Tagged ‘Commercial Design‘

Elizabeth Gillam on Food Franchising

A couple of weeks ago I sat down over a cup of tea and asked Elizabeth Gillam from Franchisee Success to share some of the insights she has gathered from ten years in Food Franchising. Liz bought her first Boost Franchise in 2004 and has gone on to open a Health Habits Franchise and Bucking Bull Carvery. I asked her to share some of her experiences starting out in Franchising and the keys that a business must have in place before they are ready to franchise and open new stores.

The Brand Story

Your need to communicate the value franchisees are getting upfront. Before you franchise a concept, you have to not only have a business model that shows profit but also you have to have a brand story. That is what people are paying for, you can’t just sell a dream.

“When I start working with business who are wanting to franchise, I ask, so what is your franchise model going to be?  We go through what their goals and aspirations are, what they feel they have to franchise and what their point of difference will be. Why is somebody going to buy a franchise over setting up a business on their own? They must be able to define what they will bring to the franchisee.”

The stores need to look similar and communicate the same story to the customer. When you are selling a franchise, you are selling not only your operations manuals but also the story behind your customer experience and brand.

Business Systems and a Leadership Team

To expand your business and open more stores you first need to free your time from the business. This takes an initial investment of time to record and systematise your business systems and test these systems with your leadership team. If you don’t have a leadership team in place your stores are not autonomous.

“You have to know your business inside out and upside down, what works, what doesn’t. You will need to systematise what you do and what makes you successful and then test that. The only way to do that is to put a leadership team in place that is running under those systems.”

In franchising, you are asking for a premium because your business is systematised. What is the system your franchisees will be buying?

The Pilot Store

In Franchising, you are selling a product, that product is your brand, store design and business systems. Setting up a company-owned pilot store will allow you to prove your business model and store design. You must come to the Franchisee knowing exactly what your product is. By the time you are opening stores for Franchisees, your time of trialling is gone.

“Your pilot store must be running at around 20% profit because by the time you franchise and lay out for marketing there must still be enough profit in each store that someone sees the value of investing in them.”

Elizabeth shares more insights into food franchising and tips for franchisees to increase profitability in her book  “Upsize Your Profit”. 

Juzcit Pressed Juice Freshens Up The Logan Hyperdome

There is a growing trend for shopping centres to create a market feel in and around food tenancies. Fresh fruit and vegetables on display, open fronted tenancies and an informal layout create a feel that is more in keeping with an open air market than a traditional shopping centre. Logan Hyperdome is the latest centre to follow the trend with the opening of the The Market Room at the beginning of July.

Juzcit 2 The Market Room is a breath of fresh air for the Hyperdome and creates an exciting new food experience for shoppers. Many of the kiosks are not yet fully  open however it is already apparent that the area has not only answered the growing demands for food retail but has also given the consumers a unique fresh food experience.

Juzcit opened their doors at the entry to the Market Room and have had fantastic feedback from customers and management. Offering fresh pressed juice and delicious spiced cold drip coffee Juzcit is the health alternative for a quick energy boost.

Juzcit is a cold pressed juice company with a goal to change the world, staring in our own backyard. Through their Juice Kiosk and home delivered fresh bottled juices they make it convenient and easy to live health and nourish ourselves with the highest quality foods.

Juzcit 1

The brief for the Juzcit kiosk was creating an open relaxed relationship with the customer. Rather than serve across a counter the layout is open to allow the staff to interact with and help the customers. Michelle the founder of Juzcit also wanted the materials of the kiosk to represent the brand; raw, natural and authentic. The design team from renew Design worked with Michelle to detail a simple design using plywood, stone and ceramic tiles.

Branding experts and graphic designers Brave Creative collaborated with us to provide their expertise and develop the brand strategy and logo and signage. The printed plywood panels that surround the kiosk share the Juzcit story and values with customers.

Creating a remarkable business takes a team of people. Juzcit is a great example of staring with a simple idea for a great product and the power of collaboration.

Project Team

Client : Michelle Caterson

Retail Designer : Renew Design

Graphic Designer : Brave Creative

Shopfitter : Rowe Shopfitters



The First Step to Business Expansion

They say that in order to reach your destination, you have to begin your journey by taking the first step. This applies to business expansion as well. Yes, you have a successful business, but are you ready to open another one?

One of the reasons why business owners are hesitant to venture into business expansion is the lack of knowledge on how to replicate success in a different environment. Copying the exact set up of the business is usually not enough. There are other factors to consider like the location, demographics, business operations, functionality and cost.

A Trusted Advisor 

Taking the leap from running one successful business to expanding and opening more stores is a big one. To open your first store you had to learn new skills. You worked out how to manage a fit out, hire staff, find suppliers and manage the day to day operations of your store. Often as a first time business owner, you had to learn how to juggle everything and manage decisions even when you were out of your depth because you were the only one to do it. Many business owners approach business expansion in the same way. Suddenly you are out of your depth again and juggling running your existing business with finding new sites and managing the design and fit out of your new store.

Lack of time and knowledge can be a big barrier for many business owners. The reason many successful business stay small is that expansion isn’t easy and takes the work of a whole team of people. So what is the solution? Working with an experienced retail designer can take away much of the stress of opening new stores and leave you feeling in control of the process. Always ask your designer upfront if they will assist you with design management, this means managing all of your approvals, consultants and timeframes to make sure your new store opens on time. Your designer can work alongside you, and guide you through the design and fit out of your store.

Working with the right people will make your new store fit  an exciting experience.

Replicate Your Store, Replicate Your Success

Replicating the Look and Feel of Your Current Store Across a Variety of Sites 

You have gone through the early days of working long days, nights, and weekends to get your business off the ground.  You have taken on staff,  grown a following of customers and made your business a success. For some business owners, this is enough, but ambitious business owners see the first successful business as a start. For them, this is only the beginning.

Now that you have the skills, product, and team – you are ready to open new stores and expand, right? From the business owners I have worked with going through this transition, it is evident that one successful store doesn’t always mean you are ready to open two, three, or a dozen more. The first thing you need to consider is how well your business is running without you? If running one store is your full time job, how will you handle running more than one?

To expand your business, you must separate your time from your business by documenting what you do in such a way that someone else can learn to do what you do.  A franchise consultant or a business coach can help you with this. It will mean an initial investment of your time, but will serve as the foundation for your business. After all, opening a new store is opening a new business, and your systems are your recipe book for success.

Consistency is the Key

In business expansion, consistency is the key to successfully replicating the look and feel of your current store across a variety of sites. Consistency creates brand recognition for your customers. Remember, your aim here is to allow your customers to recognize your newly opened store, and to create familiarity. How can your customers recognize your brand, that when you open up a new store, they will automatically know that it is a replica of an existing one?

You don’t necessarily have to copy the exact same store to ensure that it is recognizable. What works for one site does not guarantee that it will be the same for the other. Look at McDonald’s. It has millions of branches all over the world. The store layout are different in every location and yet, people know that it is McDonald’s. They are consistent with their logo and their colour scheme. The store layout varies but the system to order is the same.
The point is not just to copy what is already there, it is adapting to the new sites without sacrificing brand recognition and business functionality.


Communicating Your Point Of Difference

There’s a saying that goes this way, “Before you can know what you are, you must know what you are not.”

For instance, a café must know that they are not a fine dining restaurant. That being said, it is imperative that you, as a business owner, can communicate your point of difference to your customers.

What’s Your Story? 

What is special about you? What can you offer that others cannot? What do you believe in? What are you passionate about?

Let’s say that you are an art enthusiast and so are your ideal customers. You don’t have to curate a multi-million dollar art collection on the walls of your restaurant to communicate to your customers that you love art. You’re opening up a café, not a museum! So, how do you show your artistic side?

Be creative and don’t be afraid to share your story. I find the things that excite me and that I love are somehow linked to experiences I have had or people that mean something to me. I love daffodils because they remind me of frolicking through Hyde Park in London Springtime when I was 21. Seeing the bright sunshiny yellow in a cushion or a painting brings back those memories.

Define Your Point of Difference. 

I consulted with a restaurant owner who was passionate about quality health food. He made all of their bread on site and could talk for hours about the benefits of bread made without preservatives and chemicals. Yet looking around his business I couldn’t see the evidence of his passions anywhere. His fit out was beautiful but it lacked the passion and substance that I had found talking with the owner.

Share your experiences with your customers, let them get to know what you are passionate about and involve them in the story of your business. Be personal. Reach out to your customers by incorporating your beliefs and passions into your business. Pull them into your world and let them experience why you do what you do.



How to Control Cost and Open a New Food Business

Cost is one of the major concerns business owners face in the process of expanding their businesses. Knowing how to control cost when opening a new food business or expanding an existing one puts you in control and avoids the stress of unforseen budget blowouts.

The fit out cost for a hospitality business usually comes down to three parts namely: equipment and services; approvals and consultation fees and shop fitting.

Services and Equipment

The hidden cost that many business owners do not see when selecting a site are the services. The services usually required for a Food Business at minimum are a grease trap, mechanical ventilation, electricity and gas and refrigeration. Understanding the services that are required for your type of business and getting expert advice on the services that are already available on the site you are considering can save tens of thousands of dollars from your cost.

Before you start a fit out put together a list of all the equipment you will need to operate your business. Look at your menu and the functions you will need in your kitchen area and counter and work with a good equipment supplier to provide details and costing of your equipment.

Knowing the total cost of the equipment and your financing options will help you manage your cash flow as usually equipment is one of the largest expenses in a hospitality fit out.

Design and Approvals

Having a realistic fit out budget and working with a designer who can work with your builder to manage cost is the second key to keeping your store fit out on budget. The types of finishes and furniture selected as well as the layout of the store can have a large impact on your final build cost. Your budget will need to allow not only for the cost of the construction and equipment but also any consultants you will need to work with and required approvals.

Fit out

To put together a price your builder will need accurate and detailed drawings of your store design. Usually pricing is only given once the design is complete. However, not having an upfront indication of what the fit out will cost often leads to budget blowouts, problems with financing, and delays in the construction and more. The solution to this problem is involving your builder in the design process so that he can offer feedback on the design and construction cost and anticipate and budget problems as your store design develops.

An understanding of the costs associated with your new store fit out will allow you to be prepared with sufficient financing and build to budget.


Managing A Food Business Fit Out

Are you one of the many business owners who want to grow your business and open new stores but you are not really sure where or how to start? Working closely with over a hundred food business owners in various stages of growth has helped me learn and understand the process of replicating the success of an existing profitable hospitality business. This is no formula for success but there are certainly and certainly tricks and tips that may help you along the way to growing your business.

The three common problems which hold business back from opening new stores are: lack of time, knowledge and capital. In this article, I will go through some of the knowledge on selecting sites that I have found to be missing in business that are struggling to take the leap moving from one store to many.

Business expansion doesn’t happen in a snap of a finger. The process of systemising your existing business ready for expansion, research into locations demographics and available sites and finally taking the leap to opening a new store may take months or even years. Much of this time is in research and planning. However, planning alone will not get you where you want to be, you have to put your plans into action if you want to make that dream of opening up a new store come true.

Site Selection

This is one of the most crucial stages in the process of expanding your business. It is at this point that you need to decide where you want to open up that new place. Some things that you might want to think about should include the following: target market, foot traffic, lease incentives and rent, and the services you will need.

Location is an important factor in the success of a business. Knowing and understanding the desires of your existing customers will help you to choose a location that appeals to the same demographic. It may be helpful to profile your existing customers. Where do they live? What areas do they work in? What is it that makes them visit your store? Thoroughly understanding your customer and the need your business fills for them will give you clarity in your choice of areas in which you can fill the same need.

It is also important to consider how easy it is for your customers to come to your store. Is the location accessible enough? Does it have enough parking space to accommodate your customers? Is it on the busy side of the road? How much pedestrian traffic is there? Minimising the effort that your customer has to make to visit you seems like a small issue but can have a big impact on your new business particularly in the early days. If you can locate yourself so that you are already surrounded by potential customers you will have higher visibility and a greater likelihood of attracting customers who are regular passers-by.

Once you have narrowed down a location you can start looking at individual tenancies.

Other things that you need to think about are the terms of the lease agreement. Is it fair? Is it beneficial to you? Getting someone to review this with is a smart move that you may want to make before closing the deal with the lessor.

You will also need to go over the property that you will be leasing. Does it need plumbing? How is the ventilation? Check also the pipes and lines, as well as the emergency exit. It should be at this point that you will know what needs to be fixed and repaired. If you’re not sure, you can always find someone to help you.

 Design and Approval

This is the part where you are required to work with a retail design manager to get a design assessment; and coordinate with the council to get a food license approval.

At this stage, you will be focusing more on how you want your store to look like and how it operates. Visualize your new store. How do you want it to be? What colour scheme do you prefer? What design or theme do you want to use? A commercial designer can guide you with this, and can also help you utilise the space for maximised profit.

Fit Out

It is during the fit out process that the builders get involved. To ensure that the fit out process is right on track, there should be proper coordination and open communication between the business owner, the builders, and the design team.

Working with a design firm will be an advantage because they can provide all the assistance you need starting from the selection of a site up to the opening of your new store.

If you want to get started, you can call our designer, Alisa, at 0415 199 466 for creative advice and more.


How Remarkable Design Can Help Your Business Grow

Business owners who are looking into expanding their hospitality business should start thinking more of the benefits a remarkable design could provide them. Artistry, as shown in the unique interiors and beautifully painted walls of multiple retail stores and franchises has become one of the growing trends today. Clearly, design correlates to the success of the hospitality business.

Dynamic Team Play

Business expansion entails a lot of hard work and collective efforts from a team of individuals with a unique set of skills and expertise. You will need the help of a financial analyst to manage your finances; a lawyer for the legal framework and franchise documents; an interior designer for the aesthetics and documentation of the concept design; and builders for the actual construction and fit out process.

The Power of Aesthetics

We cannot deny the fact that beauty has a way of attracting people. This also applies to newly opened branches of your hospitality business or retail and franchise stores. The more your store exudes beauty and uniqueness, the more people will be attracted to it. This basically means more income for you.

What I’m trying to say is, if you create a store that is attractive to the naked eye, chances are, you will attract more prospective customers to visit your place, and actually try the products and services you offer.

Work with an Interior Designer

Working with an experienced interior designer is beneficial to your growing business. Delegating the task of embellishing your otherwise plain-looking store to someone who actually has an eye for details and design is a smart move.

You can contact our designer, Alisa Newey at 0415 199 466 not only for creative advice, but for other things as well, such as the documentation of the entire process of replicating your success through the opening of new branches of your retails stores and franchises. She can also introduce you to the people who can help you in the expansion of your fast-growing business.

Visualise Your Ideas and Make Them Happen

More often than not, business owners who want to expand their business already have an idea of how they want the new stores to be like, or how they want these stores to operate. They may not necessarily rebrand and adapt a new concept but they do have visual images of how they want their retail stores to be recreated.

It is the job of the interior designer to put this image into reality, and that is why it is important to work with one who will not only put your idea on paper, but will actually help you make your dream store a reality.

Interior design may be an important tool in attracting new customers but this should not jeopardise the efficiency of the store or the establishment. It is still very important to properly utilise the space to maximise your target profit, and this is where the interior designer’s expertise come in really handy.

New Trends in Office Design

Office trends come and go. What may be popular today may no longer be the trend tomorrow.  In office design, it’s important to not only make the office look pleasing but to ensure that the office space is fully utilised as well.

Many office designs today lean towards space-saving as a primary goal. Working with an experienced interior designer can help you make your office look beautiful and at the same time be conducive to work. If this is something that you think would be beneficial to you, please feel free to give our designer, Alisa, a call on 0415199466 for further assistance. She can help you redesign and reinvent your office to give it a fresh new look to maximise productivity and workflow.

Multi-function Work Stations

Many offices today prefer low-panelled cubicles for easier interaction rather than the traditional solitary, walled-in work stations. True that the latter offers more privacy but for jobs that require frequent interaction, the former is more suitable and has become a popular pick for most office designs today. This is especially true for projects that need plenty of collaborations. Need some alone time to finish a report? You can always throw in an extra work lounge or two and a quiet room to make the work place well-utilised and suitable for work.

Clean and Green

Ever noticed that work seems to be a lot easier if you are in a good mood? Keeping the office space clutter-free gives it a more positive vibe. Adding some live plants will give it an earthly feel, and more often than not, this results to increased energy which in turn makes work easier.

Wide Open Spaces

This type of office design is perfect for jobs that require a lot of brainstorming and interaction. Using a sturdy table and a lot of chairs to accommodate a number of people is the main goal here. Installing whiteboards give employees the opportunity to visualise their brilliant ideas. An open work space helps build dynamic team plays and promotes a sense of camaraderie because the opportunity to interact with others is always present.

Bold Colours Scream Confidence

Gone are the days of the boring white walls. Fashion and design-related jobs tend to create an environment that can trigger all the senses to work sharper than ever. Putting together art pieces and bold colours can inspire the workers to unleash their creative side and spur-of-the-moment ideas. There’s no room for boredom for this kind of office space design.

Revamping your office to give it a new look is a good idea if you want to re-define who you are and what your company is all about. Who knows? This could actually bring you more prospects. Not sure where to start? Call our designer, Alisa on 0415199466 for some creative advice.