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Jump Into The 21 Jump Street Brand

Entrepreneur spoke to 21 Jump Street founders Justin and Linda Williams about the brand.

GG van Rooyen

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Vital Stats

  • Company: 21 Jump Street
  • Players: Justin and Linda Williams
  • Established: 2015
  • Visit: 21jumpstreet.co.za

How did the brand come about?

Justin: We actually have another company called Play Outdoor, through which we import and distribute large play sets. As we were travelling overseas and looking for products to import, we came across great trampoline equipment.

Knowing that trampoline parks were growing in popularity both locally and internationally, we took the opportunity to start importing this equipment and set up a park.

Related: Make Krispy Kreme Happen

How would you describe 21 Jump Street?

Linda: 21 Jump Street is a trampoline park with a difference. While coming up with the concept, we realised that a lot of parks were located in semi-industrial areas where large amounts of space were available. This meant that they were largely destination operations. People could go there and jump, but not do much else.

We wanted to create a trampoline park that was part of a larger experience. So we decided to create 21 Jump Street at the Mall of the South. By being located at a mall, people could combine a visit to the trampoline park with other activities, and parents could drop off their kids while they went shopping.

What has the reception been like?

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Justin: It has been absolutely fantastic — it has far exceeded our expectations. We’ve been operating for about a year now, and the park is incredibly busy, especially on weekends.

People love the fact that we have created a safe environment where kids can enjoy themselves while their parents are off shopping.

We have trained staff on hand to keep an eye on them, and access is tightly controlled, so there’s no chance of kids sauntering off.

How did the decision come about to franchise the business?

Linda: Thanks to the success of the Mall of the South trampoline park, we realised that this was a business that could be rolled out across the country. Malls from all over South Africa started calling us, wanting to find out if we would be interested in setting up a 21 Jump Street.

We’ve already secured two locations — one in Balito and one in Table Bay Mall. These will both open in 2017, and will be sold to franchisees. Apart from these we will start looking at other areas that could potentially work. 

What sort of locations are you looking for?

Justin: We’ve identified a few locations, like the ones in Balito and Table Bay Mall, but we’re also open to locations suggested by prospective franchisees. For the most part, we’re looking for busy shopping locations with a fairly high LSM.

Related: The Perils Of The Franchise Agreement

What sort of space is needed to set up a 21 Jump Street?

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Linda: You need a fairly large space, though the exact size is up to the franchisee. I wouldn’t go for a space that’s less than 500m2, though you probably want one closer to 1 000m2. You also need to keep the height of the space in mind. It needs to be 5,5m2 at a minimum, and seven metres is ideal.

In terms of operation, what does the set-up need to look like?

Justin: Well, there are the trampolines, and the number will depend on the size of the operation. Then you would also need restrooms and a snack shop, since kids need to be able to buy a snack or go to the bathroom without having to leave the park.

You’d also need to have around 20 employees on a shift basis. We highly recommend a party room where kids’ parties can be hosted in private. This is very popular with customers and is booked months in advance.

What sort of franchisees are you looking for?

Linda: We’re looking for fun and energetic franchisees who enjoy working with people. We don’t have any specific background in mind, though it’s always helpful to have some business experience.

Franchisees also need to be willing to work hard, especially during the first few months. Hours can be long and people need to be prepared for that.

What support will you provide franchisees?

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Justin: We’re willing to help with whatever’s needed. We can help with site selection, design and installation. We’ll also offer thorough training before and after opening. We really aim to support franchisees and help them find their feet. We’re also busy with a heavy marketing push that’s aimed at raising brand awareness.

Thanks to Play Outdoor and the fact that we import equipment ourselves, we can ensure that quality is up to scratch. We can also keep an eye on international trends and ensure that the brand is always at the forefront of innovation. We aim to help franchisees keep their businesses innovative and trendy at all times. We’ll make sure that 21 Jump Street evolves as necessary.

Related: Is It A Good Time To Invest In A Franchise Right Now?

Overview

Company 21 Jump Street
Nature of franchise Entertainment
Established 2015

Investment

Total investment R2,5 – 4,5 million
Deposit R100 000
Royalty 7%

Hot spots

National

Contact details

Contact person Justin Williams
Email Justin@21jumpstreet.co.za
Visit www.21jumpstreet.co.za
Call +27 (0)83 677 2844

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Franchisors

Get Your Franchise Running Smoothly – Even When You’re Not There

Does the thought of taking time off from your franchise outlet make you nervous? Then you have to learn to run your business instead of letting it run you.

Diana Albertyn

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“A sign of a successful business is one that can operate without your physical presence 24/7,” says Brad Sugars, start-up expert, author and founder of ActionCOACH. While your franchise systems and operations are designed to run smoothly and consistently, is your staff trained to be productive in your absence?

“Franchises are already by nature systematised operations, so it boils down to how you as a business owner hire and train people to get the necessary jobs done,” says Sugars.

If you know a sick day will cause havoc in your store, an assessment of how you’re running your business is needed. Are you really running a successful franchise if things fall about without your supervision? Take a step back and consider the following steps to manage your franchise without it controlling your life. Pretty soon you could book that vacation.

Determine your role in the franchise

Are you managing the franchise, taking orders, doing admin and handling every other aspect of the business? Then you’re not hiring the right people, because those roles should be filled by people who can be left to carry them out unsupervised.

Related: How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

“And if you don’t have the right people for the job then it might be time to start hiring, so you can free up your franchise’s most valuable resource – you,” says Pieter Scholtz, co-Master Licensee for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa.

“You need to get an idea of how you can hire people to take repetitive or administrative tasks away from you. Ask yourself: ‘Do I really need to be doing this?’” says Sugars. Your business cannot run optimally if you’re the single most-knowledgeable and capable person there.

Lead with clarity

You have long-term goals for your business, perhaps even acquiring more locations and running multiple units. While growth is good, you need to share the load and ensure everyone employed in your business is working towards the same goals, otherwise, it’ll be difficult to get there. Sugars suggests asking yourself the following:

  • How will you make your vision a reality?
  • What makes you different from other franchisees and business owners?
  • What kind of team do you want to recruit and create?
  • How does all of this deliver value to your customer?

Conveying your vision can help ensure employees know how to get to the end-goal faster and more efficiently.

Related: 3 Steps To Ensure Your Franchisees Flourish Your Support System

Plan for long-term cash flow

Loyal customers ensure a constant flow of cash through the franchise and this requires exceptional service and the building of strong relationships. “Target your top-spending customers and establish a good relationship with them for long-term cash flow,” Sugars suggests.

Although the broader campaigns are covered by the marketing fee you’re paying to your franchisor, it’s wise to focus on your local’s tastes and suggestions when looking to deliver an experience worth returning for.

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Franchisors

Are Your Employees On Board With Your Franchise’s Brand Promise?

You cannot run a successful franchise if your staff isn’t aligned to the brand’s values.

Diana Albertyn

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Are the people who work in your franchise outlet familiar with the franchise’s brand promise? As a franchisee, you’re required to deliver a uniform experience, so any customer who walks through your door feels like they’re at the same store the franchisor has across multiple locations. If your employees aren’t able to embody the franchise’s brand promise at every interaction, you have a challenge on hand.

“If your company’s brand promise is a warm and friendly atmosphere, you can’t deliver that if your employees aren’t warm and friendly,” says Robin William, Senior Practice Consultant at Gallup.

“Selecting the right employees is essential to providing the right brand service. Hiring people who can’t behave the way the brand wants them to will doom a service initiative.”

Related: How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

When employees know what’s expected of them, they’re able to keep the promise the franchise makes to customers – leading to higher customer and employee engagement, trust, and revenue.

More than a mission statement

Even if you’ve ensured every one of your staff members know the brand’s mission statement, how can you be sure they’re able to exemplify it in their behaviour every day? William suggests that you do the following:

  • Create structures and mechanisms to consistently instil brand values in the franchise’s culture.
  • Discuss brand behaviours daily.
  • Demonstrate brand behaviours yourself every day.
  • Praise the efforts of individuals who demonstrate brand behaviours.
  • Hold employees accountable for not exhibiting brand behaviours.

Once you’ve clearly defined the right brand behaviours, it’ll be easier to have staff on board who deliver your franchisor’s brand promise.

Internalise the culture

Here’s a conundrum. Do your staff know what to do in a situation where a customer’s request might not be aligned with the brand promise, but the brand promise is always to deliver on customers’ requests? It’s a tricky situation, but if you’ve clearly articulated the promise, your staff will know how to “Behave the brand”, says William.

“Do whatever it takes to deliver on its brand promise. Whether it’s focusing quality, fast service, customer care, or low prices,” he says.

“Employees must execute brand and service behaviours consistently, and frequent reminders can help employees understand and internalise these behaviours.”

Related: 3 Challenges To Establishing A Franchise System And How To Overcome Them

Empower your staff

Investing in your staff is the best way to encourage them to act in line with your brand’s promise. Once they understand why it’s important to act along the lines of your brand, they will feel empowered and motivated to do so.

Starbucks trains employees to memorise customers’ names and preferences in line with their promise of making everyone who visits their stores feel at home. Apple’s strategy of hiring nice, smart people who are passionate about service and the product aligns with the company’s belief that knowledge can be improved, but personality cannot.

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Franchisors

How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

After establishing that your business is franchise material, ensure you’ve created a clear roadmap to success for your franchisees.

Diana Albertyn

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Documenting the replicability of your business is key to launching a viable franchise operation. Without manuals and instructions on how exactly you carried out your concept to its current level of success, your franchisees won’t accomplish the results you anticipate.

“Unless you can capture your business on paper, you cannot claim to have a business system to sell. Even detailed documentation may not be enough,” says Franchise Direct’s Lorraine Courtney.

“You may need to provide structured education programmes for new franchisees and their staff to teach them your business system.”

With the help of an experienced franchise consultant, you can devise the critical document that contains all the aspects of what make your brand successful.

Related: 3 Challenges To Establishing A Franchise System And How To Overcome Them

Why you need a franchise operations manual

If you’re second-guessing the importance of crafting an operations manual, then you shouldn’t go into franchising. “Your operations manual is your go-to document for deciding who is responsible for what in any franchisor-franchisee relationship,” says Dani Peleva, Managing Director at online marketing agency, Local Fame.

According to Peleva, your manual should generally include each franchisee’s contractual obligations to you as well as the complete details on how you expect them to fulfil these obligations.

“On a basic level, it tells your franchisees what you expect of them. It gives them all the information that you’ve accumulated while operating your franchise,” says Peleva. After familiarising themselves with this manual, franchisees should know how the information can be used to build their own business up to be as successful as the original store.

What an operations manual will do for your business

When all your franchisees know what’s expected from them as they run their respective locations, the entire brand is then able to provide a cohesive, coherent customer experience, which is crucial to your success as a franchisor.

A good manual will also help you build better relationships with your franchisees as they won’t need to constantly contact you to clarify aspects of the business they’re not sure of. If they’re applying the information in the manual, they should know everything you know about how to run this type of business, meaning they’ll make good profits – for you and themselves.

Related: 3 Steps To Ensure Your Franchisees Flourish Your Support System

“One of the steps most potential franchisees make before signing an agreement will be to contact your other franchisees. A strong manual will help your current franchisees return positive feedback,” adds Peleva.

How to decide which elements to include

Obligations detailed in your franchisee agreement will have to correspond with steps on how to achieve them in your franchise manual. As a new franchisor, you cannot be expected to have a manual as thick and wordy as your established counterparts.

Peleva suggests covering aspects such as:

  • How to set up a franchisee location and start trading
  • How daily operations will be conducted
  • How development or expansion will be controlled.

“Your operations manual should always include as much detail as possible regarding operational practices that are to be followed,” says Peleva. “A simple list item that states ‘this obligation must be fulfilled’ is not helpful. Looks always to the ‘how’ of the issue and you’ll cover everything you need to.”

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