A new lease of life for franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

A former government employee has found a new lease of life as a franchisee, and has just taken out the top award at mobile franchise The Leather Doctor. 

Peter Schulz  worked for the federal and state governments and ran a coffee shop and a pyrotechnic company with his wife Sue before the pair decided to branch out into the world of mobile franchises back in 2010. And the decision has paid off, with Schulz scooping not just the Franchisee of the Year award but the Team Leader of the Year award too.

“When starting the franchise, the two main benefits for us were that we would be our own bosses and that we could control our destiny," Peter says. "And that has certainly proved the case.

“The role of franchisee has given me personally a new lease of life.  In fact my wife and I have thrived on the pressure and we have been fortunate to increase our franchise turnover by 20 percent for the last five years. Our aim is to further grow the business so we can employ contractors to enable us to get into management type roles.

"Apart from the day to day franchise work, I am also privileged as team leader to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to others," he says.

"The awards have given myself, my wife and our team enormous satisfaction knowing we have been so highly recognised by the organisation for our efforts. For my wife and I, they are about the only things we’ve ever won in our lives."

CEO Dean Reid says “Peter’s dual Awards are recognition of his commitment to The Leather Doctor’s franchise core values and also for achievements in customer service, innovation, diligence and showing initiative. It is the core values that create our culture and govern our decision-making and future plans." 

A professional approach

Schulz believes the solid working relationship the pair have with head office has been a great help.  

"It is all about trust and open communications. The systems The Leather Doctor have implemented over the years have allowed us to operate to the utmost professional standards as franchisees and given us the confidence to really build the business in a significant way. I’m happy to say we have never lost a patient, and indeed, many a client has been amazed at how we have been able to repair/restore their leather furniture instead of them having to go out and purchase a whole new lounge."

With four years of franchising with The Leather Doctor under their belts, Peter and Sue are now looking to grow their business yet further, and have signed up to their first Fabric Doctor franchise. 

In such a demanding role where he is very much on the go, Peter finds that the best way to relax away from the franchise is building track for his model trains or seeing his son perform in go-kart racing  – which The Leather Doctor now sponsors.