Diary of a new franchisee: working within the franchise community

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

In this diary entry, Bedshed franchisee Patrick Weiner reveals what it's like to work with other franchisees; and how he and his wife Gill leveraged this network for insights, advice and to replicate the best of what their counterparts had done.

"Whilst it was Bedshed’s business model that initially attracted us, it was the people that made the transition to franchisee enjoyable and successful – not only the professional staff at Bedshed, but also the franchisees who make up the company’s national network," writes Patrick.

"One of the benefits of franchising over an independent business is you have access to a whole network of people with extensive experience and knowledge and you can tap into this to help make your own business decisions.

"When you come up against a problem, 99 percent of the time someone in the network will have experienced it before and can offer advice and assistance.

"Bedshed’s national business development manager, Rod Parker, introduced us to a number of different franchisees in our state. 

"In the lead-up to opening day, a few pieces of furniture we had ordered had been delayed. My wife and I turned to the Bedshed network to seek advice and find a solution to this problem. Within a few short hours, we had managed to buy stock from neighbouring Bedshed stores and have this delivered to Nunawading in time for our soft launch.

LEVERAGING MY SKILLS

"Before deciding to buy a franchise, we wondered whether the structure would be too rigid to allow us to experiment with our business, and it’s great that has not been the case with Bedshed. 

"For example, we decided to use a customer-based selling model, which involves truly connecting with customers and sharing the benefits of various products with them, rather than simply listing the features. This approach leverages my background and skills in sales.

"The Victorian Retail Manager, Marwan Zeitoune was aware of my background and encouraged us to pursue this method of selling. So far the technique has worked well for us.

"Bedshed organises frequent formal and informal catch ups to encourage franchisees to share their experiences. State members meetings are held quarterly, giving us an opportunity to regularly touch base with other franchisees and continue to learn from them.

"Many franchisees also participate in international buying trips where they have the opportunity to meet with suppliers and have input into the products the network sells. This is something my wife and I would be keen to pursue in years to come.

"We’re extremely grateful to have joined Bedshed. It’s a great group of people who, from day one, have been keen to see our store succeed. We’re all working towards a common goal and the collaborative approach that seems to come naturally to everyone is a great asset to the company.

"In the next diary entry I’ll talk about how we set and achieved sales targets as well as how we plan to work with our team to keep sales on track."

You can hear from Patrick in person in his video diary entries:

Did you miss the very first diary entry?