Why Mobile? The Flexibility of Van-Based Businesses

Mobile businesses have been around for as long as we can remember, and food trucks and ice cream vans have been mainstays in this sector. Well, in 2010, Really Awesome Coffee decided that coffee shops should also be on wheels, without the restrictions and risks bricks-and-mortar cafés have to contend with!

For most people the idea of launching their own business is challenging and understandably so; with any new venture comes a level of uncertainty and risk. Once you have made the decision to take the route of franchising, the process of researching and selecting the right franchise model for you is crucial. The first questions that you need to ask yourself are ‘what are my objectives/goals’ and ‘how much do I need to invest’?

The first, and major, benefit of a mobile business is that it’s generally understood that most van-based businesses run from the franchisee’s home (at least initially), so the challenge of finding suitable office or retail space along with the overhead costs of a premises is eliminated. As a start-up company, avoiding these overheads is a huge advantage and reduces some of the risk.

Secondly, while a van itself may appear to be a significant investment, the franchise businesses operating in the mobile market are usually lower cost opportunities. However, this does not mean low earnings. We have seen our South Lanarkshire franchise partner achieve earnings within their first year of trade to enable them to add a second, and then a third coffee van.

With a mobile franchise business, your vehicle ultimately becomes your place of business. There is no requirement for expensive premises or the need to hire staff, helping to keep overheads low whilst creating excellent profit levels. A van franchise also gives you the flexibility of adapting your business to suit your lifestyle and vice versa. During the COVID-19 lockdown, most of our franchise partners adapted to offering home deliveries, again proving the flexibility of a van based business.

If you are someone with an outgoing personality, if you like meeting new people and travelling, then you should consider van based franchising. Not only does this provide you with a flexible business model, but with lower overheads you can often generate higher profits. If expansion is on your mind, then a van based business provides ample opportunity to achieve this, with it often being relatively simple to add a vehicle to your fleet.

So, in summary, a van-based business can often offer a more affordable avenue into self-employment, with the added benefits of flexibility and adaptability, alongside reduced risks compared to those associated with a fixed premises enterprise.

You can book onto one of our upcoming virtual Discovery Days to find out more about our exciting van based mobile franchise here.

 

 

3 Awesome ways to research Franchise businesses

The Internet

The internet is a great place to start. A quick Google search will present you with a number of options. We strongly recommend that you browse franchise directories as they will give you comprehensive details on your preferred franchise opportunity.

Directories like Franchise Direct offer a deeper understanding of franchisors. However, even though the internet is a good place to start, it should not be your only research platform.

Franchise Exhibitions

Franchise exhibitions are an interesting platform to find out about brands as they will be showcasing hundreds of franchise opportunities and offering candidates the chance to meet face-to-face with the franchisor. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events for this year were cancelled and a few of them moved online as virtual expos.

Since the beginning of lockdown in March this year, we have started hosting virtual Discovery Days. Our virtual presentation also includes the tour of our awesome van, but unfortunately visitors cannot try our delicious food and, of course, our really awesome coffee.

Bear in mind that at exhibitions you will be presented with lots of very positive information that will need further review. Exhibitions can be a great way to get an initial feeling for a brand, and it’s a great way to ask all the questions you might have about starting a franchise business, and find out if it’s suitable for you.

Local franchise owners

What better way to learn and understand a bit more about a business you are interested in than to speak with someone who is where you want to be?

Local franchise owners will give you unbiased information about the brand and what it’s like running your own business. They are also more than likely to share their own experiences before and after they started their own business. We have over 60 mobile coffee vans across the UK; if you feel you might want to ask a Really Awesome Coffee franchise partner any questions, let us know and we will put you in touch.

 

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

 

 

Really Awesome Coffee serves up in Farnborough

Since leaving the army in late 2019, I thought I would struggle to make a living doing something that I would enjoy. I had been in the military for most of my life and thoroughly enjoyed serving in the army, meeting and working with new people.

When the Really Awesome Coffee franchise opportunity presented itself to me, I knew that this was something I would enjoy doing, and I liked the idea of being my own boss. I called the Head Office in Coventry and I was given a next day appointment for a 1 to 1 meeting with the Managing Director. He was very professional, thorough, and the team made me feel at ease. Three weeks later, I was signing my franchise agreement.

Really Awesome Coffee has given me the freedom to run my own business and I get to learn new skills as well as meet and interact with different types of people.

With the support of the Franchise Development team, I have learnt how to run my business efficiently and effectively.

Anthony’s a valued member of our network and his Really Awesome Coffee van can be seen in and around Farnborough, Camberley, Southwood and York Town.

 

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

 

 

4 new Really Awesome Coffee Franchisees hit the ground running

Following the easing of lockdown we are delighted to welcome 4 new franchise partners to the Really Awesome Coffee network.

The last few months have been challenging for us as a business, as they have been for many other businesses. However, since lockdown restrictions have been eased we have been able to open up our training facility and are excited for our new partners embarking on their journeys, now running their own Really Awesome Coffee businesses.

Geoff, Really Awesome Coffee Basildon, joined us initially in March 2020, but launched his business in August.

After visiting us at the Olympia Franchise Exhibition in London, Geoff booked on to a Discovery Day to learn more about Really Awesome Coffee. At that point, he decided that it was time he became his own boss. He hit the ground running and with the help of his Franchise Development Manager, he is really maximising his profits already.

Andy, Really Awesome Coffee Renfrewshire, had always wanted to start his own business if the right business model came along. After having done some extensive research and coming to a Discovery Day, he found that Really Awesome Coffee was a perfect fit for the goals he intends to achieve.

Craig, Really Awesome Coffee Coleshill, has joined the network after being made redundant from his previous employment due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. As the saying goes “every cloud has a silver lining” – Craig jumped at the opportunity of running his own business and has since made a blistering start to barista life, hitting and exceeding all his initial targets.

After logging in to our first Virtual Discovery Day after the start of lockdown, Peter, Really Awesome Coffee Ballymoney, launches his new business this week in Northern Ireland.
“The whole process from initial enquiry to launching my business was very welcoming and professional. I was made to feel part of the family straight away” – Peter.

 

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

 

 

Celebrating a decade of Really Awesome Coffee

10 years ago today, the first Really Awesome Coffee van hit the road in Coventry delivering awesome coffee to then a handful of businesses.

Over the years we have rebranded and believe we have positioned ourselves to be a market leader in the coffee industry. We have been recognised in the top 100 UK franchisors by the British Franchise Association (BFA) for 3 consecutive years and in the top 30 for 2019.

Our journey to enable franchise partners to achieve maximum returns has evolved over time with the introduction of a customer loyalty app, our RAPoS (Really Awesome Point of Sale) till system, and most recently a home delivery website.

Now with over 60 mobile cafe vans, Really Awesome Coffee has grown to be the most exciting mobile coffee franchise in the UK.

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

 

Really Awesome Coffee speaks to BBC CWR

Live with Phil Upton

Our MD, Kevin Haswell, caught up with BBC CWR for an interview on how Really Awesome Coffee has navigated the challenges of starting a business coming out of the 2008-2009 recession, and now trading through COVID-19.

10 years ago this month the first Really Awesome Coffee mobile café van started trading, with Kevin running it from his home in Coventry for 18 months before the first franchised van was launched. Now with over 60 mobile coffee vans across the country, he shares some knowledge and advice in the interview below.

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

Weathering the storm

We have come out stronger

We are excited to be welcoming new franchise partners to our network amid a worldwide pandemic. Over the last few weeks, we have started training and launching new franchise partners starting their journey with Really Awesome Coffee.

We have adapted well in these very uncertain times and believe we have come out stronger on the other side, exploring new ways of trading to bring our product to our customers. We have received unwavering support from local communities across the nation and have built stronger relationships with our customers. Even now, as traditional coffee shops begin to reopen, we continue to experience a high demand for our coffee, cakes, smoothies and frappes.

Due to the resilience of our business model and high demand in our franchise opportunity, we now have only 4 franchise launch slots available to fill up for the year, a feat that seemed impossible a few months ago.

As more businesses are beginning to reopen, most of our existing franchise partners are now going back to their normal way of trading and doing what they love doing best – engaging with their customers and serving great coffees.

To find out more about our franchise opportunity, please book onto one of our virtual Discovery Days here.

Really Awesome Coffee returns to normal routine

Over the last few months, our franchise partners have had to adapt to a new way of trading. The introduction of home deliveries has seen franchisees trade outside of their normal routines.

As a business, we thrive on supporting all our franchise partners and in the last few weeks since lockdown has eased we have been able to do just that. Our Franchise Development Managers (FDMs) have been out to support our newest franchise partners get back to their normal rounds in Corby, Farnborough, Grantham, and Knowsley.

Upon reducing home deliveries in Corby in order to restart a regular service to business parks and industrial estates, one customer wrote “We will miss you Tessa….. thank you so much for all the fab coffees, cakes etc. over the last few weeks! My Weds will never be the same!” We know Tess will be doing her best to keep looking after her newfound customer base with some weekend visits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, an FDM support visit now includes prospecting for new business. Our Farnborough franchise partner has had quite a busy few weeks re-engaging returning customers in this way, with the support of his FDM. An excited Facebook follower said “Gorgeous coffee, look forward to Anthony coming to the office, providing excellent service, always cheerful and happy”

If you are interested in exploring more about our franchise opportunity then please call us on 0800 043 0271 or email enquiries@reallyawesomecoffee.co.uk

If you would prefer to book on to a free virtual franchise Discovery Day then please book: HERE

Corby enjoys Really Awesome Coffee

Name: Tessa Butler

Location: Corby

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to becoming a Really Awesome Franchisee?

I was a miserable Business Development Executive in Milton Keynes after being a secretary in London for nearly 18 years.

 

Why did you decide to run a business, why a franchise, why mobile coffee, and why Really Awesome Coffee specifically?

I had a coffee van visit my office in Milton Keynes which was the best part of my day. I thought his job was more fun than mine, but didn’t think any further about it for months. However, I started investigating online, then went to the National Franchise Show to have a look. I actually went with Really Awesome because the Discovery Day and training setup totally blew the competition out of the water – including my original coffee man!

 

Tell us a bit about your training at Head Office and your business launch.

Training was great! Very relaxed but totally informative and there is no question that hasn’t already been asked so I never felt like an idiot. Yes, I was nervous, but everyone put me at ease! Business launch happened three days before Coronavirus lockdown so probably a bit different from most people’s experiences!

How have you found the ongoing training and support?

Everything changed after lockdown, but there was always someone to help at Head Office, be it for general encouragement, practical advice or help with payment holidays or legislation advice. There was backup and support every step of the way.

 

How have you found things since the COVID-19 lockdown? Did you take any time off trading? How have you found your trading day differs? How have you found the advice and support from Head Office during this difficult period?

I took a week off and practised on my neighbours before heading out on limited local home deliveries. I now hold the Sidings Coffee Club every Saturday at 11 am. Reaction to home deliveries has been amazing. I hear adults and kids alike screaming when they see the van! The daily Costa was a massive part of life and now I get to be Father Christmas. People LOVE the van and the coffee. Head Office have done absolutely everything possible to help franchisees!

 

Do you think that your business will be stronger, weaker or no different in the long run following this crisis?

Well I’ll be stronger so that’s got to be a positive!

 

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to invest in their first franchise?

Everyone told me it was hard work. It really is. Nothing can prepare you for exactly what that means. My advice would be to have an understanding family/partner with a steady job who doesn’t mind there being boxes, coffee, cups, cakes, receipts, bits of milk bottles, napkins, and small squashed marshmallows in every room of the house.

If you are interested in exploring more then please call us on 0800 043 0271 or email enquiries@reallyawesomecoffee.co.uk

If you would prefer to book on to a free franchise Discovery Day then please book: HERE

Scunthorpe tastes Really Awesome Coffee

Name: Mark Reynolds

Location: Scunthorpe

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to becoming a Really Awesome Franchisee?

I worked in food retail for 12 years prior to starting my own business – 10 years at Sainsbury’s and then 2 years at Co-op as a store manager.

 

Why did you decide to run a business, why a franchise, why mobile coffee, and why Really Awesome Coffee specifically?

Initially I wasn’t planning on being part of a franchise. I was looking at a fixed premise as a coffee shop or restaurant; however, I knew the value of being mobile so moved to the idea of a food van independently. When I decided on getting a van from Really Awesome Coffee, I saw the big benefits a franchise has to offer especially after never being self employed before.

 

Tell us a bit about your training at Head Office and your business launch.

It was all done well. Training was thorough and tailored around my experience. The team at HQ are great and easy to get on with and learn from. My launch was great and I enjoyed the process. I wasn’t nervous prior – just unsure about what to expect – but the FDM’s provided brilliant support and planning prior to the 1st day.

 

How have you found the ongoing training and support?

The ongoing support is always there when needed and it allows you to never miss a beat when planning your strategies and then maximising potential from your daily round. Suggestions on changes that will improve performance of coffee stops and practical support with things like equipment and the van I found invaluable.

 

Please briefly describe your trading day before lockdown (a “normal” trading day!)

A normal trading day for me started at 6:30 am getting the van set up and at my first site for about 7:30. I visited 30-35 sites and would finish sites around 3 pm then spend a couple of hours once home cleaning down.

 

How have you found things since the COVID-19 lockdown? Did you take any time off trading? How have you found your trading day differs? How have you found the advice and support from Head Office during this difficult period?

I traded through the entirety of lockdown only taking off the day after lockdown was announced to confirm my eligibility to legally trade. I consider myself fortunate that even though I dropped to 17 sites – from 30 –  at first, I maintained the same turnover. I found the average spend increased and combining this with pre-prepared home delivery drop offs it worked really well. I found just rolling with the punches and not stressing was key and, even though the route now looks completely different, my business hasn’t financially suffered. In fact, it’s grown slightly. Support from Head Office, especially Kevin, in the early stages was commendable and you couldn’t ask for more, especially with things like daily blog and vlog updates covering everything from trading options to financial support that was out there. For everyone, no stone was left unturned when it came to supporting the network in my opinion. The rest of the team were great; firstly working from home then as time went on working back at HQ in small numbers, the operation never seemed to falter despite the pressures. I couldn’t have asked for more in way of support. Superstars!

 

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The only major challenge at first was logistics of active site locations combined with home drop off locations, but this was easily planned once you got into the new norm of daily routine.

 

Do you think that your business will be stronger, weaker or no different in the long run following this crisis?

Stronger due to the maintaining of existing sites, and staying in communication with those that have closed through lockdown combined with new sites already gained and potentially gained when home delivery customers return to workplaces and ask to attend there as well.

 

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to invest in their first franchise?

Don’t expect it to be a cake walk. I made the best decision for me and have never looked back and take pride in my business, but it can be hard graft at times, especially getting it up and running in the early days, so don’t get disheartened, always edge on the side of caution financially, and prioritise the business need over personal gain. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

If you are interested in exploring more then please call us on 0800 043 0271 or email enquiries@reallyawesomecoffee.co.uk

If you would prefer to book on to a free franchise Discovery Day then please book: HERE