Business Franchise Australia

TRUSTED GLOBALLY FOR OVER 30 YEARS IN FRANCHISING

A moment with Daniel Mesiti, Boost Juice Franchisee

Daniel Mesiti is a multi-site franchisee with Boost Juice, operating five locations across Sydney. He takes time out to share his thoughts on franchising and small business with Business Franchise Australia.

 

What made you consider franchising when you had already run successful independent businesses?

After I left university armed with a business degree, I started by own small business in hospitality, having worked in “hospo” while I was studying. It was a success, but I just got to thinking there had to be a better way, and franchising seemed to offer that – there were tried and proven systems, everything was standardised, there was plenty of support available, and it seemed easier to grow compared to a stand-alone business.

 

Once you’d made the move into franchising, what made you decide to leverage the opportunity to expand into a multi-site operation?

Again, it comes back to franchising, and the model franchise systems offer. It’s so much easier with the systems that are in place in a franchise system to do two, or three, or more…because you’re part of a franchise system, as long as you follow the procedures that are set down, it’s so much more straightforward (and less stressful) than relying on the “brilliance of an individual” which can create challenges in itself. For example, if you’ve got a restaurant and you open a second one, you’re reliant on your head chefs: two restaurants, two chefs, and potentially two completely different stories – good or bad – regardless of the direction you provide. Franchising cuts a lot of those variables out.

 

What support do you feel franchising, as a business model, best provides for franchisees?

A network of peers, to connect and bounce ideas off, and to help motivate you; brand and marketing; support from head office that can round out your skills. The systems and framework of the business are critical (and some can take this for granted) but they deliver economies of scale – for example, in areas like HR and legal it would cost me thousands to access support as a sole trader somewhere; as a franchisee, I have access to this type of support as part of my franchise agreement. But the brand is the big one: with a strong brand you’re not struggling to create an identity, and being a franchisee means I’ve got that covered.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a small business, what would it be?

Don’t! (laughs). Seriously, the best advice I can give is to make sure you are ready for the business – if you get the people right the business will take care of itself, but make sure you yourself are ready, or you’ll be your own worst enemy. It sounds counter-intuitive but it’s true: you have to be ready for what you’re about to take on regardless of how much planning or research or strategic planning you’ve done. And grow yourself – you never stop developing, so make sure you find ongoing personal development opportunities for yourself.

 

You’ve spent over 25 years in hospitality. What do you think the key changes in the hospitality environment have been over that time, noting the impact of the pandemic?

In two words – personalisation and technology. One example (which became critical during the pandemic) was delivery platforms. Uber and the like had already caused massive shifts in the industry, and of course people in lockdown accessed a lot of products from businesses like mine using those platforms, and technology continues to evolve – not just in terms of delivery platforms but in our systems and how our marketing messages are delivered.

Marketing and branding have evolved so much during my time in hospitality, and will keep doing so. It’s a big plus in so many respects, as the way messaging is delivered becomes more sophisticated and targeted, and we have to ensure that what we’re doing meets the expectations those messages generate. And that leads me into the one thing that never changes: the need to listen to the customer. Just as so many other aspects of business have changed over the years, so too are customers’ expectations changing: higher expectations, expecting more, looking for personalised service and attention to the details that matter to them.

 

What excites you the most about being your own boss?

When you get a sense of achievement it’s great, and you know you’ve done a lot of the hard work yourself, even as a franchisee. Using the competition to make yourself better – nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, and if someone else is doing better and you’re passionate about success, then competition is a powerful force to leverage and harness. But like anything, you’ll have wins and losses, although once you’re fully established and up and running, things become simpler and more straightforward.

 

For anyone starting out, my advice is that for the first six or twelve months, be prepared to invest the time needed to make a go of it. It’s all well and good to say, “I’m my own boss, I don’t want to work long hours,” but the less you work the more you will pay in wage costs and other expenses that you could have eliminated by doing more yourself. So back to the question about my advice for people thinking about starting out in small business, if you’re not prepared to commit absolutely – at least during the time it takes to get a business to fly from a standing start – then maybe it’s not for you. But speaking from my own experiences, I find small business intensely rewarding, challenging, demanding, but a great way to earn a living, especially as a franchisee. I’d recommend a franchise to anyone who is seriously looking for a rewarding career in small business.

Written by Yale Stephens of the Franchise Council of Australia