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A HANDYMAN who has seen his company’s turnover rocket to more than £1million in just four years is looking for new recruits.

Oxford graduate Bruce Greig, whose clients include Cat Deeley, Jemima Khan and Thierry Henry, is searching for potential franchisees to grow his business across the UK.

The firm, which already has nine franchises across southern England, is hoping to extend to almost thirty within the next ten months.

Now, at the start of National Franchise Week, Mr Greig is looking for more of the graduates and career men and women who have already made his company such a success.

“We are not expert tradesmen doing specialised jobs so those types of skills are not so vital for our franchisees,” said Mr Greig, 30.

“We are doing small jobs around the house, figuring how to fix things, so we need people who can think in a certain way.”

Although he does not set out to recruit graduates, he added: “It helps to have people who are fairly articulate and are well presented. For us, gaining and maintaining customer trust is essential.”

The idea for a company of professional handymen who do not call their customers “love,” spend all day drinking tea and leave a mess behind, came after a frustrating search for a reliable tradesman.

Mr Greig explained: “I realised there was gap in the market after spending three days waiting for various plumbers to fit a new sink in my kitchen.

“The only one who turned up – late – wanted to charge an extortionate amount and insisted on replacing the existing brand new pipework. In the end I bought a few bits of copper from B&Q and did it myself.”

Call-outs range from opening jars of sugar to assembling flat-pack furniture while his list of satisfied clients includes:

• TV presenter Cat Deeley, who called 0800handyman when a door handle dropped off, leaving her locked out of her bathroom;
• Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry, who hired the professionals to hang a painting for him; and
• Jemima Khan, who turned to Bruce ahead of boyfriend Hugh Grant when a heavy rug needed moving at her London home.

Bruce, a psychology graduate and former marketing consultant in the City, believes his business is successful because of the growing number of young professionals without the time or the inclination for DIY.

“It’s not that people don’t want to improve their homes,” explains Bruce, who is a member of the British Franchise Association. “It’s that they don’t want to do the work themselves any more.

“People still want to spend money improving their homes. They just don’t want to spend valuable time at home with a paintbrush in their hand when they could be spending it with their families and children.”

The majority of Bruce’s franchisees and handymen are graduates themselves, many of whom have given up successful, well-paid jobs to join the company.

Apart from an interview and a test of their practical skills, all potential employees have to undergo a multiple choice personality test to assess their levels of motivation and trustworthiness.

Ninety per cent of applicants fail to make the grade.

Mr Greig claims new franchisees need a total investment of around £30,000 (including working capital) but estimates that they could earn as much as £100,000 a year within three years.

The company charges £20+VAT per half hour with a call out charge of £10 - £20, depending on the area.

Notes to editors

A selection of case studies and photographs are also available on request.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Bruce Greig, call Chris Marritt at Mason Media on 0151 707 4514 or 07908 214950.

National Franchise Week runs from October 3 – 9.

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