How clear goals and ambition built a thriving G.J. Gardner franchise

15 December 2016 / Published in Business

Building a future in housing

Shalimar Axford and Michael Sudfelt have had a busy first year in their building company. Despite never owning a business before, they’ve built over 22 new homes in less than a year for customers across the Greater Wellington Region. The secret of their success? Focussed, goal-driven thinking – and a proven franchise system. 

Shalimar and Michael met at G.J. Gardner Homes. Shalimar was working at the head office and Michael was a Construction Supervisor at their Rodney operation. They both shared the goal of owning their own business, and knew a G.J. Gardner Homes franchise would be a good option. They looked at many locations, and after a long due diligence process settled on Kapiti.

Starting is the biggest challenge

But getting started wasn’t easy. “Finance was a challenge,” says Shalimar. “We were a young couple, with no business experience. We hadn’t put down roots and bought a house, because we were 100% focussed on saving for a business. It didn’t look good. Luckily, we spoke to ASB’s franchise team.”

The ASB franchise team already knew G.J. Gardner and its system. They were impressed by the couple’s drive and knowledge.

“ASB were so helpful. Our business case was strong, thanks to our due diligence work. We had taken advantage of G.J’s leadership training, and that led to a strong endorsement from the organisation. It helped give ASB the confidence to lend us the funds to get started.”

That confidence was well-placed. In the first ten months they’ve almost doubled their first year’s sales target, employed two full time supervisors and an estimator, and built a team of 80 contract builders and tradies. They’ve even been named as the local Electra Business of the Year.

“ASB are so easy to work with. Our day-to-day team listen to us and give good feedback, and help us make the most of our finance options.”

“ASB’s online banking is the best I’ve ever seen. I’m on FastNet Business at least 2-3 times a day. It’s so easy, and real time payments are great – you always know where you stand. The mobile app is awesome as well. We can check balances and make payments anywhere.”

What’s next for this couple?

 “We want to build our own home, soon. We’ll use it as a show home at first, and then move in when the time is right.”

With their ability to set and achieve goals, we’re sure it will happen exactly the way they’ve planned.

Interested in finding out how ASB could help your franchise business? We have experience working with both franchisees and franchisors, and know what makes a successful franchise tick. Email our franchising team franchising@asb.co.nz or visit asb.co.nz/franchising for more information.


More articles from ASB