DRAIN DOCTOR’S YOUNGEST FRANCHISEES SET FOR THE FUTURE
The youngest franchisees in the Drain Doctor network, Yasser Yusean and Samantha Brain – who are both in their mid-20’s – are showing that age is no barrier to success in franchising.
Yasser (24) and his partner Samantha took on the Leicester franchise business of Drain Doctor Plumbing
(www.draindoctor.co.uk) offering emergency plumbing and drain repairs in the city and the surrounding villages back in 2011.
They run the franchise between them. Yasser is responsible for the technical side of the business and marketing activities while Samantha deals with the accounts and day-to-day running of the business.
Taking on a Drain Doctor franchise was the obvious choice for Yasser, who has always worked as a plumber. He started with Drain Doctor as a part-time assistant while he was still at school, coming to work at weekends, before being employed as a technician with the Drain Doctor franchise in Derby.
Yasser said: “Working as a technician I already knew all the Drain Doctor systems. When this franchise became available it made sense to take it on.
“Drain Doctor has a proven system. It offered a recession-resistant opportunity where I can be an independent operator running my own business but with all the back-up that comes with being part of a large national organisation.
“The last few years have been hard work and we are now in a good position to begin expanding. We are looking to take on a new technician and van in the near future.”
Samantha added: “When Yasser said he wanted to take on the Leicester Drain Doctor business I gave my full support. I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to run our own business and use all the skills I have to provide ‘dazzling’ customer service.”
Yasser enjoys the challenges of the business, particularly the emergency work, and getting to know new people through his ongoing marketing efforts.
“I am regularly out introducing myself to new customers, both commercial and domestic, and I enjoy helping out on national accounts. The Drain Doctor network is a great opportunity for young people with energy and a strong ambition to run their own business.”
AVOID CHRISTMAS DISASTERS
Excitement, stress, tiredness and alcohol can create unexpected hazards in the home at Christmas says the National Health Service.
More than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period.
Typical disasters include:
• Food poisoning from badly cooked turkeys.
• People cutting themselves with knives when they're opening presents too quickly.
• Parents stabbing themselves with scissors which they are using to assemble toys instead of using a screwdriver.
• People tripping over toys and electric cables while rushing to try new computers and other appliances.
Every year, about 1,000 people are injured by their Christmas tree, usually while fixing lights or other decorations to the higher branches, and around 350 people are hurt by Christmas tree lights, including electric shocks and burns from faulty lights.
Plumbing disasters are common, too. A white Christmas often means frozen pipes (particularly in homes left empty over the holiday period) followed by bursts and leaks.
Robin Banks of Drain Doctor Plumbing says: “A surprising number of people pour hot turkey fat down the kitchen sink where it then solidifies and blocks the drain. If you’re lucky it is just the kitchen sink that gets blocked but sometimes the sheer volume of fat from a large turkey means it will block the main drain from the house.”
Toilets, too, can be blocked by the volume of paper being flushed away by a house full of visitors – and every year plumbers are called out to unblock toilets and drains blocked by children (or sometimes adults) dropping toys and other things down lavatories.
Robin Banks said: “A burst pipe or blocked lavatory is a problem at any time of the year – at Christmas or New Year it can be an expensive nightmare. ‘Rip off’ plumbers can charge a small fortune just to take a look at the problem.
“So, as with other Christmas disasters, plumbing prevention is better than cure. Keep yourself safe this Christmas by doing sensible things like using a ladder when putting the star on top of the tree – and keep your drains safe by making sure nothing goes down them that should not go down them.
“If you are unlucky enough to have a problem, though, Drain Doctor works to the same fixed prices over the festive season as at any other time of year - and there are no call-out charges, not even on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. Every job is priced before work starts, working to a national pricing menu.”
• If you have a Christmas plumbing problem call Drain Doctor on 0800 70 71 72.
LARKFLEET STRENGTHENS SENIOR TEAM
Housebuilding and development company Larkfleet Group has strengthened its senior management team with three new appointments.
Deborah Brown has joined as group legal counsel, John Ellis as group finance director and Paul Shepherd as land manager.
In her new role Deborah will take overall responsibility for legal matters within Larkfleet Group, dealing with day-to-day legal work and liaising with external lawyers as she builds an internal legal and compliance team for the company. She was previously a partner at Roythornes solicitors, specialising in company and commercial matters, and before that worked at Taylor Vinters and hc solicitors.
John Ellis, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, has previously worked in the civil engineering, power generation and transport sectors. Whilst working for companies such as GEC, BTR, Alstom, T&N and more recently Morgan Sindall, John has worked in a number of countries including France, Belgium and Germany as well as across the UK.
Paul Shepherd has come to Larkfleet after a career in land and property management which has included working for major housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes and Redrow Homes as well as in estate agency and his own property portfolio company. His role at Larkfleet is to find and secure potential new development opportunities, with or without existing planning consent, and to work with housing association partners when bringing these forward.
Larkfleet Group CEO Karl Hick said: “As the group continues to develop and expand we need to similarly develop and expand the team of talented people at the top of the organisation who can oversee our progress.
“Deborah, John and Paul bring fresh capabilities and experience which will significantly strengthen our senior management team.”