An Australian Franchisee Case Study
NAME: TONY STAMBOULIE
LOCATION: SYDNEY CITY
FRANCHISE: PACK & SEND
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I actually started out working for PACK & SEND as an employee, as a manager for a Company-owned store.
I decided to take some time out to follow my childhood dream of becoming a professional sportsman but after a couple of years on this path made a financial decision to settle in Sydney and build a business.
Franchising has always appealed to me because it gives business owners the ability to exceed, even if they have little knowledge of the field. I already had a taste of the PACK & SEND brand and had really enjoyed my time with the company so it was an easy decision for me to buy a PACK & SEND franchise. I partnered up with a friend and together we opened the first store retail service centre in the Sydney CBD district.
The fact that PACK & SEND offered multiple revenue streams was a big draw card. We don’t just sell boxes, or just sell freight; we offer a number of services via different channels and will basically do whatever we need to do to get the job done. PACK & SEND also offered a business model that had no head to head competition which we saw as a huge benefit.
What did you do before taking up a franchise?
I started out as a small business owner. I then went on to work as an employee at PACK & SEND. I pursued a career as a professional sportsman for a couple of years before deciding to open my PACK & SEND franchise.
How did you raise the finance?
It was actually pretty simple. I had a good credit rating and had no problems getting a loan from the bank.
I imagine it would be even easier now, as the PACK & SEND brand name is recognised and respected by the major banks.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Having worked for the Franchisor prior to opening my own service centre I didn’t need a lot of training. That said, PACK & SEND does offer an extensive franchisee training program which assisted greatly with things like setting up our book keeping and accounting procedures.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
Every day is different in this business which is what we love about it!
If there was such thing as a typical day I would start by responding to enquiries we receive via email, phone and walk-ins. I’d then follow up any outstanding job leads.
Customer service is a big part of our day to day role, even as a store owner. This covers everything from providing customers with the most effective options and solutions for packaging large or bulky items, to solving problems such as how to get parcels through customs quickly and hassle free. Basically just doing what it takes to get the items where they need to go.
We also have a very hands on role in preparing and delivering our own marketing plans, with support from head office. This works well because it allows us to make sure our marketing is relevant to our local area and customers.
Another key part of my day is ensuring the business systems are in place and running smoothly – that the book keeping is up to date and staff have the training and support they need to offer a high level of customer service .
What challenges have you faced?
As with any new business, developing a strong and loyal customer base is always a challenge but our local marketing initiatives helped us to build this. I also believe our high level of customer service has helped our customer retention and continues to bring customers through the door through word of mouth.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
I am not sure if it has changed my life but it has certainly afforded me the lifestyle I want. I can say buying my franchise was a very good business decision. Plus, I still enjoy coming to work every day which is very positive.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Franchising has the wonderful ability to allow an individual the opportunity to exceed in a field that they initially have little knowledge of. Even so, you must be passionate about the brand and be able to see the opportunity ahead of you in order to succeed.
What are your plans for the future?
While I still love coming to work, I’ll stay put. Although one day I could see myself working as a Franchisor to help maximise the potential of Franchisees.