FantasticServices.com started its journey back in 2009 and is now delivering a huge range of services to families across the UK, Australia and the United States.
The company began by fusing technology with quality customer care, providing a comprehensive home and office cleaning service. Busy professionals could have their domestic life taken care of, and businesses could rely on a professional cleaning services company. So, what made the cleaning company stand out from the rest? Rune says: “It was our easy booking process that provided our USP. All customers need to do is pop their postcode on the website, choose a date and time, and they’re booked in!”
After establishing a stable business model, that covered everything from end of tenancy cleaning to cooker and carpet cleaning, FantasticServices.com knew it was time to capitalise on their success and expand, and in 2010 gardening and home removals were added to their repertoire. Rune comments: “So, for example, with these three services, if a customer was selling their house they would be able to get their house cleaned before selling, book removals for their new home and then book in a gardener to get their new outside space looking great – all in the one place.”
A handyman service soon followed, and then came pest control and a plumbing service. FantasticServices.com now boasts over 530 franchisees, with 2,000 professionals delivering 100-plus services to over 50,000 clients each month.
Behind every great business is a great leader, and without Rune Suvndahl, there wouldn’t be FantasticServices.com. Rune has a passion for people, quality and organisation, and through that he has been able to create a great business model that pays attention to its customers’ needs. Not only that, Rune is a great leader, inspiring others and nurturing talent to keep the business moving forward and staying ahead of the competition.
Rune, what motivated you to start the business?
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, ever since I was a boy. I remember when I was around 8 years old, my parents bought me a desk and I would pretend I was a businessman, tidying the desk up, pretending to make important calls. So, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have a business. But with FantasticServices.com, it all started when I spilled red wine on my carpet. I was in urgent need of a professional carpet cleaning company that would rid my cream carpets of the stain. I was calling endless cleaning companies, asking for quotes, but being met with dead ends – that’s what sparked my entrepreneurial spirit and gave me the idea. Shortly after I ruined my carpet, I chatted to my friend Anton Skarlatov, who was running a cleaning company at the time. We both realised that the way in which people book domestic services could and needed to be revolutionised. FantasticServices.com was soon created.”
What challenges is your business facing?
“Despite our growth, it’s not been plain sailing all the way. In the beginning, the business had to fight for its space in the industry. And the competition wasn’t healthy – we had rival businesses slashing our vehicle tires and even cutting our office phone lines to disrupt our services and try to eliminate us from the picture.
“Despite this, the company thrived and our demand skyrocketed. But what we failed to do however was hire enough professionals to keep up with the demand. This was one of the biggest lessons we faced. We were stretched thin, and it was a stressful time, for everybody.
“The pandemic of course has been a huge hurdle to face, and we’re still riding its wave. But because we’re a multinational operation, we were able to plan ahead. Australia went into lockdown before the UK, so we were able to make plans based on how the Australian franchises had performed. So, like with every cloud, I tried to see the silver lining.”
What opportunities is the business facing?
“Even though the pandemic was and still continues to be a challenge, the franchises really pulled together like a community. It’s helped unify the company, bringing managers and leaders together to help deliver a more streamlined service for our customers.
“The more time that people spent in their houses during the lockdown, the more jobs they found that needed completing; they had more washing to do; the boiler they usually forgot to service was now being booked in and the house they were growing tired of suddenly needed an extension. With a newly formed ‘togetherness’ born out of lockdown, FantasticServices.com was able to fully deliver the services our customers needed.
“Our wide business offering proved to be our saving grace over lockdown, because whilst some of our services took a hit, others thrived, helping to keep the business going and growing. We had our franchise model to fall back on too – the pandemic forced people to rethink their careers, out of choice or not, which boosted our franchise sales, where we could sell individuals a ready-made business model to go.
“The pandemic caused an amazing shift in consumer spending. When people bought into a service that they ordinarily wouldn’t have before, it seems to have stuck; it’s a luxury that has become a norm.
“Aside from the sales, we have the opportunity to be a greener, more environmentally conscious company, and at FantasticServices.com we’re taking action and putting it into practice. It may not be a direct sales-making opportunity, but it’s one that we are really passionate about, as I believe, that now more than ever, we all have a responsibility to care for the environment and reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can.”
What advice do you have for potential and current entrepreneurs?
“I wouldn’t be where I am without the challenges and hurdles I’ve faced. But despite the tough times, there isn’t anything I’d change over the last ten+ years with FantasticServices.com. Here are my top three tips for those that may want to follow a similar path to the one I’ve taken:
- You need to be prepared for hard work. The early days are particularly tough. You’ll need thick skin, resilience and be willing to give your business everything you’ve got. It’ll need your passion and knowledge and lots of your time. Stress is an inevitable factor and is something that you learn to cope with over time.
- Trust your instincts and hire the right people. You’re determined to succeed, so choose employees that want the same too. Your only way to stay ahead of your competitors is by hiring inspiring staff who will want to push the business forward. And don’t underestimate your role in this; you’ll need to promote yourself to help highlight your company and attract innovative leaders.
- Always stay ahead of your competition. It sounds like an obvious one and a little simplistic, but to succeed you must have an edge. Whether it’s creating a great booking system for your customers or providing flexible work options and hours to help retain a loyal workforce; these things will help drive your business forward and help you succeed as an entrepreneur.