Why this 68 year old franchisee is loving life at Kwik Kopy
Eight weeks holiday, early morning golf on a Wednesday…life sounds pretty good for Kwik Kopy franchisee Mark Prosser.
But it’s taken him years to get to the point where he can step away from the business and leave the team in charge.
Formerly in personnel for 20 years Prosser opened up the doors to his franchise in 2001 after admiring the weekly routine of the local Kwik Kopy owner with whom he regularly lunched.
“He seemed to have a good lifestyle so I looked into the business,” says Prosser.
Once he’d done his due diligence and signed up to the franchise, he found making a profit in the business was more difficult than he had expected.
“If you want a challenge, give yourself a challenge,” he laughs. Three months into the business he realised why the legal and financial advisors had cautioned him about his purchase.
“I bought a run down business and paid too much for it,” he admits. “It took a couple of years for us to really hit our straps.”
When he took over the business it was ranked at number 80 in a listing of the 105 outlets in the national network; he’s made the top 25 for several years recently, and in 2015 scooped the franchise’s top award, Franchisee of the Year.
“The last 10 years have been really great. I’ve gained a full understanding of the business. Beforehand I had a good team but I didn’t know a lot about printing.
“A few franchisees will blame others if the business isn’t working, but you have to put in the hard work and find opportunities.”
The business is a 9-5, Monday to Friday operation, although in the early days Prosser was working seven days a week to get work done.
Good clients stuck by Prosser as he turned around the business, and he’s made a point of expanding the income by maximising business with each client and getting referrals.
“It’s not about being a salesperson, you have to be able to talk to people, to help them out, understand what they need and find a solution. I want them to say ‘Kwik Kopy can look after this for me’.
“Always say yes and work out how you will do it afterwards,” he says.
When Prosser started out in print, a Xerox machine took pride of place in the business. That’s long gone, replaced by a fancy digital printer that can turn out 90 copies of printed card a minute, and produces 30 per cent of the outlet’s income.
“You have to spend money on equipment. I want my staff to have good equipment, and they will produce good work.”
Prosser’s initial goals were to make money, specifically to turn the $300,000 turnover into $1m, and to win the top Kwik Kopy award.
He’s ticked all those boxes.
“We have a benchmark of all the stores and we can compare ourselves to other businesses, and see what opportunities there are for us to do better.”
Today the focus is getting the sales and margins right and he’s on track.
Innovations at Kwik Kopy have made life much easier, and he says, refreshed him. The development of the proprietorial product Print Speak, an online real time monitoring system available on a PC and as an App, means he can stay in control of the business, no matter where he is.
“It’s fantastic, we love it. It handles invoices, reporting, monthly targets, quotations… I can be anywhere.”
That’s handy, given his travelling habits.
“We are going to the US and Canada in June for five weeks. I like caravanning too.”
In fact the caravan is set up with a mini office including printer and router.
“I’ve loved the journey, but you have to keep working through the downtimes. That’s the nature of business.
“Now I’ve got the right work balance. I’m 68, and I signed up for another term. I don’t how long I’ll keep going, I’ll work while I enjoy it.”