Mr Carports - East Hills - SA
A bull-nose verandah with heritage balustrade, designed to match the original building design.

Our business name:

Current Business Name is "Mr Carports Outdoor Living Designs", however we are in the process of changing it to "Outdoor Living Designs by Mr Carports"

How would you define your brand?

I guess our change in name reflects our brand. We take great pride in building beautiful outdoor Living Designs, including verandahs, pergolas, patios, decks, gazebos, carports and blinds which compliment and improve the value of a house.

Apart from increasing the value of a property we also strive to improve the way in which our clients can enjoy outdoor living and as a consequence, increase the value of their property.

How old is the company and when did you start franchising?

The company is 17 year old.

I was working for Executor Trustee as a Business Consultant and my partner and I were asked to help restructure a Steel Roll forming business in Adelaide. This was our entry into the building industry and we could see there were areas of the industry not being organized or marketed so we decided to "give it a go".

We developed a computer program allowing us to provide customers with on the spot quotes, something that was never heard of in those days. We found that by being professional in our approach to customers, arriving to appointments on time and leaving a written quotation at the 1st meeting our success rate was booming.

Our business grew to the extent that we were unable to cope with the demand. We knew we had a great business model to work with so we decided to franchise and approached a couple of our builders to open our first franchise.

The computer program was improved to incorporate detailed engineering specifications, cutting lists for suppliers and builders, council applications and business reporting systems. An additional benefit was that a computer-designed carport minimized the material cost thus maximizing the profit of each job.

Our long term goal is to be innovative and continually improve our products and constantly raise the bar to remain market leaders in our field.

How many franchises do you have?

Currently we have 31 franchises with another 2 currently training.

How are you going to grow the business in 2008?

During this year we are going to establish a few more branches in Sydney & Brisbane, but our main efforts will be invested in improving the performance of our existing franchises and concentrating on our new products such as Café Blinds and the introduction of aluminium beams with stainless steel fittings.

I expect we will also be spending more time with our first US branch. We can not only teach them how we do things more efficiently there, but we can also learn and bring back ideas to our Australian branches.

Where do you expect the business to be in 2010?

I trust that 2009 will see the establishment of a number of franchises in WA and ACT, and expect we will see a substantial growth in our Californian operation.

What do you expect from a franchisee?

A successful Franchisee should be open minded and willing to accept new ideas and new ways of doing things. He or she must have the skills to be able to operate their own business whilst being a part of a group.

Most importantly they need to be intelligent with good communication and organizational skills and the ability to project manage from quote to completion.

What are the start-up costs for a franchisee and what working capital should they have?

The cost of a Franchise, including training, is $52,500 +GST. Not much working capital is required, perhaps around $10,000 for advertising, but it takes between 6 and 12 months for a Franchisee to start achieving their potential in sales and income.

Many of our new franchisees continue with their existing employment whilst building the business, or they take a part time job to cover living expenses until the franchise provides suitable profits.

What is the length of agreement?

The Franchise Agreement is for 15 years (5 + 5 + 5)

What sort of hours will the franchisee have to work to get the business established and how long should that take?

Most of our franchisees settle in to a reasonably regular income after about 12 months, but the business will continue to grow. The majority of our franchisees have indicated that they work between 35 and 45 hours per week, but we do have a few doing a lot less hours to earn a smaller income and some working longer hours to earn a substantially higher than average income.

What profit can a franchisee reasonably expect to make after two years?

It all gets back to how the franchisee wants to work the business. Most of our franchisees working full time seem to earn around $80 to $120k, but a few of them do substantially better than that by putting in the extra time.

We are members of the Franchise Council of Australia

Franchise Council of Australia Logo

We are also listed in the Franchise Business Directory

Franchise Business Directory Logo

Contact details:

Name: Brian Rohan

Ph: (08) 8370 9523

Fax: (08) 8370 8551

Mob: 0411 416 406