CrestClean franchisee working “smarter not harder” towards home ownership goal
When you are looking to buy a business, it pays to do your research – and that’s just what Lee Levy did when he was considering a CrestClean franchise.
Whenever Lee was out and about and saw someone in a CrestClean uniform, he asked them what it was like.
“I’d literally pull over on the side of the road and go up to them and ask them questions,” says Lee.
The answers invariably came back the same.
“Everyone I talked to were buying houses, and these were people from the islands, where I’m from.”
With home ownership being his “number one long term goal”, the 24-year-old didn’t need much more convincing.
Soon after meeting with CrestClean’s Dunedin Regional Manager Tony Kramers, Lee signed up and become a proud business owner.
Since joining CrestClean, the former glazier says he is working a third less hours for more than double the income.
“I was doing double glazed windows; it was pretty physical. I was working 50 hours a week, as well as doing one-off jobs after work, like building fences and stuff, to make extra cash. There just wasn’t enough time in the day,” says Lee.
He thought CrestClean would be a great way to supplement his day job, but after less than a week he left his glazier job and decided to commit to the business full time.
“I thought ‘this is me’ so I jumped in with two feet!”
Lee says he loves being his own boss and arranging his hours to suit.
“I work in the evenings and early mornings. When everyone else is going to work I have the whole day to myself. I think it’s really neat.”
Lee has employed his brother, Randall, 19, and plans to employ another of his brothers, Norman, 21, as the business grows.
“My strategy is to live off the same amount as I did in my old job and save the rest for growing the business. It’s a win-win,” says Lee.
“I want to grow it to the point where all of us can comfortably do it. Norman wants to buy a franchise too, so I told him to work with me first and see how it goes. But he’s dead set on it, so it won’t be that long before he has his own CrestClean business.”
Lee moved to New Zealand from Samoa four years ago with his parents and four brothers, having spent the previous two years working as a missionary in Texas.
He had considered going to university but wanted to start earning an income so he could support his parents.
“My parents are not getting any younger and for me to go to university, realistically, by the time I would be able to help Mum and Dad out, it would almost be too late,” says Lee.
“Dad used most of everything he had to move us here. It was a big sacrifice for them and something that has driven me to work hard in CrestClean. I just want to be able to give back. Once we’re all out of the house, they will go back to Samoa and by then I’ll be able to help them out.”
Lee says becoming a business owner is an education in itself and he is receiving a lot of support from CrestClean along the way.
“The training is awesome and learning about the business as a whole and how to grow it as well. It’s just crazy how supportive they are,” he says.
“CrestClean is like a family and I really, really enjoy that. I never thought it would be possible and here I am doing it and loving it as well.”
Dunedin Regional Director Nicky Kramers says she and her husband Tony, who is the Regional Manager for the area, are excited to watch Lee’s future grow.
“Lee’s energy is infectious — he is always smiling and willing to go above and beyond for his clients. He is well organised, happy and positive,” says Nicky.
“Lee has a big heart and from the moment we met him he had aspirations of climbing to the top, and that is exactly what he is doing.”