From customer to business owner – Corinne Mason
Having come across Really Awesome Coffee in June last year, in the midst of a nationwide lockdown, a throwaway comment from Corinne Mason about always wanting to have a coffee van soon turned into a virtual Discovery Day meeting that progressed to video calls, multiple emails, and an eventual decision to take the plunge and become a Really Awesome Coffee franchise partner. Here is her experience, in her own words:
The initial virtual Discovery Day was very in-depth and I found it almost a little overwhelming in terms of figures ( I just wanted to serve a decent coffee and brighten people’s days!), but for my finance headed husband it said all he needed to hear. The wait for the van and launching of the franchise seemed never ending and I just wanted to get on with it once I’d made the decision, but once the van was here it was all stations go.
The training both online and in person was all really good. Very relaxed, done at my own pace and I was never made to feel stupid when my technical head didn’t understand what I needed to do! It proved that even at my age I could do something awesome with the right support. Since launching the support has been really good, and I know there is always advice available from my Franchise Development Manager (FDM) and other franchisees if I need it.
The head office team is very helpful and I know I can contact them anytime. Laura, my FDM, has been a great supporter and encourager, and our days singing in the van during training were good fun! I was quite anxious about starting the business and whether I would cope, but the support and encouragement has really helped me believe in myself and has given me confidence to go for it, knowing the help is there if I need it. And top marks to Head Office for dealing with last minute order requests when I suddenly realise I’ve run out of stock – one bonus to living so close to Head Office!
When I consider that I’ve only been trading for 3 months I am amazed at where I am at. I know I’ve been fortunate in having a very good round very early on, and this isn’t always the case, but I really do have some wonderful customers and some great support. I am certain lockdown has helped with this as so many people are desperate for a good coffee and to see a friendly face to ease the monotony.
Home delivery has been a great success for me too, and has enabled my business to grow rapidly. Whilst the initial novelty has worn off, and the freezing temperatures have dulled my enthusiasm a little, I still love getting out to see my customers each day and always feel so much better once I’m out and about serving. I have fabulous customers who brighten my day as I hope I do theirs too.
One of the highlights so far has definitely been unknowingly delivering to a Daily Telegraph journalist and food blogger who was so inspired by her Toffee Nut Latte she felt the urge to write an article for the Telegraph about the rise of the coffee delivery industry and particularly Really Awesome Coffee during lockdown. She has remained a regular weekly home delivery customer and has really helped boost my business with her weekly Instagram posts after my visits. So – you never know who you may be serving – put on a smile and make every drink your best one yet!
It’s been really nice to be contacted by a few folk considering starting a franchise recently, and I hope to see some of them coming onboard soon, assuming I’ve not put them off.
My advice to anyone considering it would be to do just that – chat to a current franchisee. I came onboard as a result of meeting Steve Silver who delivered to my home during lockdown, and it was Steve’s enthusiasm and honest answers that helped me make my final decision, and he is still a good source of advice and support.
Once you are trading, I’d also say be generous – going above and beyond expectation will make all the difference and really make you stand out from the other options available in the area. Do the upgrades, give the free biscuits, forget the 10p they don’t have, give away a free drink when somebody needs it – those are the things that people remember and talk about and that help to build your reputation and goodwill.
Be the ‘extra’ in somebody’s day – it brightens their day and I bet you’ll feel good for making a difference too. I always do.
If you want to find out more about franchising with Really Awesome Coffee and enquire about our exciting franchise opportunity, call us on 0800 043 0271, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book onto one of our upcoming virtual Discovery Days here.