An Interview with Founder Rune Sovndahl of Fantastic Services

Rune Sovndahl Founder of Fantastic Services

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.

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