'I can work the hours that suit me'

Working together on establishing a successful Hydro-Dynamix business, husband and wife Adam and Jenny Tester realised working together did not just benefit the business but also their family life

The initial stages of establishing a new business can be one of the most difficult times for a new franchise owner. When Adam Tester launched his Hydro-Dynamix franchise his wife Jenny worked with him to help establish the business. He explains: 'When I launched my Hydro-Dynamix franchise I worked on the practical side and my wife worked full-time undertaking general office duties such as administration, marketing and answering the telephone. The fact that my wife was helping out meant that financially we were in a better position because we didn't have to recruit someone to do the work instead.

'Furthermore, working together suited us personally because we have a good relationship so we complemented each other well. Another benefit of Jenny working on the business was that it meant when she had our child she was not only able to work from home but could reduce the hours she worked to what fitted in with taking care of our baby. She now works about four to six hours a week on the business.'

Adam began looking into franchising because he wanted to reduce the hours he was working but found out he was unable to. 'I was the manager in a distribution centre for Safeway,' he remembers. 'I was working long hours and I wanted to cut my hours down but I couldn't without taking a demotion, which I obviously did not want to do. A friend told me about Hydro-Dynamix and I went to a seminar they were holding. I was impressed with what I heard and I realised that there was an excellent business opportunity in providing an efficient cleaning service.'

Hydro-Dynamix is a truck mount cleaning franchise that provides a range of cleaning services to both commercial and domestic clients. Services include cleaning of carpets, hard floors and upholstery, as well as fire and flood restoration. The range of services that Hydro-Dynamix franchise owners can provide was one of the main attractions for Adam. 'This franchise appealed to me because it was very diverse and had many avenues of income,' he says. 'The fact that the business model enables me to service commercial and domestic clients means that I am able to approach many different types of potential customers. Additionally, the equipment used is far superior to our competitors.''

To prepare Adam for the launch of his Kent-based business in June 2000 he was provided with full training by Hydro-Dynamix. 'I went on a course, which was run by an outside company, from which I gained an industry recognised certificate,' recalls Adam. 'Hydro-Dynamix also provided me with in-house training. Before my launch head office helped with marketing and although I have not needed much help since then I know that if there is anything I need to know I just have to pick up the phone and call to get an answer. I've spent a lot of time and energy in developing my business, as I believe in not relying on the franchisor to make my business grow.'

Adam admits that establishing a successful business is not easy, however being self-employed does have benefits: 'One of the most enjoyable aspects of running my own business is the fact that I can work the hours that suit me, for example if I want a day off I can have a day off. I work long hours but I get time off to go on holiday and spend time with my family. Also the job satisfaction I get is great, I get a real sense of achievement when I get good feedback from my customers.

'My turnover at the moment is £200,000 and although we are in a recession my business is continuing to grow. I have two employees working for me who provide general cleaning services, however in the near future I want to recruit people who can specialise in specific areas, such as someone who can focus on fire and flood restoration. I'm very hands-on at the moment but I want to take a less active role and work more towards building the business.'

Reported by Derin Ibrahim