04 August 2016

How I changed my lifestyle to what I've always wanted

Having worked in the bedding industry for over 20 years, David Penman, of Bedshed Kawana, is a seasoned veteran when it comes to understanding the challenges and commitment it takes to be successful.

While David now has the flexibility and the freedom to work, within reason, to the hours of his choosing, this did not come without careful planning. Before joining the franchise network, David owned nine different bedding stores across Queensland. Since joining Bedshed, he is now at the point where he can focus his attention on the one store, while still enjoying a healthy work/life balance.

David shares how he’s done it, to help others wanting to live the dream.

Make your effort count

Rather than continuing to spread myself thinly with operating nine stores, I wanted to invest my time into building a future, rather than just keeping up. This led me to the conclusion that I needed to own my own store and be in charge of my own destiny, but with the support that comes from being part of a successful franchise.

I turned to Bedshed, and never looked back. Bedshed takes great care of its franchisees. The company develops strategic marketing campaigns as well as ensuring the network is home to products of the highest quality. These are things I don’t need to worry about, leaving me to focus on the day to day running of my store. I’m now able to turn my attention to building strong relationships with my staff and getting to know to my customer base.

Get involved and make the most of what you’re offered

While things like marketing and stock selections are mostly taken care of, it’s not to say that you can’t have a say if you have a strong view. Bedshed welcomes and encourages franchisees to attend the annual buying trips, where important decisions around future stock purchases are made. From this, you can ensure you get the best stock for your store.

Another opportunity I capitalise on is joining the Franchise Advisory Committee. The group meets once a quarter to discuss upcoming campaigns and marketing schedules. This is a great way to immerse yourself in something new and contribute ideas to how you think things could be improved. Equally as important, it’s also a chance to network with other like-minded franchisees. You’re able to bounce thoughts off each other and share feedback on what does and doesn’t work well in your store!

Invest the time upfront and plan for success

Franchising offers a flexible lifestyle, but the first few years will require a substantial investment of time to make it a success. While I’m now at the stage where I don’t have to work weekends, and I can take a day off here and there to help out at my children’s school, this was something I planned to make happen. Keep top of mind the fact that you’re building yourself up for the future, and if you do so successfully you’ll be reaping the rewards later.

Taking the time to upskill your employees in the initial stages will mean you’re able to take a backseat later.  One reason I’m able to choose my hours and experience the flexible work/life balance I have is because I’ve learned to delegate tasks. Keeping an open and honest relationship with your retail manager is also a good way to help you keep on track, particularly in the early stages.