“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.”