Why These Bright Sparks Chose The Sunburst Electric Brand Expert, professional electrical service isn't easy to come by, so when two entrepreneurs joined Sunburst Electric, they knew the brand's stellar reputation and unique offering would lead them to franchising success.
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Nicolette Boucher's franchising journey started with ACDC Express in 2014, while electrical veteran Etienne Kunz's accidental run-in with the Sunburst Electric brand introduced him to a concept he just had to be a part of. Today Nicolette's Boksburg outlet and Etienne's franchise in Alberton are thriving.
"Franchising is the ideal way to start your journey with entrepreneurship. You are given the recipe for success and you need to follow the recipe to ensure you get the results you need and want," says Nicolette, who was the Operations Manager for Sunburst Electric's sister company ACDC Express before becoming a Sunburst Electric franchisee.
With over 30 years' experience in the electrical, electronic, and communication industries, Etienne worked for different companies holding various positions before buying into this unique concept. "Up to present there is no franchisee concept in South Africa operating as an electrical company," Etienne explains.
Partnering with the best and brightest
Sunburst Electric caught Etienne's eye when he was looking to invest in an electrical company. "I saw the Sunburst Electric concept and the idea of purchasing a franchise electrical company started to grow on me."
Nicolette's passion for customer service was sparked when the opportunity to become a Sunburst Electric franchisee arose.
"Everything about Sunburst Electric is developed and built around delivering high customer satisfaction and this is right up my alley," she says.
"In our industry, there is a preconceived idea of what to expect when allowing an electrician into your home and I am happy that I can be a part of changing this perception, and showing all our customers that you can have a neat, tidy and courteous electrician who is on time and is not going to disappear once the job is done or even before the job is done."
Upping the ante in the electrical service market
Being a fairly new concept in South Africa, penetrating the market is an expected challenge for Sunburst Electric, but, as an affiliate of The Dwyer Group, Sunburst Electric provides its franchisees with a strong support system. This was a strong selling point for Nicolette when she invested. The affiliation with a global brand means you have joined a network that has been in the industry for over 30 years and can provide the support and guidance you require," she says.
"A lot of time and effort has been put into the franchise. In a nutshell, starting a business is like planting a tree; you need to love and nurture it and be patient before it becomes a blossoming tree. Sunburst Electric has given me the tools and motivation to help me grow my "tree'."
Etienne agrees with the power of backing from a larger company and the confidence it brings to him as a franchisee. "Investing in a brand linked to well-known mother company Infinity Brands means marketing, training and equipment and the right tools to succeed in your business are provided to you, instead of doing it yourself from scratch."
Pressing on and moving up
Recruiting the best-fit service professionals for the job in electrical services was a challenge for Nicolette initially, before Sunburst Electric got on board with a straightforward and painless process for its franchisees. "It's not always easy to find employees who have the same drive for customer satisfaction as you do," she says.
"At the end of the day it comes down to having the right people to get you where you want your brand to be."
For Etienne, launching the new branch of Sunburst Electric in Alberton and making people aware of this new concept that provides superior service to consumers was difficult. "Introducing a new name and getting people to trust a new electrical company that does things differently compared to ordinary electrical companies wasn't easy," he recalls. "But there is a lot of support from the franchisor, who guides and trains you and your electrician in the right direction by advising and leading you to ensure the business is operating profitably."
Getting started and running successfully
Both Nicolette and Etienne agree that franchising requires a dedicated and passionate entrepreneur.
"Remember to be patient when starting the business and be proactive about it," says Nicolette. "You're not going to make a profit in month one but with hard work, commitment and passion you will get the results you want."
Etienne's advice: "If you have the commitment, passion, drive and energy to work long hours and know how to deal with stress — and sometimes with difficult customers — resolving challenges and believing in yourself to make a success of a business, I would say go for it."