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Working for Paramount Services made these franchisees determined to own their own business
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Alex Sarte, Paramount Services. "We really feel like part of the family"
Dennis Aquino, Paramount Services. "I jumped at the opportunity to become a franchisee"
Paul Brown of Paramount Services says some of his proudest moments are not when the company receives yet another award, but when he farewells company staff who are moving on to own their own businesses as Paramount franchisees.
‘It’s a strong endorsement for the company that those who have learned all about us from the inside believe in Paramount enough to take the next step,’ says Paul, the franchise’s general manager. ‘It also reflects the culture of a family business that believes in caring for people and offering them the chance to be their best.’
Two who seized that opportunity are Alex Sarte and Dennis Aquino, both of whom immigrated from the Philippines. Having started working as cleaners, today they each own their own business as Paramount franchisees.
Alex Sarte and his wife Kathryn arrived in Auckland in 2008. A musician and church minister in the Philippines, Alex is actively involved in local church activities here and a member of a local jazz band. Making a new start in a new country, Alex first found work with a local cleaning company then left to join Paramount Services as an operations supervisor responsible for quality-checking client sites, providing advice and dealing with any issues.
‘Even before coming to New Zealand, I’d always wanted to own my own business,’ explains Alex. ‘Working at Paramount taught me so much about what it takes to do this and so, with Paul’s encouragement, Kathryn and I became partners in our own Paramount franchise in March 2015.
‘Most commercial cleaning is night work, and we service a major cinema complex in Auckland from midnight to 3.30am. This may not suit everyone but it gives us the lifestyle we want: I can spend time with our three-year-old daughter Ada and take her to kindy, and we are expecting a second child in July so it will be great to be around during the day. Our franchise is a seven-day business, and I’m currently on site most days with my four or five staff. Now, one of them is up to speed as a supervisor, I’m discussing with Paul taking on a second large site.
‘Becoming a Paramount staff member was a great way to learn about the cleaning industry and gain understanding and knowledge of what it takes to run your own business as a franchisee. Paramount has been tremendously supportive and we really feel like part of the family.’
Established in 1979, Paramount Services has some 140 franchisees employing over 900 staff to service more than 2,000 client sites. The company also employs more than 150 cleaning staff itself including, until recently, Dennis Aquino.
Dennis, his wife Dora and daughters Denise and Kristine became Kiwis in 2009 when the family settled in Wellington. After 20 years in pharmaceutical sales, science graduate Dennis wanted a total change and went to work for a cleaning company that, in 2013, was bought by Paramount.
‘That’s when things really started to happen for us,’ explains Dennis. ‘I worked in specialised cleaning services such as lifts, windows and carpets. Quite a few Wellington friends have franchises and I’ve seen how hard work rewards them so, when I was offered the opportunity to become a franchisee, I jumped at the opportunity. With Paramount handling billing and collection, and also providing work referrals, I’m able to concentrate on ensuring each of my customers gets top quality service.
‘As a Paramount Special Works franchisee I work alongside general commercial cleaning franchisees and their staff at a number of Central Wellington sites. I have responsibility for such areas as carpet cleaning, washing windows and cleaning carparks. I’m currently a one-man-band working five days a week, 5.30 to midnight but, looking to the future, Dora and I are keen to add a Paramount general cleaning franchise to our business. That says a lot about our satisfaction with the support, advice and assistance we get from the franchise.’
‘As Alex and Dennis have shown, Paramount offers an excellent pathway into business,’ says Paul Brown. ‘They experienced what the business was like and recognised the value of the franchise. We’re happy to hear from others looking to do the same, but cleaning experience is not necessary so you can actually start with a franchise straight off.
‘Commercial cleaning is an essential service, so there’s no shortage of business – in fact, we will find your first contracts for you. We also handle the billing and collection so you don’t have to chase money – you get paid on the 25th of the month, no matter what.
‘We want people who are prepared to work hard and have the talent and ambition to succeed,’ says Paul. ‘Our franchises are safe and rewarding businesses for as little investment as $15,000 plus vehicle and equipment. We give you full training, client contracts to get you started and the support needed to build your business to the level you want.’
‘We have opportunities all around New Zealand – including some very desirable areas outside the main cities. Call me now and let’s talk.’
See this advertorial on page 37 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 1
Contact details for Paramount Services
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.