Quest franchisee swaps legal life for franchise success

By Sarah Stowe | 06 Feb 2019 View comments

Fahim Malik turned his back on a legal career to build a future as a franchisee.

“My parents wanted me to finish my law degree, they wanted me to have something on the education side, and law has really helped me,” says Malik.

Perhaps with his parents background operating a Registered Training Organisation and an older brother running a 7-Eleven store in Sydney, it was almost inevitable that Mailk would step into the small business world.

“I always had a business mind and desire to be my own boss. I got my skills from my parents and 7-Eleven. We were really happy with how the 7-Eleven business progressed and the support we got. My dad was an entrepreneur, my brother started out as a franchisee and I wanted to get into a franchise.”

The accommodation sector appealed to him so when a Quest Apartment Hotels property came up for sale, even though it meant moving to Canberra, he was keen.

The brand’s strong branding and position in the marketplace appealed to Malik. He liked that he could take over a small property already up and running as it would give him a good opportunity to learn the industry from the start.

He had to understand the sort of guests he would be welcoming, how to handle long stay business which is a little bit different from other hotels, and how to target the customer.

“The support has been incredible,” he says. “I had help with financials and business plans, and the business relationship manager was very supportive.”

In fact Malik was such a fan of the franchise that within two years he had signed up to a second site, the brand new Quest Canberra City Walk.

He now owns both ACT sites which sit just five minutes apart, one modern, one a heritage building..

Last month was the second month hitting 70 per cent occupancy. “It was much better than expected, we are getting repeat guests and the location is great,” says Malik.

He loves working with staff and finding out the best ways to help them achieve their goals.

He might not be a working lawyer right now but Malik’s legal training has given him a huge advantage in his franchisee role.

“I know how to approach things, what actions to take. Studying commercial law helped me in a new business to deal with agreements between landlords and understanding leasing strategy.”

Malik admits he went through the purchase process relying on his own legal skills but has since turned to the family’s business lawyer for ongoing needs.

“I got through it myself but I had the background. My advice for any franchise buyer would be to turn to professional lawyers for advice.”

Interested in running your own accommodation business? Find out more here.