Snack in the Box asked David why he looked at us in the first place, what were his personal objectives, what it was like running the business in the ‘early days’, what are his future plans and most importantly – is he hitting the Sales Targets provided by Snack in the Box…….
What made you first look at Snack in the Box?
Snack in the Box was a business that I looked at along with some other franchises. It was quickly obvious that the snack route was something that seemed easy to start, was a brand that was very recognised and allowed me to sell in a product with confidence with no preparation as such involved, .i.e kitchen/cooking/etc....
Why did you ultimately choose a SITB Franchise?
Ultimately choosing Snack in the Box came down to the package that was on offer, along with the territory which was local, yet large enough to grow into should I wish. Also a telling factor was the service provided by the SITB Sales Director, Sean Cleveland, in terms of the relaxed approach which didn’t put me under any pressure but allowed me to decide for myself. Obviously the business plan and projections were important and the field day with a franchisee and the transparency of information was a big telling factor.
Prior to purchasing the Franchise, how detailed was the SITB ‘sales/selection’ process?
The sales projections were shown in simple terms with a realistic net profit being shown; the whole business was not oversold, but was described as shown with very realistic-looking growth figures.
What were your three key personal objectives when buying the franchise?
My three objectives when buying this franchise were to gain a work life balance that I was in control of, a business that I could grow if I chose to and something that I could operate easily and required no re-training.
How did you find the initial training — did it help you in your early days as a franchisee?
The whole training package was very well planned, from head office machine training day one to meeting and servicing my accounts with the existing distributor, the whole handover process was relaxed yet concise, allowing me to meet and see the vital elements of the business I was about to take on.
In terms of the Launch Programme, did SITB deliver what was promised?
Yes, the launch programme was structured in such a way that it allowed me a very accurate overview and timeline of my business and the tools I would need to hit the ground running from day one going live.
What have the support levels been like?
The support to date has been very good, the whole franchise manager gives me a sounding board and a first point of contact in the event of me having any issues — and there have been a few, none of which we haven’t managed to solve with minimal fuss. I think having a franchise manager who has hands-on knowledge of running a franchise is the perfect dynamic to give me a quick and accurate resolution to any issues. Engineering support is also very good and, again, machine issues have generally been dealt with quickly. There are things that I think could help all franchisees and take some of the pressure off this department.
What are the three best things about running the business?
The three best things so far are not having to answer to anybody, managing my own day/week and the total flexibility to run a business my way, albeit under the umbrella of a tried and tested business.
Are you hitting your sales targets?
So far the sales based on my territory have, in my mind, been very consistent. It has taken some time to establish my week in terms of which accounts to visit and how often. Initially I was trying to see everybody every week; this was not unrealistic but unnecessary. As my thought process has evolved and as I have got to know my customers and gain their trust, I now find it much easier to know my business. The short-term plan now is to grow key areas within my territory, as I have more time on my hands through working smarter not harder.
What are your mid-term and long-term goals for the business?
There are many options going forward, the easiest one is to utilise the sales expertise within the franchise to add accounts to my business. This will replace and refresh my customer base allowing some poorer performing accounts to be removed without affecting, hopefully benefiting the turnover. There are other possibilities which I haven’t scratched the surface of as yet, in terms of possibly expanding the area, allowing perhaps somebody else to come on board, perhaps self-employed to operate a part of my area, but these are things that I’m unsure of logistically but will discuss going forward.