All you need is love… for your franchise

This month's franchise diary takes us through the month of love - February - and Mike shares with us how important it is to have a passion for your career and the brand you represent.

All you need is love… for your franchise

Mike Ryan is CEO at the UK’s leading packaging and
shipping franchise PACK & SEND. This month’s franchise diary takes us
through the month of love – February – and Mike shares with us how important it
is to have a passion for your career and the brand you represent.

We had a great start to 2020 with franchisees launching in Hall Green, Birmingham, in early January. For those of you who don’t know much about PACK & SEND, our franchisees provide solutions for those wishing to send any items anywhere in the world and we specialise in bespoke packing and delivery solutions for the weird, wonderful and precious things our customers bring into our centres.

PACK & SEND’s business model offers exceptionally high gross margins and sales values but a relatively low volume of transactions compared to a quick-service restaurant franchise. This means we are reliant on our world-class customer service to maintain our reputation, encourage new customer enquiries and retain the goodwill of our repeat customers. That’s why having a passion for our business is key.

Our time has been split at head office across three main functions this month – supporting our existing franchisees, building relationships with prospective franchisees and ensuring our new franchisees get the best start possible. We’ve had the guys in Birmingham getting to grips with their new business, we’ve been securing premises for our upcoming Glasgow franchise and we’ve been supporting a franchise resale. Just the variety of locations brings challenges which we can only face if we have a true fondness for the brand we represent because, let’s face it, none of us love hours on the road.

PACK & SEND Hall Green has had at least one person from head office in-store for the past four weeks – not to run the show but to guide the franchisees on how to deliver excellent customer service. We offer our new franchisees two guarantees in their first 12 months of business – an agreed number of new business leads and match-funding their marketing spend. It sounds simple but, once we have brought customers into the service centre, if we provide an easy solution for any packaging or delivery job, they will keep coming back.

We talk about a “no limits” culture at PACK & SEND and it’s easy to see that in action at our service centres – securing odd-shaped items for shipping and finding the best solutions for customers – but the franchise must also perform for the franchisee. It has to deliver a level of success and personal freedom for a franchisee that makes the investment of their time and money worthwhile. In the case of our franchisees in Hall Green, they’re looking to build a great future for their families through their franchise business.

Whilst we take great pains during the recruitment process to make sure we award franchises to candidates who we think will become strong brand ambassadors, we know their ultimate success – and therefore the success of PACK & SEND overall – will only come if they love the day-to-day operations of their business. It’s up to us as the franchisor to recognise when franchisees may not be feeling the love, to raise them up and share areas of best practice with the rest of the network when they are performing well.

This month also sees the completion of 10 years for PACK & SEND in the UK – a milestone worthy of mention in this franchise diary. What are my tips for staying in love with a brand for 10 years? Building a strong team around you who believe in the brand as much as you do is vital. Ensuring a healthy work-life balance for yourself and the team is a must – some of us thrive on extra office hours but we have to recognise it’s not for everyone. And finally, take time to celebrate achievements. Whether it’s your 20th franchisee to join the network or another five-star review for your business, the everyday wins in franchising combine to make a life-changing difference for many people. 

Mike Ryan
Mike Ryan