10 Business Can Be Tough

From 2001 to 2003 seventeen new divisions were launched: Roofing, Window and Pressure Cleaning, Electrical, Computer Services, Pool Care, Test and Tag, Painting, Sand Soil and Gravel, Appliance Repairs, Balloons, Beach House, Preggi Bellies, Irrigation, Concreting, Garden Edge, Marie's Mobile Hair, and Pool Care Retail. The latter ten divisions are not in operation today.

‘In those days we had rather more failures than successes,' Jim said.

We signed people who had a good idea and were running a successful one-man business, but without staff or management experience. After that, we only took on people with a proven track record. It was clear that the quality of the founder mattered far more than the type of service.

Since 2005 the Jim's Group has started forty-one divisions with only eight failures (Windscreens, Graffiti Solutions, Bathrooms, Concrete Cutting, Insulation Services, Driving School, Site Solution and Timber Milling).

The impact of most division failures wasn't severe, with little investment by the founders and few, if any, franchisees signed. But Beach House Fitness Centres (a health club), caused a lot of damage.

Fiascos

Beach House was a big investment because they needed a physical location to operate. Some Mowing franchisors decided to buy a franchise in the new venture, and Li, who'd had her money from China brought over, did too.

‘I got involved in Beach House, and it failed badly,' Li said. ‘Everybody — the franchisor and us — all ...

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