Meet Rune of Fantastic Services
I’m Rune Sovndahl. A serial entrepreneur, best known for co-founding Fantastic Services. We’re a revolutionary franchise company in the property maintenance industry where we help people run sustainable businesses and customers have a seamless experience from booking to service delivery.
Since 2008, we’ve not only bootstrapped the company from £0 to £40 Million worth of services, but we’ve expanded our brand on three continents, created our very own back end management system called ServiceOS and we’re actively pushing the franchising industry with revolutionary franchising models.
When we started Fantastic Services there was a huge gap in the industry. No one would give instant quotes. On the business side, property maintenance companies were lacking technology and modern solutions.
Our mission was to build a company where costumes could see the cost of their service instantly and book without having to speak with someone on the phone. Fantastic Services customers now spend just under three minutes on average booking a service online.
1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?
In 2009 I met my soon-to-be business partner, Anton Skarlatov, at a social gathering. This was the year when everything changed for both of us. Skarlatov was running a cleaning business and I believed that with his tech skills we could revolutionise the industry. The idea developed into offering a variety of services – something we`ve noticed was not available on the market at that time. So we launched the company, now known as Fantastic Services, almost 10 years ago with two laptops, a sofa and a shared mobile phone.
2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?
Looking back, the mistake that probably made the biggest impact on Fantastic Services happened in the first years after the launch in 2009. The business was growing fast and I wasn’t prepared for the challenges which came with it. We had increased demand from customers and very limited manpower and financial resources.
As a result, we were forced to leave multiple projects behind, relocate project managers from one task to another and improve our strategy. The fail hit much harder than I expected and took a great toll on the company’s productivity.
This experience taught me to expect the unexpected. Since then, I always aim to first prepare for various situations and outcomes. No matter how long it takes or how much effort it requires I try to analyse potential threats from both internal and external factors that may influence the business.
Ten years later, Fantastic Services continues to grow and has over 25 domestic and maintenance services in its portfolio operating across the UK, the US and the Australian markets. This proves that you should never let setbacks stop you on your way to building a successful business. Failure is nature’s way of saying you need to do things differently and work harder to improve yourself and your company. Or as my favorite proverb has it: “fall down seven times and stand up eight.
3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?
Entrepreneurs are like ships – they have to sail and stay away from the save harbour. I believe taking risk, challenging the status-quo and the opportunity to create something new, that`s inspiring. I love scuba diving and deep down underwater is my meditative space, so any chance to fly to Mexico, I`ll grab it. Dynamic live and communication with people, that`s also inspiring and good idea float around the space, you just have to reach for the low-hanging fruits first before you learn how to get to the top.
4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?
Accountability is the leadership greatest asset. Accountability for everything we do. Our work, the planet, our actions, etc. Every action you take should do the right things, for the
people, for the environment. When you pass by a plastic bottle outside, while walking in a park for example, you have to pick it up. Understand that as people, we are all accountable, we are responsible and there is no one to do it for us. And don’t blame others, society, the government, etc., be accountable for your own actions.
Our Fantastic Philosophy revolves around the simple idea of delivering great service experience for all customers and Fantastic crews involved. Each day of the week, we set out to make yet another 360 degrees circle of happiness by doing whatever it takes to keep everybody satisfied!
5.What is next for your brand?
We’re expanding operations across the world, now successfully signed with the investors who’ll bring Fantastic Services to Hungary
6.What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?
You can’t stop moving when you’re in business. You have to constantly learn, work, adapt, create. Then you share all this that you did with the people in your organization and that’s how you grow and how they follow. This is the way you become successful in the most meaningful way – not only measured by the bank balance, but how much you have inspired people and helped them.
7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?
Right now I use clubhouse to hear what’s going on – it’s like what physical networking and meeting friends for coffee was pre lockdown. Going specific it allows you to really get deeper than even journalism
If you would like to include anything else about your journey, plans for the future or general information you would like us to cover, please include here:
I am writing a book on franchise now. The book is about exploring and understanding what makes some franchise owners successful, while others aren’t. The interesting part comes when you consider that Franchise allows for an even-playing field, which omits things like branding, marketing, and R&D of services or products.
More info on Fantastic Service
Company Name: Fantastic Services
LinkedIn handle: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/runelondon
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/Fantastic
Facebook handle: https://www.facebook.com/FantasticServicesUK