Moving from a centralised office with 1000 employees doing what they were told to franchise leadership where he needed to sell his ideas and initiatives to franchisees was a big challenge for Signature Homes chief executive Paul Bull.
The success he has had with the move is why he joins the top franchise leaders from 11 other niches to share their stories and offer their valuable advice in the best-selling book New Zealand’s Top Franchise Leaders, Secrets Revealed, written by Pete Burdon.
Bull took the reins at Signature Homes in 2014, and has tripled the business in that time.
“The big challenge in the early days was having to relearn how to sell and pitch ideas and initiatives to the franchisees, rather than just telling people what had to be done,” he says.
An interesting factor in that growth of Signature Homes is that it has been achieved with the addition of just one new franchisee.
Bull says the focus has been on optimising the growth of each franchise by coming up with unique and local strategies. The franchise model has been effective in making this happen.
“To achieve this, we’ve basically become thought partners with our franchisees. It’s more of a coaching and mentoring-type relationship, rather than telling them exactly what to do,” he says.
Bull believes the other critical factor in Signature Homes’ success has been recruitment.
“Getting the right people in the right roles is the key to a successful franchise. If you get the right people on board, you can do anything,” he says.
“We’ve unearthed the entrepreneurial spirit of each franchisee, and given them confidence because they’ve got a support office that’s going to coach and mentor them to the highest possible standard.”
Signature Homes has 13 franchisees across New Zealand. It has won multiple franchise awards over the past four years, including the Supreme Franchise System of the Year in 2016/17.
New Zealand’s Top Franchise Leaders, Secrets Revealed can be found at www.franchiseleadersbook.com or at all good bookstores.
Burdon is a best-selling author of books sharing the stories of leaders in specific niches.