An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Steve McCarthy
Location: Tamworth, NSW
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose cafe2U franchise?
My previous work circumstances were changing, and as I was the least qualified, I could see the writing on the wall. The independence aspect of a franchise really appealed to me.
I was a former customer of Cafe2U, St Mary’s (Mark Madden), and it was he who first planted the seed. He suggested I would be just the type to run a Cafe2U Franchise, and as my work circumstances were changing, it struck a chord.
I went on the daily run with Mark a few times, and learnt all aspects of the business. I was very well prepared when the time came. When doing my due diligence, the massive support that Cafe2U offered was probably what got it across the line. I spent 20 years in the military, where fantastic support is expected, and the support that Cafe2U offers, for any aspect of the business I believed was commendable and I had no excuse but to give it a go!!!
What did you do before taking up a cafe2U franchise?
I’ll wind all the way back to 1982 when I joined the Navy. I spent 21 years in the Navy, and then took a job with a Defence company, where I was the production manager for a small manufacturing team. We manufactured communications items for Navy Ships, and other items such as electrical cables for combat vehicles. As I was a communicator in the Navy, I like to say “what I use to try and break, is then what I tried to make”. I spent 10 years at that job in Sydney, before taking the opportunity to move north to begin this franchise.
How did you raise the finance?
I was extremely fortunate to get a redundancy payment from my old job, which paid for some of it, and I used the equity in my house to support the rest
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
I spent 1 Week in the classroom, then 2 weeks on the job with a Franchise Development Manager who not only consolidated the training, but also assisted greatly in starting the business, canvassing local businesses that perhaps would become daily customers. To this day (over 3 years), I have many customers/businesses that we started with in the very first week.
The support network is amazing, there’s a casual and extremely professional team behind all franchisees, from the top down! I really do feel like part of a family!
What is a typical day for you as a cafe2U franchisee?
The beauty of this is that it can be what you want it to be. My daily run now consists of a 6AM start, and if I’m on time, I’m home by 2PM. I could drop some customers and get home earlier, but I am too attached to them now – they are my friends and my visit is an important part of their day. Once I get home I do the books, order stock, and then conduct the daily clean on Van. If my wife helps, we are usually finished by the time the kids get home from school, this provides a great family lifestyle
What challenges have you faced?
Admittedly, I was extremely nervous when the 2 weeks with the FDM were over and I was on my own, but I realised, customers won’t come to me (ok, some do), I have to go out and find them. I virtually changed overnight from what I believed to be an introvert, to an outgoing, fun-loving, good to be around guy because of this.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Absolutely, for the reasons above. I changed from a closed person who rarely smiled, to a person who can’t wait to get out of bed the next day to go and do it all again. I just love it
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Don’t get old and grey and then look back thinking “Gee, I wish I would have given that a go!!” Just go for it! The support is amazing. Cafe2U Are very serious about Brand Protection, so if one of their franchise partners has a problem, they will move heaven and earth in very quick time, to get you back on the road and operating.
What are your plans for the future?
My initial contract is up for renewal in 2 years. I would sign the dotted line now for another 5!!! Does that answer the question?
Would you do it again?