Kāpiti Hire a Hubby couple champion franchisees

Dave and Shelley Coley helped put Kāpiti in the spotlight at the recent Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards 2014/2015. Their Hire a Hubby business took out two awards: the sub-category award for best home services franchisee and the category award for franchisee of the year in home and lifestyle services.

Winning is a habit: Dave and Shelley have been the Hire a Hubby Franchisee of the Year three times in a row. But winning this national award against fierce opposition is a big step up.

Dave and Shelley have been operating their franchise, which covers the Kāpiti Coast from Paekākāariki to Ōtaki, since 2002. Initially it was a one man business operated by Dave, a former bank manager who had tired of the corporate life. For nine years he enjoyed the autonomy and variety of work that Hire a Hubby offered. Then, in July 2011, it all changed. Dave had been reading Winning Matters, the autobiography of one-time builder, Sean Fitzpatrick, when something clicked. He looked up from the book turned to Shelley and said, “It’s never too late to find out how good you could be.”

They looked at their combined skills and strengths Shelley was a media company manager with strong marketing expertise and jointly decided that they could become the maintenance company of choice for the Kāpiti Coast.

While Dave continued to work directly for clients with tools in hand, he took on staff to allow himself to spend more of his time to managing the company. Shelley took on the marketing role and, working together they built their operation into a significant regional maintenance company that now employs three full-time experienced tradespeople. Last year Shelley quit her job and now devotes all her time to the business.

The judges of the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards were well impressed at the transformation. “Hire a Hubby Kāpiti have effectively taken a one-man operation and turned it into a successful small business,” they said. “They’ve combined systematic approaches with strong staff recruitment to achieve some excellent financial and customer results in a short time. Their focus on knowledge of their market and maintaining good relationships has led to very impressive levels of around 75 percent repeat business.”

“We’re delighted and humbled to win this award and extremely proud of our team,” said Shelley. “Our people are talented and committed. They believe in this business.

“We’re also proud to be part of Kāpiti. This is a place where people treat each other fairly, where they give you credit when you do a good job, and where you can build trust. We have a strong community focus: we operate a community give-back policy and we do charitable work at no charge. That’s paid off for us in business and in the close relationships we’ve developed with our customers.”

“We’re doubly proud to be from Kāpiti because the winner of the Community Involvement award was Sonia South, from sKids Paraparaumu/ Ōtaki. It was a big night for Kāpiti.”

“Dave and Shelley are a credit to Hire a Hubby, and their achievement reflects the hard work they have put in, their commitment to the Kāpiti community and the high regard people have for the brand,” says Hire a Hubby CEO, Logan Sears. “We’re looking to replicate their success in other regions of New Zealand where we see plenty of opportunity for further growth.”

The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards criteria are some of the most demanding in the world. They are administered by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation and are independently evaluated and judged under the internationally-recognised Baldrige criteria for business excellence. Entry is restricted to Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ) members only

The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards 2014 were presented at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, before an audience of more than 230 members of FANZ and their guests.