46-year-old Hristo is Fantastic Services’ master franchisee for Oxford
A few years ago I was a small restaurant owner. At the time, things were going great and we were even thinking of opening a second one. But our plans changed when one day I came across an advert for a fast-growing property services company based in London that was looking to expand to our area.
Let me tell you a bit more about how it all started. I have always been passionate about customer service and Fantastic Services seemed to have it all figured out. They offered fast, low-risk entry into the services market with great earning potential.
Efficient use of technology
Every process was made efficient through the use of technology: customer relationship management systems, apps, online platforms and call centres were all integrated and streamlined.
Opening another restaurant just seemed like a big effort and I realised I didn’t want to go through that hassle all over again. Fantastic Services offered various franchise packages, so I decided to go with professional cleaning. All I needed was a suitable vehicle, three staff members and some specialised equipment. All in all, it was a vastly lower investment than opening a restaurant.
When we had everything ready, a quality control officer came all the way from London and stayed with my newly formed team to train us in the company standards and service provision requirements. In the meantime, we had access to the Fantastic Academy - an automated online training platform. Soon, the team was operational and we had customers from day one.
Growth of the business
Fast forward to the present day and we have over 60 staff members and provide a wide range of property services, including handyman and gardening. In the beginning, I was helping with some of the services myself, but due to the growth we were able to achieve it was back to the office for me. We did not open a second restaurant after all. In fact, we closed the old one and my wife joined me in running the franchise.
In 2018, we were doing so well that we decided to invest in the master franchise for the Oxford area. Overall, I’m quite happy with how things turned out. I don’t want to make it sound like it was the easiest thing in the world, because I had to learn a lot about how to manage teams and lead people.
Right now, I’m looking forward to improving our expertise and broadening our range of services. I know there is a lot more we can offer in terms of convenience and solutions for our customers.
My working week
Typically, this is what my work week looks like:
On Monday I arrive at the office with my wife around 8am-9am. I make myself a cup of coffee or some herbal tea and I’m ready to check my inbox. I note all my business meetings for the day, as well as for Tuesday and Wednesday, and adapt the rest of my schedule around them.
I check all the messages from my staff and franchisees - I want to make sure that those who have been working during the weekend have not experienced any difficulties. At noon, we’ll have lunch. We’ll either go somewhere or order in. High protein, low carb, some veggies - such meals won’t give me a sugar crash and I can have a productive afternoon.
By 5pm, we have arranged the rest of the week in terms of meetings, interviews, deliveries, etc. We’re off to dinner somewhere.
On Tuesday, I arrive at the office around 8am-9am. My wife might arrive a bit later, depending on how busy our schedule is. I check the Fantastic Services CRM system to see how many bookings we have for the day and the rest of the week. I might arrange a few deliveries of supplies, marketing materials or equipment in between calls and business meetings.
On Wednesday - after two days in the office - I might decide to have a work at home day if I don’t have any formal meetings with potential franchisees. If I don’t feel like staying at home, I might go to a local coffee shop that has good Wi-Fi and work from there. This is one of the things I love about my work: I have the flexibility to change things a little bit and find that I rarely experience occupational burnout.
On Thursday, I go to the office either in the morning or at noon, depending on my schedule. We are having a ‘drop by the office’ day. We are probably expecting some deliveries, so I and my wife will be there to receive them.
All staff and franchisees know that we will be there, so those who are having an off day or maybe have some free time can drop by if they want to meet with us or just hang out for a while. We might go to lunch together. I do my best to stay in touch with the people I work with.
On Friday - again, depending on my schedule - I might decide to work at home or visit a coffee shop. It’s a great way to start the weekend early. I make sure that the service provision schedule is set for the weekend.
I usually take Saturday and Sunday off, but I don’t mind arranging a conference talk for the weekend if that is the only possible option for the other person.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets: 402
Location of units: UK wide
Investment range: £25,000-£100,000
Minimum required capital: £25,000
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org joinfantastic.com/master-franchise