Flying Solo... Flickin' Rad!
Updated: Jul 7
What is it that drives a person to go out and start a business themselves from scratch? Is it guts, determination or even a little lunacy? Wouldn't it be a safer bet to buy an established business or a franchise rather than do the whole thing flying solo?
This article shines the light on a local lad "Quinny" who mustered up enough courage and hustle to break free from employment and "Fly Solo". It's not been an easy ride for Quinny, but by sharing his success story, we hope to help other people who are considering going into business for themselves work through it all.
Play it safe... Buy a Franchise
5 years ago age 22, Michael (Quinny) Quinn pictured, had saved a bit of coin and was ready to "play it safe" and invest in a popular food franchise however at the finish line, he changed his mind. Before handing over the cash Quinny decided to do a little more research. What he discovered was some rather dissatisfied Franchisees.
Franchising works well for lots of people however in this instance, it suggests this Franchisor may have some work to do in restoring some balance and ensuring Franchisees are satisfied with their investments. The reality is Franchises are not immune to failure.
Quinny's Tip... "Before you hand over any money, talk to people who already did".
Follow the Leader
Essentially a franchise system involves replicating the Franchisors proven business model. Independently owned but the same brand, same products, same services, same menus, same vehicles, same ingredients, same special offers, same system.
Franchise Agreements are usually quite specific regarding the business operations and whilst the Franchisee has rights and certain permissions to make decisions, the authority and power to make the majority of decisions rests with the leader. The Franchisor.
Franchising suits certain types of people. Once a Franchise is well established, the best Franchisees are often those who find benefit in following systems. Not creating them.
Those disgruntled Franchisees may have spooked Quinny however, in hindsight he reflects that there were more deciding factors. Quinny is a creator. An entrepreneur. An ideas man.
In deciding not to proceed, Quinny made the correct decision for both himself personally, and for the Franchisor as essentially Quinny identified that he wasn’t a good fit to be a Franchisee.
An entrepreneur at heart, Quinny knew he didn't fit the profile of an employee, or franchisee. His desire was “to be his own boss” but not under the guise of an existing brand or franchise model. He wanted a creative license. He wanted to call the shots. A business that was truly 100% his.
Sick of working for the man
Quinny eventually reached his tipping point. He explains “I just got the point where I was sick of working for others. I was ready to ride the rollercoaster." Rather than play it safe and get another job, Quinny took the leap into independence an launched his first business, Flick Coffee.
Quinny said “It would have been awesome to have more time to plan Flick. This coffee van came up for sale, the price was hard to refuse. I just pounced on it and backed that I would be able to make it work on the fly."
Quinny's Tip... "When one door closes abruptly, perhaps build the next door yourself".
A Shit-Tonne to do
For comparisons sake, if this were a mobile coffee Franchise, you'd expect to pay a fee upfront, perhaps $30 - $40k on top of the vehicle. Sounds expensive but it is really?
For your investment you’d receive an exclusive territory license and a start up package that would typically include the branding, marketing, advertising, training and operational system, vehicle design, fit out and perhaps even customers. It's usually all done for you. Quinny explains, “when flying solo, you save some dollars but everything is up to you and there is a Shit-Tonne to do.
Quinny's Tip... "When starting out yourself, anticipate that shit will go wrong. Also you need to be conscious of how long it takes to canvassing new locations for customers so you’re not treading on any toes. It all takes longer that you think".
Willingness to Adapt
If you want to start your own business, consider that you must be reasonably adaptable from the beginning. Quinny’s original intention was to get a council permit for this awesome fixed location he’d been eyeing off. This particular spot had plenty of street traffic, easy parking and no competition, however Quinny hit a road block.
Several weeks had gone by, the van was ready to go, but red tape was holding up the permit. Frustrated, he promptly changed his plan and decided to go ‘mobile’. A necessary adaptation that marked the beginning of Flick Coffee Mobile Bar and what Quinny describes as the "daily hustle". A hustle thats worked for him.
Quinny's tip... Be willing to adapt.
Quinny reflects on kicking off the business "It’s definitely not been easy….feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he laughs. Despite the challenges Quinny remains as positive and as enthusiastic as ever. He views the speed bumps as learning opportunities. He calls it “business conditioning.”
Quinny, hats off to you mate. Your positive attitude is infectious. You are a fine example for entrepreneurs thinking of taking the leap and creating their own start up. Sure it’s no walk in the park but if you have a positive attitude, you are open and willing to learn and, you are adaptable, there isn’t much that can stop you.
Get in touch
If you need some help or guidance in planning and implementing a new business or franchise feel free to get in touch. http://www.raddadconsulting.com/contact