BeTheBoss.ca: What’s the story behind Gorilla Property Services?
Mark Amery: Gorilla Property Services is much more than a property maintenance company and we take great strides to set ourselves apart from our competition. There may be many options when it comes to property maintenance companies but Gorilla sets itself apart with the simplicity of our operation system. Clients phone in, tell us what they need and we provide solutions. In much the same way that you might catch up with a friend, you can expect a reliable ear and trustworthy advice from our technicians.
Gorilla sets the bar with our own industry standards, not only for client care but for our franchisees as well. Our goal is to provide our franchise partners with high profit margins, low investment levels and, most importantly, a piece of our fun-loving culture. We started Gorilla Property Services in 2012 and have spent our time fine-tuning our business strategies until May 2016 when we took on our first franchise partner.
BTB: What made you decide to franchise?
MA: There is nothing more satisfying than watching a project grow and become successful. Starting something from the ground-up and watching it spread and flourish is an amazing triumph for any business owner. Franchising is a way of building our business outward, incorporating new and exciting partners in new and exciting places. It is a really fascinating way to grow, not only as a business but personally and as a team. Having franchise partners creates a bond around the business and encourages the idea of sharing whenever possible, whether it be ideas, goals or personal views. Every new franchise partner that we acquire gives us a chance to watch these new members of our Gorilla team succeed in an industry that they are proud to be a part of.
BTB: What was your background prior to forming the company?
MA: Successful companies are not built overnight, so I knew when I started Gorilla Property Services that it would be a long road ahead. Property maintenance was not a new game to me, having spent 15 years prior to opening Gorilla within the same property maintenance industry, as well as the pest control industry.
My uphill battle began at the bottom rung of a difficult industry but through hard work I found myself able to open two pest control companies within British Columba. A small loan opened the door to my success and expansion and ultimately I was able to turn a seven-figure profit on them within a five year period. All of my field and business experiences have gone into our franchise model, a model which encourages all of our partners to work hard and reap their own rewards from it.
BTB: Tell us a little about the Property Maintenance Market?
MA: It’s no secret that property maintenance is a billion dollar industry. Due to its necessity, the market is booming and has been for some time but despite these simple facts there has never been a designated heavy-hitter within the industry - until now.
Gorilla Property Services is paving the way throughout the industry, creating our own set of standards and coming up with several new strategies to make the process of up-keep, as simple as possible for our clients. The six essential services that Gorilla provides are necessary for the proper functioning of any home or business and by perfecting these services, Gorilla has taken a “seasonal”market and become a year-round service provider.
BTB: What have some of the challenges been in growing your franchise?
MA: The largest challenge facing franchise growth is finding our ideal partners. This company has been 15 years in the making and it is vital to find people with the same passion for the job and the brand, that I have myself.
Finding the ideal partner does not come easy but we have found that the right type of recruitment team can make the task a little easier. Growth (on the Franchise side) can be difficult to navigate though, trying to use techniques directed to certain territories and personalities is much easier said than done. When we do find these individuals though, there is a great deal of maintenance that goes into providing a full-time, well-rounded support system for all of our franchise partners, such as around the clock mentoring. The CFA has been a great support system, helping us develop all of our franchising processes and answer questions from prospective and current partners.
BTB: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
MA: My greatest inspiration has been my father, a man who has been in the business and franchise world throughout his entire life. He taught me the value of a dollar, putting me to work at a local Tim Hortons at the age of 12. By the time I reached 13, I was a regular on the night shift.
He has always pushed me, sometimes by supporting my decisions and sometimes by playing the Devil’s Advocate. Now that I have franchised partners of my own, I find myself in the same role, always pushing them upward and encouraging them to be the best ‘Gorillas’ that they can be.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Gorilla franchisee?
MA: Becoming a franchisee with Gorilla Property Services is more than owning something, it is being a part of something large. This network comes with training programs as well as unlimited support, directly from headquarters.
The biggest benefit to becoming a Gorilla is that there is always a team behind you, rooting for your success and doing anything within our power to make sure that you do well. A franchise with us means low investments, high returns and a low monthly overhead. Our internal Customer Management System (CMS) allows complete functionality while mobile, allowing franchisees to operate their entire business from their smart phone or tablet.
Choosing to partner with Gorilla means you get the best in service, technology and you can do it all while having fun.
BTB: What differentiates GORILLA from its competitor’s.
MA: ‘Property Maintenance’ is essentially just a flashy name for certain types of chores. For property owners, they take up time and energy and, if we are being honest, they are not always fun to do. Gorilla Property Services has found a new way to approach these important tasks, setting ourselves apart from the drab perception of household duties.
We operate under a code of our own, providing top of the line service while maintaining the approachability, friendliness and concern that you could expect from any friend or neighbor. Our franchise partners both believe in, and enjoy the work! We show up smiling and ready to work, making ourselves known by adding a bit of fun to our workplace with bright uniforms and flashy vehicles.
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
MA: Acquiring a franchise might seem like a relatively simple idea but there is a lot more work that goes on behind the scenes than simply signing a cheque.
Research is key when it comes to choosing a franchise to partner with. Most companies have their own code and practices and it is incredibly important to make sure that these practices are fundamentally right for you. This consideration goes both ways, as business owners will vet potential franchise partners to ensure they they will be functioning and appropriate team members and representations of the brand as a whole.
Most importantly, use the resources available to you. Ask your friends and family whether they believe a franchise is right for you. Discuss the pros and cons with those closest to you in order to help you make a sound decision. Franchise lawyers are also a must!
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that GORILLA would be a great opportunity for someone?
MA: Opportunities come in many shapes and sizes but I would be lying if I did not say that Gorilla Property Services was a large one. Our franchise partners have the chance to be part of a thriving company while being in an industry that they enjoy. It is hands on and gives owners and technicians the opportunity to work closely with other members of their community, giving back and beautifying their hometowns.
Our business practice and results are incredibly important to us but we have found a way to combine expert service and our fun-loving nature. We offer up the chance to be in a low-risk, high reward situation, where partners can earn a living while enjoying their daily regimen. Just because it is work, doesn’t mean it needs to feel like a ‘job’. We stand by our services and our staff and feel lucky that we are all part of the same team.