Goldgenie - A Glittering Success
Goldgenie is a perfect fit for business people whether they feel that they have the Midas touch or not.
When Laban Roomes, the founder of Goldgenie, appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2007, the investors were staunchly against him franchising his gold-plating business. Theo Paphitis said he’d need more money to franchise the company.
Peter Jones predicted difficulty finding successful franchisees: “You need to go and find another 30 Labans – and I think you might struggle,” he famously said. But, in a twist of fate, as the BBC show has been beamed around the world, it’s given Goldgenie’s franchising model the boost it needs to become a glittering success.
“It’s funny because when I first went onto Dragons’ Den, they were completely against me franchising. They thought I’d need a lot more money to do the franchising successfully,” says Roomes. “But Dragons’ Den is shown in so many different countries, every time they show the Dragons’ Den show in a new country, that country seems to want to buy a Master franchise. It’s an amazing tool that’s still working for me up until this day.”
"Goldgenie has two different propositions for people wanting to invest into the brand. Firstly, it offers 2 ‘business propositions’. This is where an investor invests less than £3,000 in exchange for all of the materials and equipment required to get up and running. They’ll also get training – either in person at Goldgenie’s HQ in Pimlico, London, or via video tutorials. Where a business opportunity differs from a franchise is that the former doesn’t entitle a company or an individual to use the original brand now", Roomes explains.
“They can call themselves a Goldgenie-certified professional, but the company can’t be called Goldgenie. So the company may be called ‘John’’s gold-plating company’, but John is a certified Goldgenie operative.”
There are currently less than 28 Goldgenie business opportunities covering the whole of the UK as they have not been actively promoting this side of the business, but as they are reviving more recognition both home and abroad they are seeking partners who wish to share the Godgenie phenomena".
From a 100ml bottle of gold, Roomes says business opportunity purchasers can expect to make £2,000- to £3,000. The appearance of the gold is surprising – far from being the molten gold conjured by makers of epic movie The Hobbit, the solution is actually purple, but when used in conjunction with activator chemicals and then charged with electrical current, the gold soon shines through. (Elite Franchisecan confirm the process is as simple as Roomes attests having gold-plated a spoon at the Goldgenie offices last month.)
The decision to plump for business opportunities rather than full franchising was an effort to protect the Goldgenie brand, says Roomes. It also meant he could keep costs down for those wanting to buy a slice of the company. “The reason we don’t want people trading as Goldgenie is because we’ve built the brand so much over the years".
This is one tenet to the company’s business model. Another is the international Master Franchises. The first one was sold in Cyprus three years ago, but master franchises have now been sold in over 20 countries, including Qatar, Oman, Czechoslovakia, China, Kuwait, Italy and even Kazakhstan . Roomes says the cost of purchasing a master franchise varies and can cost as little as £20,000 or as much as £120,000 depending on the country.
Goldgenie made huge investments on its website which means that when a new master franchisee comes on board now the website can be immediately duplicated in the franchisee’s own country.“It’s an incredible way for a franchisee to generate passive income,” admits Roomes.
Additionally Roomes states “we were getting so many inquiries from people around the world about gold-plating, we considered that it may be valuable to have Goldgenie represented throughout the world”
Once the master franchise is secured, Goldgenie will do everything possible to drive traffic to the franchised partners site and the franchisee will help market the business within their region, and to sell business opportunities in their domestic market. The franchisee will also sell Goldgenie’s higher end luxury goods, “You can say that they are their luxury supplier” explains Roomes.
For the entrepreneur, master franchises has enabled the brand to grow exponentially than if he was marketing in each country.“as a company we really do not have the time set up in a foreign countries where we do not know the local laws and customs,” Roomes says. “Also, that means I’m going to be away and taking my focus from my core business.
"This has proven to be a much better strategy in taking the business forward in their own country, they know the rules, they know the market. It’s worked successfully for us over the years".
One of the concerns of the BBC’s Dragons back in 2009 was that marketing would cost prohibitive– but the show itself has done the lion’s share of the promotion for Roomes and his team. "Each time the show is aired in a new market, that usually leads to numerous master franchise enquiry", he says.
Roomes takes his inspiration from his business heroes. “I try to emulate the style of business visionaries like Richard Branson, who has always been the face of his brand".