When Laban Roomes, the founder of Goldgenie, appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2009, 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 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 buy into the brand. Firstly, it offers so-called ‘business propositions’. This is where a punter will hand over £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 tutorial. 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 just under 60 Goldgenie business opportunities across the UK.”
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 Franchise can confirm the process is as simple as Roomes attests having gold-plated a spoon at the Goldgenie offices last month.)