Time flies when you’re having fun and that’s exactly how Ray feels when he’s in his 3@1 shop
Name: Ray Steensma
Location: Clearwater Mall
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
When I was about to retire I needed to find something interesting and secure in order to create a steady income. I believe that franchise is the only way to go – but which one to choose? I considered reputation, appearance of the individual outlets, franchisor image and presentation.
What training and support do you receive?
Training and any problems (not that there have been many) have been handled well by the 3@1 Franchise team and the Franchisors are only a phone call away.
What challenges have you faced?
Our risks are minimised by the wide range of services we offer and our clientele is not limited to any particular category. We deal with small and large companies, sole proprietors, architects, attorneys, schools, individuals of all ages – there is no limit. There are always some clients that you find challenging but that in itself is enjoyable.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Yes, time flies when you’re having fun and that’s exactly how I feel when I’m in the shop – if you don’t enjoy it then you’re wasting your time. We enjoy our clients and so many have become friends over the 9 years that we have been in business.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Of course you have to feel that it’s something you can be passionate about and within your known capabilities. You have to be honest and ruthless with yourself. No good going into the restaurant business if you have no passion for food or cooking. I met Chris Dunn at one of the existing outlets and immediately felt comfortable with him as Franchisor. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is always happy to share this with franchisees. Even if you join a franchise, running your own business is not easy. You become the Jack of all Trades, dealing with all issues that arise. Only big companies enjoy the benefits of various departments such as Human Resources, Accounting, IT and so on. In a start-up business you are all these and more but you learn very quickly. Don’t think that because you’ve invested a lot of money you can sit back and relax – you have to be fully committed to making your business a success. Nobody else is going to do this for you.
Would you do it again?
The past 9 years have been great – and I’m sorry that I didn’t get involved in 3@1 Business Centre 30 years ago. But I look forward to many more years of being part of this great and expanding group.