The difference behind the Laser Model
Recent reports following a Fairfax media investigation into the franchise business, Retail Food Group have highlighted the risks for people wanting to run their own business under the umbrella of a known brand, but, it's not always a bad news story.
Managing Director of Australia’s largest plumbing and electrical franchise, Laser Plumbing & Electrical, Steve Keil has seen the business grow from strength to strength in the fifteen years that it has been in operation in Australia and believes that one of the main strengths of the business which started in New Zealand in the early eighties is that they don’t look at themselves as a traditional franchise.
“Our most visible difference,” says Keil, “is that businesses joining the Group are referred to as “Members’ rather than franchisees. A cultural decision, the business avoids traditional franchise terms, avoiding the perception of a hierarchal relationship. Keil says, “Our Members are our customers and, by providing them with solid systems and support, we help them build a better business which in turn makes our business better by default.”
Almost 35 years after two electricians formed a partnership that would grow into the largest plumbing and electrical network across Australia and New Zealand, people still ask what makes plumbers and electricians continue to make the change and become part of the Laser Group.
Currently, home to over 250 plumbing and electrical business in Australia and New Zealand, Laser Group identifies well-established companies who are looking for a better way to run their business.
“Our franchise model is ‘conversion franchising’. We engage with plumbers and electricians already in business” said Keil. “It’s not about someone deciding that they want to start a business but rather, making the decision to change their business to the Laser business model.”
The Laser Group is proud to have seen the success of many of the businesses under their brand with Keil sharing stories of Members who went on to win major contracts, using the strength of the national brand as well as ability to share knowledge and resources from other Members.
“Rather than competing against each other, Laser Plumbing & Electrical businesses are able to work collaboratively, whether it be a national contract or simply sharing experiences and supporting each other. Many of our members talk about the lifelong friendships they have made which they value immensely.”
Looking towards the future, the company’s main goal is to broaden its footprint across the country, growing to between 200 and 250 contracting companies in each trade sector.
“We want the right Members in the right locations that we can assist with profitably growing their businesses,” says Keil. “That way we can serve our customers with the same high level of service. Whether you need a solution in Hobart or Darwin, we can provide all your electrical and plumbing needs.”