The Coffee Guy - New Plymouth's Most Wanted

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Coffee Guy's Justine Hughes achieved her sales target within three days

When Justine Hughes established The Coffee Guy franchise in New Plymouth, her target was to sell 90 cups of coffee a day from her mobile espresso van. It's a goal she achieved on just her third day, and she's been hitting it from Monday to Friday every day for over a year since. Not bad for a lady who, 14 months ago, had never made a cup of coffee in her life. "˜Honest,' she laughs. "˜We had a coffee machine, but I never used it.' A hairdresser for ten years and then, after having her children, a sales rep, Justine had been looking for a business that offered her a good return and time to be with her family. "˜When I picked up a copy of Franchise New Zealand and it fell open at The Coffee Guy, I knew this was the answer. I was confident in my people and sales skills but I did wonder how I would cope making coffee.' Coming from a sales background, Justine was surprised to read that franchisees were not expected to spend money on advertising. "˜So I decided to find out what it was really like and phoned Kyle King, who is The Coffee Guy in Whangarei.

"˜I wanted to know how The Coffee Guy was going in a town with much the same population as New Plymouth. It struck me as a business well-suited to smaller population areas and I knew that if Kyle was successfully competing with established cafes and other coffee outlets in Whangarei, it would work in New Plymouth. What Kyle had to say was all positive. He also explained about the advertising support, saying that espresso-style coffee made just metres away from the customer's workplace and delivered fresh and hot immediately sells itself. The neat-looking espresso van is a brilliant mobile billboard.' Reassured by Kyle's comments and The Coffee Guy's income guarantee, Justine flew to Auckland to meet the franchisor and get a hands-on feel for the business. "˜I came back to New Plymouth and said to my partner, Mark, "We've got to get this thing going - there's just nothing like it here." It was the best decision of my life.' A New Business in Five Weeks It was a fast decision, too. It took Justine just five weeks from reading about the franchise to taking delivery of her "˜turnkey' van and welcoming The Coffee Guy's Paul Dalton to provide her barista training and steer the franchise on the road to success in New Plymouth. The franchisee training and customer prospecting programme developed by founder Richard Karam and his franchise operations team is proven in over 40 The Coffee Guy franchises throughout New Zealand, and Justine remembers just how fast it started working.

"˜We live near the CBD so it was only a few roads to where Paul said "We start here." We walked into businesses, introducing ourselves and telling them what we were doing. On the first day, Paul limited sales to just 50 cups then we returned home for him to fine-tune my sales approach and coffee making. The next day we went out again and - for me this was really exciting - the same people bought coffees! Paul drew the line at 70 cups and then we reviewed it again. The third day we hit 90 and unbelievably the business was at the capacity I wanted to maintain.

"˜The customers from those first three days have since become the core of my business. They are really cool people and loyal, too. I reward their loyalty by delivering really great service and the best coffee in town.' Justine warns that it's not all plain sailing. "˜It does take a lot of hard work, commitment and drive, but the systems are all there to support you. I wouldn't want to give the impression that The Coffee Guy is a shortcut to success and a laid-back lifestyle, but it is the most fantastic opportunity if you're prepared to work at it.' Realistic Opportunity With its $35,000 +gst purchase price (excluding the custom-fitted and signwritten espresso van, which can be financed in a number of ways), The Coffee Guy represents a very achievable and realistic opportunity. Franchises consistently generate an annual turnover of $100,000 based on 40 hours work a week, but needn't be limited by this as The Coffee Guy has franchisees who are regularly selling more. The business suits anyone who enjoys people and who has perhaps been put off pursuing other franchises by the amount of marketing, accounting and administrative time and input required. "˜This is a portable EFTPOS and cash business, so I don't have to spend my evenings doing invoices,' Justine smiles.

Justine still finds the speed of her success hard to believe but she couldn't be more pleased. "˜I've chosen to work six and a half hours a day and that's given me more time with Mark and my 14 and 7 year olds. I've got a business I enjoy, I'm making money and I'm not working all hours like many people. Everything that The Coffee Guy told me was true.'

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PO Box 37526
Parnell, Auckland

Phone: 093099727
Fax: 093099720

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