Watch this video of Rudolf Bornman, a Pick n Pay franchisee, on the franchise.
- Players: Robert Storey and Rudolf Bornman
- Position: Franchisee
- Company: Pick n Pay
- Visit: pnp.co.za
How do you think being in the retail sector at corporate level helped you realise your dream of being a franchise owner?
Corporate helped me to gain the relevant experience that has enabled me to manage my business successfully. I started as a training manager in goods receiving and worked my way up to store manager.
I was later promoted to regional manager and then to general manager of Long Meadow Distribution Centre. This meant I had a good end-to-end view of the retail sector. I also completed my MBA at Henley during this time, which gave me a deeper understanding of the economic environment on both a micro and macro level and what factors will have an impact on your business.
Retail is very complex and as a good manager/owner you need to understand all aspects of the business to make it a success.
First, you need sound admin and accounting experience to ensure you manage your expenses and understand your business.
Next, it’s important to drive sales growth through sales promotions, because without sales growth your business will suffer. Finally, looking after people (your staff and your community) is one of the key values for us and also a principle on which the founder of Pick n Pay, Raymond Ackerman, built this company.
It’s important to ensure you have happy staff who feel cared for. They need to be managed with clear rules, expectations and processes to protect them and your business. Our staff face our customers daily and need to deliver excellent service to them.
What was it about Pick n Pay’s values that appealed to you?
Pick n Pay is still a family-owned business and a very strong brand in the South African retail market. Its focus is on long-term sustainability and not just short-term profits. Head office continues to invest in the brand’s sustainability and long-term growth.
As a franchisee with your own long-term growth goals, this is appealing. The company also has strong values that are very familiar to us and align to our values. Both my business partner and I know the Pick n Pay store processes from store operation to support, and this is a huge advantage for us.
With tight margins, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. We just have too much at risk and need to ensure we minimise that risk and get a good return on our investment.
Pick n Pay is a growing company and this also gives us the opportunity to grow our business. We have the opportunity to buy or open more stores due to the growth of the company.
It’s therefore very important to us to get our business profitable and paid off as quickly as possible, enabling us to open more stores as multiple-unit franchisees.
Why did you choose franchising?
My business partner, Robert Storey, and I wanted to run our own business. Franchising was the best way to enter the retail sector. Due to the competitive nature of this sector in South Africa, it’s important to be part of a strong brand to ensure that you as franchisee are successful and get a good return on your investment with long-term growth and sustainability.
Pick n Pay is a strong, established and successful brand, with a tried, tested, and above-all proven franchise model. While I was researching which brand I wanted to invest in, I looked at various business models and the Pick n Pay franchise model was the best fit for us.
We both had many years of experience in the corporate world, and the brand and its values were appealing to us. We’re proud to be ambassadors for this brand, and that’s the way franchisees should feel. You’re joining an existing system that stands for something.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a franchisee?
Cash flow, cash flow, cash flow. Without a positive cash flow, you’re doomed. You cannot manage a successful business without managing your expenses and purchases. Without stock, you cannot grow sales and without sales growth you’re doomed.
Second to this is staff. It’s a challenge to get strong and reliable management and keep good staff. People do get other opportunities in life and they will naturally go for those opportunities once presented to them. That’s why you need to treat your people with respect and dignity and always motivate them.
One of our key principles is to treat our staff like family; we put them first. As owners we have a responsibility towards our staff. You need to reprimand and build them, encourage them and reward them for good work done. We believe this enables them to deliver excellent service to our customers.
How would you advise aspiring franchisees on navigating the industry?
Make sure that whatever you do, you’re passionate about. We’re passionate about food; I love good food. We’re also passionate about the business and serving customers.
If you’re not passionate about retail, it will drain you and consume you. I’ve seen people who have lost everything they invested, but I’ve also seen many more people being incredibly successful in retail. It takes hard work, long hours and passion.
It’s also critical to plan and manage your family time, which is one of the main reasons why I have a business partner; together, we can share the load. You must decide what’s important for you before you start. For us, balance between work and family is essential.
It’s also important to take on a business that you have sound knowledge of. You can’t manage a successful business if you don’t understand the processes end to end. Cultural fit is also essential. Do you fit in with the franchise’s company culture and values? Are your values aligned with the company’s values? If the answer is no, walk away.
Related: Make Krispy Kreme Happen
You can’t change their values if misaligned. You’ll just end up frustrated and unhappy, and there will be conflict between you and your franchisor. It’s a lose/lose situation.
Successful franchisees need their franchisor’s support and vice versa.
Finally, brand strength is an essential ingredient. How well is the brand supported in the market sector you’re operating within? When customers have a choice between various brands in a specific area, where do they choose to spend their money?
This is a critical factor as we operate in a very competitive environment and consumers are all under pressure. Choose a brand that has stood the test of time and that you can associate with. You need to be proud of the brand, as you’re essentially a brand ambassador as well as a franchisee. When your customers experience that, then you’ll be able to grow your business.
Why is it important for successful franchises to have a strong relationship with their banking partners, and how does it benefit the franchisor and the franchisee?
It’s important for us to have the support of banking partners that fully understand the business model. We’ve looked at various financial institutions and Nedbank was very professional. In particular, they support and fully understand the Pick n Pay franchise business model.
Banking partners aren’t there just to assist with the upfront investment. It’s even more critical that you have the support of your banking partner once you’ve purchased the business. You’re under huge pressure to ensure you implement the correct processes to manage your business without impacting your customers, and believe me, this is a challenge.
You can’t afford a drop in standards as customers will leave and not return. As a franchisee you need to ensure you deliver high operational standards, are compliant with your franchising agreement and that you’re a good ambassador for the brand.
Good financial management is an essential ingredient for all of these factors, and the right banking partner will assist you in this regard.
The New Rules Of Customer Experience
Intelligent Experience Economy will change the rules of customer experience.
Our report identifies five rules organisations can follow to reimagine the customer experience in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. These rules are the action that organisations need to take if they want to be successful in this new era:
1. Make the customer journey your new chain
Most executives understand the importance of CX and have some form of customer strategy to address it. However, the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’ calls for significant action. Organisations will need to develop an enterprise-wide customer journey. Creating a common language and taxonomy around the customer that is universally adopted will spur CX transformation at scale and embed the customer in the core of the organisational culture.
2. Embed AI in the Customer Experience
Our research confirms that businesses understand the critical and still growing importance of ‘big data’ and analytics. However, having an analytics function. AI will be the dominant capability enabling companies to reimagine the CX in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. Embedding AI in the CX is a great opportunity for organisations. It can enable easier communication with customers, speed up transaction times, personalise customer experiences and significantly reduce customer service costs. Furthermore, organisations that have embedded AI will have unique access to customer data.
3. Connect Customer Experience to real value
Customer metrics are now commonplace in businesses. Although the metric is important, too many businesses see it as the end point instead of the starting point. CCOs assessing their CX transformation efforts must take into account how mature their organisation’s CX measurement maturity is.
For many, CX measurement is still immature – actively listening to customers and collecting feedback, but not taking action with CX initiatives. Organisations should develop real-time customer metrics.
4. Let the COO drive Customer Experience Change
The role of the COO needs to evolve if organisations are to execute on their ambitious goals for their CX visions in the next few years. The role of the COO will need to shift from ‘measuring the CX’ to being directive on the priorities to drive CX change. In order to be more directive, end-to-end capabilities will be needed within the organisations, framed around journey stages.
5. Ignite the core
To create real CX transformation – the COO cannot be successful alone. The challenge is about ‘igniting the core’ around CX. To ‘ignite the core’ organisations need to spread the CX vision with all leaders, managers, frontline employees and back office employees alike. Furthermore, organisations will have to establish partnerships across the value chain – including UX/CX experts, data analysis, AI architects, app developers, as well as project delivery partners.
How can organisations execute the customer experience?
In order to be a leading customer experience organisation, companies will need to execute the customer experience at scale across the organisation. Customer strategy execution is transformational in nature and requires new capabilities, new ways of working and an entire organisation to be fully behind the new vision.
How To Immigrate With Your Family By Starting A Business In The UK
The simple way to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true in the UK.
Many people, especially those with families, are reluctant to up sticks and move to the UK. These would-be movers are often worried that they will not be able to secure employment in the hugely competitive UK job market. This source of stress alone is enough to discourage some from pursuing their dreams of living in the UK. But, there is an innovative and accessible solution.
The UK has several visa classes aimed at individuals who wish to invest in the country. These give an individual the right to live and work in the UK with their families, if they make a defined investment. A visa that interests South Africans is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. We have developed our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme to help South Africans looking to immigrate to the UK alone, or with their families.
The basics of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
To be awarded a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will need to invest at least R3,5 million (£200,000) in an existing UK business or one you start up. There are certain other requirements, but these are not particularly onerous, and most investors will qualify if they submit their application correctly.
The entrepreneur visa allows you to live and work in the UK, and take dependant family members with you, defined as your partner and your child under 18. If you have the capital, or are willing to liquidate your assets in South Africa to raise it, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is a great way to relocate your entire family to the UK.
Do note: You will need to make specific applications for each dependant, so it is vital you consult with an immigration expert before beginning the application process.
You’re not just immigrating, you’re investing in the UK
By starting or investing in a UK business as part of our programme, you will be granted the right to live and work in the UK, and earn an income from that business.
The business you invest in will want you to play an active role, not just contribute seed capital. If you want to invest in a business without being an active director you will be allowed to do so, but you may not be eligible for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
Another restriction is that you cannot hold this visa and work for a business other than the one you are invested in. But, your partner will be allowed to work in whatever field he or she pleases.
How do you choose the right business to invest in?
There is always an element of risk when investing in a foreign business, particularly when you’re thirteen thousand kilometres away from the country you’re investing in. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re investing in before you take the plunge.
That’s why our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is hugely beneficial. It matches your investment capital with a pre-approved investee business. We’ll make sure that your skills are matched with an appropriate venture so you can be an active director of that business.
We’ll also handle your visa applications, providing you with a comprehensive immigration and investment solution. Our partner’s list of investee businesses is over 200 strong, giving you an array of choices in various industries. This allows us to pair you with the business that best suits your investment goals and skills.
But what if you have a successful business in South Africa?
It’s no secret — emigrating from South Africa is difficult for many families who have deep roots and thriving operations. There’s no reason why you can’t keep your business in South Africa as well as relocate to the UK.
Nothing restricts a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder from owning and overseeing businesses in other countries while they are on this visa. Many clients choose to relocate to the UK while ensuring that their original business continues to operate. In this way, you will be supplementing the income from your UK investment with revenue generated by your South African business.
You can hold British and South African passports if you apply for your British citizenship in the correct manner. You must obtain permission from Home Affairs in South Africa to avoid having your citizenship revoked. Retaining your South African citizenship will make it much easier for you to continue running a business here.
Talk to us today
There are compelling reasons to move to the UK — a brighter future for your children and a more stable country in which to retire. Our comprehensive solution will ensure you get the most out of your relocation.
If you’re thinking of immigrating to the UK or investing offshore — either or both — we can help.
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