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(Watch) Pick n Pay Franchisees Share Powerful Insights Into Running a Pick n Pay Franchise

Rudolf Bornman left his corporate 9 to 5 job and purchased a Pick n Pay store after seeking a franchise brand that aligned with his values. Here’s how he found the right franchise and banking partner.

Nedbank Franchising

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Watch this video of Rudolf Bornman, a Pick n Pay franchisee, on the franchise.

Vital Stats

  • 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.

Related: Why Nando’s Is Clucking Its Way To The Top

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-franchise

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?

pick-n-pay-south-africa-store

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.

Related: When You Need More Than A Sympathetic Ear For Your Cashflow Woes

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a franchisee?

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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?

pick-n-pay

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.

Nedbank recognises the contribution franchising makes towards growing South Africa’s economy. Nedbank Franchising is all about partnerships – a concept we pioneered in the area of business banking in South Africa. With our client-centred philosophy ‘partnering with you to grow your franchise’, Nedbank Franchising offers clients a banking partnership founded on our willingness and ability to understand your franchise and provide you with a solution-driven service. Our unique approach allows us to deliver, through a single contact point, an integrated franchising solution centred on three key principles: localised decision-making with national support, access to specialised expertise and customisation.

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Rethinking Learning In The 21st Century

The changing world of work has disrupted the three elements of the traditional ‘career’: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

Wits Plus

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Traditionally the concept of a ‘career’ was considered to include three elements:

  1. A career represented our expertise, our profession, and ultimately our identity.
  2. A career was something that built over time and endured. It gave us the opportunity to progress and advance.
  3. A career gave us financial and psychological rewards. It made life meaningful and paid us enough to live well.

The changing world of work has disrupted all three elements: Expertise, duration, and rewards.

A career can now be as long as 60 years; at the same time, due to rapid advancements in technology and the changes that bring about in the workplace, skill sets can become obsolete in as little as five years.

Increasingly, companies need to rethink the way in which careers are managed and learning opportunities are delivered, and many have already begun to overhaul their career models and L&D (Learning and Development) infrastructure in line with the digital age.

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Employees’ learning behaviour is also changing. In the past, employees were able to obtain the skills required for their career early on and as a once-off; now, the career itself is a journey of learning, up-skilling, re-skilling and continuous reinvention to remain relevant and to thrive in the changing world of work.

Older employees who studied at a time where most of one’s learning occurred prior to entering the workplace, find themselves working alongside millennials who place greater value on learning and progression rather than on earning potential as a first priority.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents surveyed in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey say their organisations are shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression.

However, in today’s fast-paced business world, even if companies are restructuring L&D delivery, no one is going to make you engage in a strategy that is essential to your future success – continuous learning. You will have to take the initiative yourself.

Noted self-help expert W. Clement Stone, in his many writings on this topic, recommended that one spends anywhere from a half-hour to two hours a day in study and thinking time. This tireless dedication, combined with an insatiable curiosity, will equip you to excel in the future world of work. What’s more, learning new skills and knowledge can be fun!

The good news for both companies and for employees is that an explosion of high-quality content and digital delivery models offers employees ready access to continuous learning. The Wits DigitalCampus offers a range of accredited and fully online short courses to support your continuous learning.

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Your Investment In Knowledge

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

Wits Plus

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Most people spend their lives collecting, spending, and worrying about money — so much so, in fact, that they say they “don’t have time” to learn something new.

However, some of smartest and busiest people in the world — Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates — all spend at least one hour a day on deliberate learning. They see what others don’t: That learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. As Benjamin Franklin said long ago, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

When you understand the value of knowledge, in this world where technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to constant learning!

One of the very benefits of ongoing technological advances is that it empowers an accelerated and personalised learning experience that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Modern learning harnesses the speed, power and ubiquity of digital capability. Online platforms, software and mobile devices means that the traditional hurdles to learning — such as income, status and location — have just about disappeared. Knowledge can now be gained by anyone with the passion to pursue it and the commitment to stick with it.

Related: Building Customer Relationships

We are only at the tipping point of what future learning technology can deliver. Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform all aspects of human capital management, including learning. Technology-enabled learning will be immediate and directly relevant to the task, for example:

  • personally tailored learning content and experiences delivered to you as and when you want or need them
  • chatbots and virtual assistants can source and categorise the information that you need for optimal decision-making
  • augmented and virtual reality simulations can provide a multi-sensory experience to speed up and embed learning.

Additionally, social connectivity already enables user-generated content to outpace and outstrip what traditional education and learning institutions can deliver.

Knowledge may be the new money but, unlike money, you don’t lose it when you use knowledge or give it away. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant. It’s fun to acquire and it makes your brain work better. It helps you think bigger and beyond your circumstances. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.

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Are You Struggling To Find Financing For Your SME? Try Alternative Finance

If you don’t qualify for traditional funding or if it isn’t the right fit for your SME why not explore alternative funding? We specialise in alternative financing options by providing in-depth and custom plans for you and your business needs.

Spartan

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Alternative Finance is finance beyond the traditional – it is defined by the financiers’ area of specialisation – by what they specialise in, whom they serve, and how they provide their funding. It does not replace traditional finance but rather functions as a complementary and additional form of funding.

Alternative financiers are specialists – they focus on a particular need and on a specific audience. As a result their ‘how’ is customised to deal with their chosen target market and for this targets unique needs. This applies to the funder’s processes and to their level of flexibility around things such as collateral.

An example of this is that a SME may have an existing R1 million overdraft (their traditional finance) secured by R 1.5 million collateral but suddenly they need R5 million for some kind of contract or bridging finance – they need it fast and don’t have that extent of collateral.

The traditional funder cannot provide what they need, their process is too long and their flexibility is too low. An alternative financier providing bridging finance and specialising in SMEs is ideally positioned to fill this gap.

One of the most significant differences between a traditional funder and an alternative financier is in their process. In the case of the alternative financier, they have often chosen to deal exclusively with a particular customer base, for example SMEs. As a result, this funder has both an affinity and contextually relevant empathy in working with SMEs.

Not only do they speak the same language the funder also has an appreciation for the time and material constraints of the SME and has developed their processes to cater to this market. This applies most notably to the turnaround time of the funding need and to the assessment aspect – where flexibility around things such as collateral is vital in making the finance happen for the SME.

A traditional funder is unable to meet the deadline of a bridging finance need, submitted on an urgent basis, where the finance is needed as soon as 2-3 days from time of application. A specialised or alternative funder is able to do exactly this. A traditional funder is also unable to find creative methods in solving the SMEs lack of high-value collateral in applying for finance.

This SME has generally already used their high-value collateral for traditional credit facilities but now needs funding for growth or resolution of a temporary cash flow challenge. An alternative financier is able to look at such an application in a different way, and has most likely already established alternative ways to make this happen for the SME.

Related: 5 Key Questions To Answer For Raising Funding

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