In this new segment, we ask Nicola Mills, founder and Managing Director of Pacific Retail Management for her insights into life as a franchisor and businesswoman.
Nicola Mills is the Group Managing Director of Pacific Retail Management.
Nicola has a Master of Business Administration and over 15 years’ experience in management and marketing, winning a number of national marketing awards and two international franchising awards.
Nicola was listed in the 2010 and 2011 Smart Company Top Female Entrepreneurs and the 2010 & 2012 BRW Fast Franchise List. Nicola has grown the business from her first store in 2007 to a network of over 36 Go Sushi and Wasabi Warriors outlets.
BPG: Nicola, what does Pacific Retail do?
NM: We aim to make customers happy through excellent sushi products and service, through our two key retail brands – Go Sushi and Wasabi Warriors. We are also expanding into wholesaling with our newly launched Sushi Tribe wholesaling brand.
BPG: When was Pacific Retail established?
BPG: How does it derive its revenue?
NM: Income comes from two key areas – upfront franchise fees paid for the use of the intellectual property, systems and know-how of the sushi brand systems when starting a business, and ongoing royalties paid by franchisees of the group who contribute a % of their turnover to the National Support Office, and the National Marketing Fund to develop, drive and implement national promotional and advertising campaigns.
BPG: What is the key to success for a franchisor?
NM: Everything starts with the customer. We are constantly looking at ways to delight our customers, so they keep coming back to our stores, and keep buying our products..
BPG: What is the main challenge the business needed to meet to get this far?
NM: Cash-flow is the ultimate challenge. Driving sales, building strong marketing campaigns and effective support needs people, time and cash resources.
BPG: What are the biggest challenges that lie ahead?
NM: Sushi is very popular, and demand is growing every year. But with increased demand comes an increasing number of competitors, so we need to be continually evolving, and developing our relationship with our customers to stay ahead and stay relevant.
BPG: What would make the biggest difference to Pacific Retail right now?
NM: An acquisition of key competitors would provide greater economies of scale, a broader supply network, higher brand recognition and one less competitor!
BPG: Where are we taking the business?
NM: Our current target is to have 55 profitable stores by the end of 2014, and 100 by the end of 2015.
BPG: If you could have your time over, what one decision would you like to go back and change?
NM: Signing contracts with honeymoon goggles on, instead of divorce goggles on. In other words, before you sign any contract, think about the end of the contract, and if you had to end the business relationship that day does the contract that you are about to sign help or hinder you to do that. If there are clauses that are too harsh or could seriously jeopardise your business or your personal assets, re-write the contract, or just simply do not enter into that business relationship!
For more about Pacific Retail Management visit www.pacificretail.com.au