Kwik Kopy star skyrockets into the million sales club
Paul Lindsay has not just turned around a struggling franchise outlet, he’s catapulted it into the million dollar sales club.
And to top off his success, the Kwik Kopy Five Dock store has just been crowned winner of the 2019 Franchise of The Year Award.
The national annual award recognises the most efficient and profitable centres in the Kwik Kopy chain. The award ranks centres by using the top quartile in four key areas including, sales turnover, profit before owners draw, production efficiency as well as owner’s profit percentage.
David Bell, MD at Kwik Kopy Australia has described the win as ‘’highly deserving”.
“Kwik Kopy Five Dock is the only business in 10 years to get double digit growth three years in a row and break into the million sales club. The owner is a giver, not a taker. He is a member of the performance group, and is an innovator, ” he says.
So how did this Kwik Kopy franchisee turn around the business?
An offset printer by trade Paul Lindsay got stuck into the challenge straight away.
“As soon as I bought the business my first challenge was to get customers to trust Five Dock again. I emailed every customer on the database to let them know that I would fix any past issue and give them a positive experience,” he reveals.
“The key to my success has been outstanding customer service and fast turnaround times on print and quotes,” says Paul. “I aim to give everyone the best possible level of service and quality. I turn around 99 per cent of quote requests within 20 minutes.
“There is no deadline too tight. Customers often call up or email a request that they think is going to be very difficult to achieve and I simply say yes. I don’t think we have ever turned away a request and always meet the deadline.”
The Kwik Kopy Franchise Of The Year award winner shares his secret to succes.
“Work hard, always make sure you are open with your customers, don’t try to hide mistakes from them. Be honest if there has been an issue that may delay their work. And don’t promise something if you cannot deliver on that promise.”
Lessons learned in franchising
While he was new to business ownership when he purchased the Sydney store Paul had 21 years of experience as a Kwik Kopy employee and manager to back him up and that’s paid off for him.
“The industry has been good to me and so has Kwik Kopy. I’ve worked for three different centres since 1993.”
What he learned was to value every customer the same.
“I was manager of a franchise of the year and the owner said every job has a value, whether that’s $40 or $4000 they all have a purpose and pay towards your business.”
One occasional client even told him ‘you treat me like I’m your number one customer’.
Franchising opens up new opportunities for the family
It was the opportunity to make more money than he could make as an employee that was the catalyst for him to invest in the business.
“I want to give my family more opportunities in life, and have a work life balance. I’ve been working long hours for someone else and I missed out on a number of things such as my son’s birthday celebration at school.”
Paul had considered a couple of local stores in Melbourne but they were out of his price range. So when the Five Dock outlet came up, the family of five travelled to Sydney to check it out and agree it had potential.
Today the three children (12, 14 and 15) are settled in to their new life and Paul’s wife is working from home on the admin and bookwork for the business.
That allows Paul to focus on his strengths. “I don’t do a lot of admin, I’m more the sales and production,” he says.
He admits to working long hours but chooses to have an early start rather than work late into the evening.
“I get the machines going because I start at 5.30 but I’m home for dinner with the kids.”
Occasionally there has been weekend work to meet deadlines but the Monday to Friday business model suits family life.
Expanding the business
Paul part-owns a second store with another franchisee, in Coburg, and has plans this year to replicate this business model with a third store.
“I have a manager I’d look to share the business with him,” he says.
This year sales are up nearly 30 per cent, well ahead of where the franchisee expected to be. Over the next financial year Paul is targeting above 10 per cent growth again. He also wants to branch out from standard print products into promotional items like coffee mugs and pens, and to boost the graphic design commissions.
This will mean further investment in staff, doubling his employee count to four over the next year.
“I’m in it long term for another 10 years or so, I’m 49 now. The children are 15,14,12 and I’d like to be here for when they leave school and give them an opportunity to join the business.”