Kenneth Ting clearly has a good head on his shoulders. He’s over three years into his journey as the owner of Jamaica Blue in Waterford, Western Australia, and around six months into a similar journey at Midland Gate – and his work ethic is second-to-none.
Having previously worked in a franchise café, Ken had an understanding of the franchise model. He had heard positive feedback about Jamaica Blue, and through ongoing contact with the Jamaica Blue Development Team, he was kept in the loop with any ownership opportunities that arose. When the store, just a ten-minute drive from Ken’s home became available, he knew it was the perfect chance to get much more involved.
Of course, there were plenty of stages involved in the process, and nothing happened overnight. As Ken says, due diligence is very important before starting a business, and so he researched the brand extensively before taking the plunge. He also considered the local area, and decided that the fact it was close to Curtin University could work in his favour. In addition, Ken decided to talk to different business owners about the franchise, to gain an objective perspective. He did this by utilising his network of peers who own their own small businesses, leaning on them for support both professionally and personally.
Through his efforts, he gained a deeper insight into Jamaica Blue’s current strategies and also the future direction. Being a younger business owner, he concluded that owning a franchise was the best option for him, as opposed to creating an entirely new business. This is because owning a franchise comes with with plenty of opportunities to increase your knowledge, thanks to the wealth of experience that comes from a brand that has been operating for more than 25 years, as well as the team of professionals who are there to assist and support in key business areas.
Ken saw a lot of the values that he believes in reflected in the brand. He says that the team are passionate, and treat the stakeholders in the business fairly, and he also sees how Jamaica Blue shows commitment to innovating and reinvigorating the brand to maintain its edge in a very competitive retail environment. All of these factors were crucial considerations for Ken as they highlighted to him the potential for growth.
Having spent some time as a business owner now, there have been several learning curves along the way, and Ken is happy to share his insight. “Having passion and dedication in whatever you’ve committed yourself to is important for success. Being genuine and taking pride in the café is also important and shows customers that you truly care, which is rewarded with customer loyalty”.
Ken takes his own advice, and it shows. After seeing potential for the Midland Gate location to follow on from his success at Waterford, he seized the opportunity to invest in a second Jamaica Blue business, as it offers a busy café setting, located in the heart of a shopping centre.
Perhaps the best lesson Ken can help prospective franchisees to learn is that you reap what you sow. Researching, saving and investing are just the first steps – the hardest part is yet to come! The more passionate you are about your business, the more likely you are to be rewarded with a favourable outcome. Take every opportunity to keep learning to improve yourself – especially the failures, as they help shape your success.
If you’re ready to demonstrate your dedication and do something different with your life, there are currently a number of Jamaica Blue opportunities available across Australia. Enquire today!