An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Garnet Dean
Location: Ballarat and Bendigo
Franchise: Mr Rental
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose Mr Rental franchise?
I was not planning to join a franchise. I was considering approximately 20 businesses and Mr Rental was the only franchise that stood out. The key thing I was looking for was not to buy myself a job, but to buy a business. I wanted to grow a business focusing on profitability while managing a team as they performed the day-to-day duties. Mr Rental had this business model. After the first four years at my Ballarat location, I opened another store in Bendigo, approximately 120km away. Mr Rental gave me the confidence to open a second store through its strong franchise support system.
What did you do before taking up your Mr Rental franchise?
I was a partner in an IT business for 12 years, employing 17 people and turning over about $4 million per annum. While I was a partner, my role was primarily in the accounting and finance side of the business.
How did you raise the finance?
I had funds from the sale of my previous business and a property portfolio that I used to get started.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Since I’ve been with Mr Rental the training program, which previously was up to 10 days has been greatly refined. The new process involves incoming franchisees spending time in an existing store, which has included both Bendigo and Ballarat.
What is a typical day for you as a Mr Rental franchisee?
I have managers in my stores who take care of all the operational aspects of the business. I begin with meetings to communicate with my managers and team members on targets, results and KPIs from the previous week. Through this I determine what my teams need to help them perform their roles effectively. I make sure my team members have the training, tools and support they need to do their job to the best of their ability, for the business and for our customers. Other daily tasks include working on marketing and consulting with my accountant, bookkeeper and banker who are all vital members of my team.
What challenges have you faced?
One of the great things about franchising is you have a good support system in other franchisees and the National Support Office which allows me to overcome any challenges faced.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
I have gained life long friends all over the country. These are people who have challenged me intellectually and helped me out emotionally.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
We use media including television, radio, newspapers, direct mail, letterbox drop catalogues and direct SMS marketing to promote both stores. We also support local sporting teams and charities, which has given us a great name in the Bendigo and Ballarat communities, while raising the morale of my teams.
What differentiates Mr Rental franchise from the competition?
I believe it is our culture. This is perhaps something you might expect to hear more from a franchisor than a franchisee, however in this case I believe it is key. The way Mr Rental franchisees and their teams treat our customers and each other with courtesy, manners and respect goes a long way in building long term relationships, which adds value to the business.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
A can do attitude, flexibility, desire to succeed, preparedness to learn and a supportive network of family and friends. If you have these things you can and will learn the rest.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Make sure you do your research, have the correct funds and have a passion for what you are doing.
What are your plans for the future?
I am focused on growing the two Mr Rental businesses that I have. I think there is a great deal of untapped potential in the business. I have no immediate plans to add any more sites but I would not rule it out.
Would you do it again?