This year Karen and David Dovey of Exceed Franchise were named as The D & B Construction Employer of the Year at the LinkT Awards. This success is founded in their belief in providing and supporting a workplace that allows others to grow and achieve. For them it’s about creating an environment where ideas can be shared equally, from working one on one with franchise owners to more recently focusing on supporting the support office who are mainly GenY’s (who Karen admits challenge her thinking).
Karen and David have been working together for over 32 years and love living in the Bay of Plenty. In 1990 they came back from a 5 year OE working on yachts as skipper and hostess. They were not able to get the management jobs they held before they left NZ, so they started running their window, door and insect repair screen business from the back of a borrowed car. They ran this successfully for a number of years but found the customer service skills they wanted to provide, were not being delivered. So they looked at franchising the business and Karen started developing and writing the Exceed system in 1994 and has since continued to work on the systems and development of Exceed in house as well as within the industry sector of franchising.
Now they are multi award winners with the Franchise Association of New Zealand and the system David and Karen created is a leader in its field. With a win-win business approach for everyone in the system, David and Karen have created a working environment of sharing and fun.
Karen gets a great sense of satisfaction seeing the growth and development of their franchise owners, as they have taken up all the challenges and have grown their business on average at a 20% growth rate each year.
In terms of challenges and opportunities for the future, Karen believes you always need to be looking at a different way of doing business, and always be ready for change as change is the only consistent in business. When Karen started it was with faxes and RT’s, now everything is online and by 2020 they’ll be paperless. They are a trade based, mobile business working in people’s homes. Their future challenge will be to find the specialized trade skills needed to cope with replacement of hardware, understanding future concepts of Bluetooth technology, maybe with reproducing parts in the back of a van with a 3D printer.
Karen and David have two children Matt, who was the youngest franchise owner in New Zealand at 18 years old, has since moved into management running the distribution and retractable screen sales and development. Their daughter Katrina is a full time mum with two young boys who keep her very busy and “Gran” very happy.
Outside of work Karen is the North Island coordinator for the Endurance Series, the largest motorsport event in New Zealand. With both her husband and son racing, getting involved was how she ensured they got to see each other over the weekend. Karen finds living and working in the Mount almost forces you to achieve an amazing work life balance as there is so much activity is available. Karen particularly enjoys F45, SUP, and E-bikes.
She also has a love of travel, including adventure travel with her son and fantastic driving travels with her husband, both in New Zealand and internationally. Come March 2019 they would have visited every State in the USA!
Karen’s advice to others in business is that it does not matter what field of work you are in, you just need to ensure you: