Inside Franchise Business - - Leadership -

“I was work­ing in sales, for a crane com­pany and other com­pa­nies for 17 years. We saw this ad­ver­tised through the TV and thought it looked in­ter­est­ing.”

Gipp­s­land-based An­drew Kimber and his part­ner were look­ing for a life­style change when they came across Xpresso De­light. “We wanted some­thing where you could pick your own days, and work when you want to work.”

An­drew needed the free­dom and flex­i­bil­ity to run around af­ter his teenage fam­ily, in­clud­ing his 18-year-old son and 14-year-old daugh­ter.

“I had been work­ing five days a week in sales do­ing door to door vis­its, on the phone, cold call­ing, just the stan­dard sales rou­tine.”

But then within a 12-month pe­riod his job role was made re­dun­dant – twice. The need for se­cu­rity and flex­i­bil­ity was put sharply in fo­cus and the cou­ple ramped up their search for new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We looked at a few fran­chises and came back to this for a cou­ple of rea­sons. Ev­ery­body loves cof­fee and the way it’s struc­tured and set up ap­pealed to me. We met with Brian, the master agent, found out what’s in­volved, then went away, think­ing this po­ten­tially could work for us and give us the life­style we wanted.

“My part­ner still works full time. I also work for an­other com­pany, help­ing out a mate, do­ing a lit­tle bit of sales and a lot of gen­eral stuff. It keeps my hand in.”

An­drew man­ages his sec­ond work role around the de­mands of Xpresso De­light. “My mate knows if I can’t work to­day, that’s how it is.”

Xpresso De­light’s unique of­fer is pro­vid­ing barista-style cof­fee ma­chines to of­fices and other or­gan­i­sa­tions. “From a cost per­spec­tive, ev­ery­one loves go­ing to a barista but you’re pay­ing on av­er­age $5. Ours is $1 a cup, and as good or bet­ter. There’s al­ways a vari­ant with a barista, but these ma­chines pour the same cof­fee ev­ery time.”

An­drew also sells the time-sav­ing as­pect of an in-house cof­fee ma­chine to po­ten­tial busi­ness own­ers con­cerned about the time staff spend get­ting cof­fee in their breaks.

Ev­ery Thurs­day and Fri­day he will ser­vice the ma­chines in op­er­a­tion. He spends one day a week mar­ket­ing, and has the flex­i­bil­ity to work ex­tra or spend time with his fam­ily in the down­time.

In busi­ness for four years, adding ma­chines will be key to the fran­chise growth, says An­drew. And that’s where his sales ex­pe­ri­ence has been in­valu­able.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence has been in­ter­est­ing. We’ve never run a busi­ness be­fore and we’ve learned a lot about what you can and can’t do. When we first started it was fi­nan­cially dif­fi­cult, as with any busi­ness. You have to build it so it’s self-suf­fi­cient and we’re at that point now.

“You’ve got to work hard at grow­ing. It’s your busi­ness, you can’t wait for stuff to come to you. I can run the busi­ness three or four days a week, but if I want to do some­thing else I can. That’s the joy of it.”

For An­drew week­ends are all about kids’ sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties … and trac­tor pulling. For four years he and his part­ner have been im­mersed in the mo­tor­sport com­pe­ti­tion in which a mod­i­fied trac­tor with a V8 en­gine pulls a sled down a 100-me­tre track.

“It’s dirty, it’s fun. We get to travel all over the state and in­ter­state – we were in Queens­land for the week­end. It’s build­ing a group of friends, it’s so­cial,” says An­drew.

The week­end winds down with an hour spent on Sun­day do­ing ad­min and book­work with his part­ner, get­ting ready for the week.

An­drew’s ul­ti­mate goal is to grow the busi­ness to the point it can gen­er­ate enough work to be a full time role for both of them – full time, of course, be­ing three to four days a week.

“It’s the ideal sce­nario in an­other three years,” he says. “From an op­por­tu­nity per­spec­tive this is not for ev­ery­body; it’s a lot of money to out­lay to buy a busi­ness. But we’d do it again in a heart­beat. It’s opened our eyes to the flex­i­bil­ity to do what you want to do.”

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