and make a difference in their lives. An MRF will only be successful if the franchisees are successful so you have to do everything you can to make sure they have everything they need to thrive.”
Raman Maan started as the MRF in Waikato in August 2019 after doing research on other cleaning companies.
“I came to New Zealand in 2012 and my first job was a part-time cleaning job in Wellington,” says Raman. “The products we used were very toxic and all the staff had health issues. When I completed my IT studies I got an IT job but after a few years, I was looking for something more challenging and wanted to do something where I could help others. I decided to get a cleaning franchise because some of my friends recommended it to me. They enjoyed how flexible it was and how you could work your own hours.”
“I made a list of 7 cleaning companies and one of my friends recommended Clean Planet to me so I added it to the list. When I met with Clean Planet and compared them to the other companies, I was very impressed with their products, with the support from head office, and with the return on investment. Clean Planet was different from all the rest.”
“Health and safety comes first for me. We have to look after our own health and our client’s health. There are so many toxic chemicals and if you are not healthy enough to do your job you cannot build a business. Clean Planet only uses eco-friendly, non-toxic, Sensitive Choice (approved by National Asthma Council of Australasia) cleaning products and that was a big positive for me. By using these products, we are keeping ourselves and the environment safe. This leads to a better future for everyone.”
Raman’s works with seven franchisees in the Waikato region and he has big plans to develop more businesses in the region, generate more work and fulfil the dreams of the franchisees.
Our MRF network is growing and we’re looking for great leaders throughout the country to be part of our success story.
If you think you might be just who we’re looking for, then contact us today. We’d love to hear your story.