I am seriously considering a move into a coffee related career after working many years as a humble food and wine consultant (ie. a waiter)
I figured the most affordable way of owning my own business is to run a mobile coffee van business.
I have looked high and low to research into it. I have spoken to other owners, even have had a franchise sales manager to fly over and travel through a couple of industrial/commercial areas close by my suburb. He has given me a disclosure document and I have had a solicitor read through said docos and paid a fair amount for the priviledge. The franchisor said looking at the territory and looking at my background as a waiter and coffee maker as well as customer relations, I should have no problems and he is confident I would do well. He goes as far as I would not have to travel out of one of those industrial areas and business would be sufficient to achieve efficiency and less costs, and i would have to run a second van in the third business park once i have rights to the territory mapped out for me.
I have also looked into a few businesses that deal with independent ownership.
They provide various van packages complete with generators, fridges, machine, grinders etc with training.
They do not take royalties and do not charge a franchise fee one off and neither do they charge a weekly franchise fee.
As far as i see it, perhaps a franchise system does offer best chance of success, they would appoint a manager to build the business in the first few weeks until i can do everything on my own, plus they provide training on book keeping. When i'm on the road, they would provide assistance with any issues i might have. They may have weekend events booked by customers and i would be informed if i want to undertake the event as icing on the cake over the weekly run.
The thing is, it's not really my business. I am bound by their rules and territories, and the products i sell has to be by their guidelines for consistency. Also i would have to pay a weekly franchise fee as well as marketing fees which would add up over a year. I am also bound by their logo, and branding.
As for going independent, I can pick and choose my choice of van, colours and schemes.
Choice of coffee ( Can use my own roasted coffee, once i sort out the thermostat bypass on the KKTO), milk, cups and food/drinks items are mine as well, and i can choose which provider. to deal with.
No franchises and fees associated with that.
Cons would be the lack of book keeping skills on my part, and I'm on my own as far as building clientel base.
I would have to do a small business course as i don't have any idea of GST or BAS statements
Could have added this to the other topics in this thread, but i wanted to keep it mobile coffee van based.
I love my coffee, and i love being on the road and having a chat with customers, come rain or shine. So this perhaps could be the turning point for me. This is the perfect forum to ask for advice.
So, if there's anyone out there whether franchised or independent owners as well as experienced business operators can chime in and offer advice, please join in. What are your thoughts? That would be much appreciated.
Gary at G