Jason Simmons – Really Awesome Coffee Tamworth
After being made redundant from a coffee vending company, Jason decided to take the plunge and start his own Really Awesome Coffee business. He launched his business in October. We caught up with him recently to find out how he found the process and how he’s finding running his new business.
How did you find the onboarding process with Really Awesome Coffee?
Some years back at a local street food market event, I was amazed after seeing a Really Awesome Coffee mobile vehicle, and impressed at how good the coffee tasted, and thought one day I would love the opportunity to be able to own one of these myself.
Some years later in a crazy 2020 where the whole world was turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I like many thousands of others found myself being furloughed from work and then being made redundant.
Looking at my social media sites, I had seen Really Awesome Coffee and took the opportunity to make contact with Kevin Haswell to see exactly what Really Awesome Coffee was and is all about. We signed up to one of the virtual Discovery Days being held online due to the lockdown.
During the virtual Discovery Day, Kevin spoke about the franchise and how the process all works. Learning to run a business is very daunting and complex. I had lots of questions for Kevin and he has the patience of a saint. The initial support that I have received from the team along with the direct contact with Kevin has made each step of the process so much easier and less stressful.
Starting a business at any time has its own challenges. This year with the Covid-19 pandemic, where more and more people are working from home or even in a local lockdown, has changed the way we move forward as a business. We have a socially distanced serving table, hand sanitising stations, and have developed social distancing habits to ensure that my customers are safe whilst at the van.
My time running my own Really Awesome Coffee to date has been brilliant. There is so much satisfaction when a customer comes out to see you on a demo day and sees what Really Awesome Coffee has to offer everyone, and how we accommodate for customers requirements such as providing soy milk, gluten free products and skimmed milk for those health conscious people who enjoy a lavish drink. I am getting feedback like “your coffee tastes lovely”, “wow what a selection of food you have!” or “the van looks amazing” and this makes me feel really proud.
The van is fantastic to work from and customers respond when they see the van and realise what we, as a brand, have to offer. We definitely stand out from other competitors.
How have you found the ongoing training and support?
Knowing that I can get any support from my Franchise Development Manager, Laura Tonks, on a daily basis is a massive help. Laura came out to work with me in my first two weeks to help set up some demos with my new customers and made me settle into my new role and, if any problems arise, her support is a phone call away. As well as Laura, I know that any questions about ordering from suppliers and using our unique RAPoS system can be answered by Greg, the Operations Manager. Both have been invaluable with their knowledge and assistance. It takes away all the stress and complexity from running your own business.
You are your own boss after all and, yes, some issues land right at your feet, but with the guidance and ongoing support from head office you never feel you are alone to deal with any issues.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to invest in their first franchise?
This opportunity for me was the best decision I have ever made. So, my advice to anyone looking to join Really Awesome Coffee would be to book onto a virtual Discovery Day. It’s so informative, so have a pen and pad ready and write down any questions that you may want to ask. Kevin is so helpful and talks you through step by step of the process and even gives you a virtual tour of the van.
Starting a business can be very daunting and complex. The support and assistance that you receive means you’re not all alone to run the business, but with your hard work and self-discipline along with lots of enthusiasm then there is no reason you will not be successful.
The whole Really Awesome Coffee Franchise model is impressive, the way it’s conducted in a relaxed manner and how you never feel under any undue pressure.
You can book onto one of our upcoming virtual Discovery Days to find out more about our exciting van based mobile franchise here.