ATS franchisee dream

ATS franchisee still loves being his own boss 14 years on!

Sarah Stowe

Still enjoying being his own boss after 14 years it is obvious that Ranny Julian loves his Appliance Tagging Services (ATS) business.

“I’m in my third franchise term: I have renewed twice and I will be renewing again,” Ranny says.

“The business is working well for me, and I trust the ATS systems. This is a good business model and almost every year they keep improving. It’s a profitable business for me.”

Ranny arrived from the Philippines more than 30 years ago and like many immigrants struggled to find a career in his field, mechanical engineering.

“I couldn’t find a job, so I turned to a trade and became a maintenance fitter and turner, working in a factory for more than 20 years. Then, after 20 years the business took the work overseas, the factory was closed and my job was made redundant.”

Ranny banked his redundancy package and found another job, but he knew he wanted more.

“My dream was to be a business owner. Back in the Philippines my parents are small business owners so I guess it’s in my blood!” he says.

Making the dream come true

Faced with the challenges of running his own business with unfamiliar trading rules and regulations, Ranny looked for a way to ease the process.

“I don’t know how to run a business here, so I decided to bite the bullet and try franchising. I’m good with technical things and with my hands, so I thought why not try test and tag. When I was Googling, ATS was the first brand that came up.

“I had an interview with the franchise recruiter, me and my wife Vivian met her, we liked everything we heard,” says Ranny.

He didn’t have the courage to jump straight into the business opportunity and gave himself some time to settle in to the idea.

“We took three weeks to think about it, it was a scary decision,” he admits. “The one thing that convinced me was the business model.”

Armed with the electrical qualifications needed for the role he nevertheless had to learn on the job.

“Through my first year as my own boss, Appliance Tagging Services was always there to help me, to provide me with clients and chase invoices. That’s a headache I don’t have – chasing payments.”

Ranny’s wife Vivian works in IT but takes on the franchise financials and bookkeeping, and some admin.

“She’s a big help. She’s my secret weapon!” admits Ranny.

Optimising the business

The Melbourne-based franchisee has secured most of his direct clients (rather than those supplied through ATS’ national client database and lead generation) through recommendations and referrals.

In addition to the core test and tag core service, Ranny optimises his business with ATS’ other service options: fire extinguishers, emergency and exit lights and RCD testing.

Looking back at the early days of his business, Ranny admits he was his own biggest challenge.

“I had doubts that I could do this. But I was really blessed with a business like this and it helped me build my communication skills and I’m now really confident.”

Keys to the business

Ranny says communications and relationships are key to the business.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s football or sports, you need to talk to clients about other things than just business,” he says. “I’m building relationships and doing the work. And although it is all technical, if I’m asked to train a new franchisee on site, I always tell them in this business customer service is paramount.”

Backed with training and great systems, Ranny’s customer-service approach has paid off. He is regularly one of the top five high-performing franchisees, based on revenue. And he has also been nominated several times for the ATS Franchisee of the Year award.

“I won it two years ago,” he reveals. “It’s a great feeling, it’s very satisfying, even to be nominated. You think about all the hard work you put in to the business and I felt blessed to get that recognition.”

He loves the Appliance Tagging Services systems, the business model, and the support; but there is one other feature that’s been a fantastic benefit for Ranny as his own boss.

“I like that it has a good balance of work and life. I work from 7am and if the job is simple I can be finished early afternoon.”

A flexible lifestyle

And then he heads straight to the local golf course.

“I’m a member of a private golf club so I put myself in a group and have a round of 18,” says Ranny, a keen golfer for the last 32 years.

Ranny is now in his late 50s, and plans to keep enjoying life, and his ATS business.

“My plan was to stay 10 years, and I’m still here! I don’t plan to sell my business, I will take a step back and employ someone to come in and do the technical work,” he says.

“Financially this business has really blessed me. We go back to the Philippines, and holiday somewhere else every year. Later this year we will be having a big holiday in Japan, next year we are planning a European trip.

“It’s all thanks to the success of my ATS business. I should have been doing this a long time ago!”