Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

Fail­ure to un­der­stand the UK mar­ket and adapt Mugg & Bean’s business model to lo­cal con­di­tions con­trib­uted to the brand ex­it­ing after j ust 30 months.

Fil­mal­ter says that the big­gest mis­take was to use a “South African so­lu­tion in a UK en­vi­ron­ment. It didn’t work. It was a hard les­son to learn.”

The Mugg & Bean in Brom­ley, Kent, how­ever, was suc­cess­ful, but due to poor re­search (shop­ping cen­tre trad­ing hours and pat­terns), it could not be sus­tained. “The sec­ond lo­ca­tion in Birm­ing­ham was a full-blown dis­as­ter with the mar­ket not un­der­stand­ing the café el­e­ment of the business at all. We packed up after 30 months,” he says.

The group is plan­ning a dif­fer­ent ap­proach in the US, where it has been con­duct­ing re­search for three years, by part­ner­ing with an ex­ist­ing brand. Fil­maltFil­mal­ter says that he is in­volv­in­volv­ing the mil­len­nial gen­gener­a­tion in the US rr ee­search . “Even wwhen it comes to tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions and mar­ket­ing, I in­volve the mil­len­nial gener– aa­tion to de­velop sso­lu­tions for their pepeer group. I went to visvisit the Star­bucks hea­head of­fice and had to have a nap there­after be­cause I was so over­stim­u­lated by the amount of cre­ativ­ity and en­ergy in that build­ing gen­er­ated by the young peo­ple. This is how they stay rel­e­vant.” Visit www. fin­week. com for fran­chise ad­vice from FNB’s Morné Cronje.

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