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Community & Business

26 November, 2022

Rebirth of well known franchise

Fresh ideas, a revitalised model and an Australian first innovation in franchising are what’s behind James Home Services’ recent announcement as the Innovation Excellence award winner for the 2022 JCU Business Excellence Awards.

By Rhys Thomas

James Home Services director Justin Kelly and CEO Rhiannon Simcocks receiving the 2022 JCU Business Excellence Awards Innovation Excellence award from Cairns deputy mayor Terry James.
James Home Services director Justin Kelly and CEO Rhiannon Simcocks receiving the 2022 JCU Business Excellence Awards Innovation Excellence award from Cairns deputy mayor Terry James.

The James Home Services’ franchise is a commonplace name and sight across the Tablelands and other regions of Australia with people using the name and providing services from house cleaning to car cleaning, to pet cleaning.

However, in the last 5-10 years the franchising business has taken a hit with people more reluctant to start their own business with a franchise.

Regional franchisor Sonya Kelly said market faith in franchising has lessened over the past decade, partly due to unfortunate choices of some franchisors but the actions of one or two, do not represent that of the entire industry.

“The industry across the board has actually found it quite challenging with Covid and virtually zero unemployment,” she said.

“What we found was our market and our society has changed and we are conditioned to not own things outright and not pay up front for things.

“We don’t even have to pay for clothes up front, we don’t purchase our music up front like we used to, we subscribe to Netflix, to Disney so we are really moving towards this subscription mentality.”

James Home Services came under the new management of Atherton local Justin Kelly and Cairns businessman Darren Halpin two years ago and since then, the business has set about changing the way people pay for the franchise.

In 2022, James, with the help of new CEO Rhiannon Simcocks, launched a new business model which has been dubbed the “Netflix of franchising”.

The new model gives people the option to subscribe to James and use the franchise instead of paying outright, however that option still remains.

People under the subscription model have access to everything that any other franchisee does including the brand, business system, marketing and business coaching – they just pay a weekly subscription.

After months of research and workshopping the new model was launched in July of this year and saw the business win the 2022 JCU Business Excellence Awards Innovation Excellence award.

“It was a case of, ‘what do we have to lose, let’s do this and see how it rolls’,” Mrs Kelly said.

“We have four months of data now and it has been fabulous, we have had more new franchisees start in the last four months than we had in the previous two years – most of them under the new subscription model.”

“We are really excited and proud of our company and what we have done in the past two years.”

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