“Didn’t happen overnight” – Boost Juice franchisee on his journey from one outlet to 11
Boost Juice franchisee, Andrew Stribling knew when he was ensconced in his corporate role that one day he would strike out on his own. What he didn’t know was what shape this business would take. He put his love for statistics to work and uncovered that while small businesses tend to fall away, well run franchises can stand the test of time.
So, it made sense to look at franchising as a way to achieve his ambition. And doing his due diligence on three brands he was drawn to Boost Juice, a decision he says now was absolutely the right one.
“Boost was very transparent, and didn’t really hide anything about what was required. They were quite open and honest, and that was one of the factors for choosing the brand,” he says.
“It didn’t happen overnight, it took well over a year. I could only afford a greenfield [brand new] site so I had to wait for the right location.”
So when Andrew and his wife Rachel finally got the keys to their first Boost Juice store, they were excited … but ready for the challenge.
“I went from a fairly flexible role, a senior position in a big organisation, to working seven days a week in a shopping centre. I had been quite sedentary and suddenly was active all day, and then I still had to come home and do the books and ordering.”
And while Rachel worked on HR and marketing she maintained her full-time corporate role, which proved a wise move in the economic climate, as they entered Boost “just as the brand and retail generally hit a downward spiral”.
The Boost Juice franchisee admits now the tough experience effectively served as an apprenticeship. “I had to be across everything and drive every dollar. I got to understand the business inside out,” he says.
This solid foundation meant by the third year of operating his store Andrew was looking to expand. To ensure he was ready for the task, the franchisor asked him to trial run a second outlet. The Boost Juice franchisee took on the management of an underperforming city store and turned it around. Job done, Andrew decided multi-store ownership was definitely his future.
Within 12 months he had purchased two stores in one centre from a single franchisee, and then added a fourth outlet.
Boost Juice franchisee partnership
Andrew then added another element into the mix, a partnership with fellow franchisee Colin Webster.
And he loves the partnership, knowing that there’s someone to share the load and to cover for holidays. “You never feel you are alone, and it allows us to focus on what we’re good at,” he says.
The pair operates a management company which draws income from each store. The portfolio of 11 outlets (including one Salsa’s) is a mix of joint venture and individually owned stores.
“We’ve seen growth year on year, on the profit line,” he says.
The growth is not necessarily a result of improved sales but achieved through efficiencies and improvements, and knowing when to close a store and when to reduce debt.
In 2015 they took out the FCA Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year award.
Just this year, on 1 July, the partners launched into a completely different market – escape rooms. The growth of the experience economy overseas sparked their purchase of the first Australian franchise for Swedish-based business Fox in a Box. They loved the brand too, of course.
In the first few weeks the business has been “unbelievable”, he adds. “It’s exceeded expectations but it’s early days. Although escape rooms are not new, they’re in their infancy in Australia. We tend to follow the US and it’s very popular there.”
Could Andrew and his partner take this further, perhaps even take on the master franchise for Australia? While it’s in their thoughts, they won’t seriously consider this until they have at least nine months trading under their belts.
As a Boost Juice franchisee, he has gained invaluable knowledge of systems, access to lawyers, accountants, leasing agents, business tools, and business intelligence, he says.
And there has been undoubted business success.
“From a financial perspective I’d have to be in a CEO’s role to be where I am now. I don’t know if I want that kind of pressure. What drives me is that this is for me and the family, not shareholders.”