The top of their game

Corey Passey, Ben Passey, Leigh Wallis and Monica Kohler of Smith and Sons Renovations and Extensions
Corey Passey, Ben Passey, Leigh Wallis and Monica Kohler of Smith and Sons Renovations and Extensions john mccutcheon

SUNSHINE Coast home renovating franchise Smith and Sons has been named the second fastest growing franchise in Australia on the 2012 BRW Fast Franchises list.

The award recognises franchises that have delivered exceptional industry growth nationwide, within a three-year period.

The Mooloolaba-based company ranked second on turnover growth and first on outlet growth, in front of Queensland fitness franchise Jetts Fitness.

Smith and Sons chief executive Corey Passey said the company had experienced outlet growth of 328% in three years, and now had 38 franchisees operating in 46 locations in Australia and New Zealand.

"We're thrilled with these results. We were hopeful of a good outcome and to be honoured with first place, we couldn't be happier," Mr Passey said.

"Home renovations have become a big business and we are receiving constant inquires. There is massive room for growth in this industry and I think we are at the top of our game to take advantage of that."

Mr Passey, a carpenter by trade, started Smith and Sons with business partner and marketing advisor Leigh Wallis in early 2008.

Since then, the franchise has expanded to 24 offices in Queensland, NSW and Victoria and has been recognised as the biggest home renovator in New Zealand, with 22 offices in the North and South Islands.

Mr Passey said Smith and Sons offered an opportunity for a builder to "get off the tools".

"There has been an increased focus on renovations, aided by the popularity of television reality shows on the subject," he said.

"Since the global financial crisis, people have stopped building houses and have decided to invest in their own homes, so renovation has really taken off."

Despite starting the business during the global financial crisis, Mr Passey said the company was able to turn a negative into a positive.

"In our first year of operation, the GFC came into full swing, so finding builders who wanted to invest money in a start-up venture was difficult," he said.

"But we were able to turn the GFC to our advantage by offering builders more work. With our systems and marketing we were able to make our builders more competitive, which they needed to succeed in difficult times."

Mr Passey said he was confident the company could reach 200 new franchisees within the next three years.

Queensland-based gym chain Jetts collected the BRW award for revenue growth, recording a $430 million turn around last financial year.

Founder Brendon Levenson said much of Jetts' success was due to a focus on quality over quantity.

"Since launching the 24/7, contract-free gym into the Australian market in 2007, franchise uptake has skyrocketed," Mr Levenson said.

He said that he expected to have 250 gyms open across Australia and New Zealand by the end of next year.

Topics:  franchise

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