Want to buy a franchise, but not quite sure what to look for? Here is a quick guide to help you evaluate the franchise...more
Buying a franchise is a great step if you are a first time business owner - especially if you’re coming out of a succe...more
Technology and the Internet has really revolutionised the franchise market. It’s changed how franchisees promote thems...more
NEW LOOK for NZ's largest home services franchiseHome services franchise Green Acres has launched a smart new look as it celebrates its 21st birthday.
Green Acres has sported the same folksy house-and-lawn logo since it was founded in 1991. Unsurprisingly that livery’s now looking a little dated and no longer reflects the company’s size, scope and sophistication. Today, Green Acres has 650 franchisees and around $60 million in revenues passes through the group every year. CEO Logan Sears says that the average value of its franchises has increased by almost 50 percent since 2007.According to Green Acres estimates, there are now 27 franchise systems operating in the home services sector – a sector the company helped to create back in the early 1990s. Those systems have more than 2000 franchisees undertaking daily tasks in the home services sector, yet they are still delivering to less than 10 percent of New Zealand households, which means that there is still plenty of opportunity for growth.
Over the last five years Green Acres has been quietly consolidating and refining a remarkably successful and durable brand. Despite the issues created by a rogue master franchisee, it has appointed 130 new franchisees and now has more franchisees than its nearest three competitors combined. It has also introduced new tools, mobile technologies and systems to help franchisees run their businesses better, and the new livery is designed to signal those improvements to customers and franchisees alike.The new look
‘We commissioned advertising supremo Mike Hutcheson and his company &some to come up with a look that better reflects what Green Acres is today,’ said Green Acres CEO, Logan Sears. “It needed to address our full range of service offerings, the sophistication of our systems and the fundamental promise we make to deliver a professional, personal and very efficient service to customers every day.’
At the launch, Mike Hutcheson described the new image as ‘Friendly, eclectic, whimsical and contemporary.’ It uses a variety of stylised icons and pictograms which depict the various services which Green Acres franchisees provide. In the company’s new logo, these are artfully arranged to form the shape of a house, in a nod to the old logo. However, it is on the vehicles that their cleverness can be fully appreciated, with figures cleaning the car windows, mowing lawns around the bumper and polishing details.‘The image represents – with beautiful simplicity – everything Green Acres does to create quality time for its customers by taking care of the domestic tasks that they can’t find enough hours in the day to deal with,’ said Mike.
Importantly, from the point of view of franchisees, the new image can still be applied to their white-based vehicles. ‘We have 650 mobile billboards out there and the new image makes the most of the opportunity to promote Green Acres; name and services wherever they go,’ said Logan Sears. The new image will be rolled out across the country as new franchisees come on board and existing franchisees update their vehicles, and is expected to take two years to complete. Marketing material and stationery will change immediately.Simpler management for franchisees
At the image launch – a typically Kiwi affair with barbecued lamb, crayfish and even the arrival of a Mr Whippy van to provide dessert – Green Acres also took the opportunity to talk about its partnerships with Xero and ANZ to enable franchisees to manage their businesses more easily.
‘When you’re providing home services, you’re selling time, so your time is at a premium,’ said Xero CEO, Rod Drury. ‘For franchisees, having simple, readily accessible information makes a direct contribution to the bottom line. It means they can spend less time on the accounts, and more time with their customers. They can invoice customers, enter receipts and check the status of their accounts from their mobile phones, while they’re out working.From a corporate perspective, using Xero also allows Green Acres to add important back office processes to its franchise offering, giving the company total visibility of what is happening in its franchise network. That level of integration means that accounting and finance is as much a part of the Green Acres’ system as consistent branding and operational standards. We're thrilled that Green Acres has integrated its franchise systems with Xero to create a seamless operating platform for the entire team.’