SITB Franchisees: Alan & Andrew Sharpe in Glasgow and Ayrshire
"I had looked at several businesses and franchises. SITB met all of the criteria that I set myself.
I was impressed with my initial contact and that has continued through acquisition and operation"
Father & Son team in the Glasgow and Ayrshire area
Andrew joined Snack in the Box in August 2016. Initially he serviced the Ayrshire and South Glasgow area. He had a large customer base of Vending Machines, supplemented with a small customer base of Vending Boxes. He has recently taken the decision to buy a neighbouring Snack in the Box territory and bring his son, Alan, in to the business. They now operate the business with two vans and have over 180 customers! Snack in the Box asked him why he looked at us in the first place. As well as this, we looked into what his personal objectives were, why he decided to expand and what are his future plans are. We also asked about the challenges in running a Snack in the Box Franchise with 2 vans and a large customers base.
“What made you first look at SITB and choose their Franchise?”
I had looked at several businesses and franchises. SITB met all of the criteria that I set myself.
I was impressed with my initial contact and that has continued through acquisition and operation
“What were your key personal objectives when buying the franchise?”
My 3 incentives were:
· I wanted a business that I could operate without staff
· That utilised market leading products and equipment
· Was a ready-made business providing income from day 1
· Flexibility in working hours
“Tell us what the circumstances were for your reasons to expand?”
The main, if not only, reason that we looked at expansion and taking on another area was that Alan, my son, had been working part time with me.
We discussed the possibility of him working full time but we would have needed to expand our business through new sites. But, when the opportunity arose to buy our neighbouring area that enabled him to join full time.
“What now are your mid-term and long-term goals for the business?”
Short and mid-term is to merge both areas and ensure that we are both gaining experience of maintaining equipment. As well as this we want to make sure we are delivering the best customer service possible.
Long term we would like to grow our customer base. We may employ someone on a part time basis who would also be able to cover holidays etc.
“What is it like now being in partnership with a Family Member?”
I have been fortunate to work with family members for most of my career. I have worked with my Father, Brother, Wife and Stepmother and now my Son!
In my experience, it only works if you have a strong personal relationship. Communication is key!
“What are the challenges to running a ‘multi-van’ operation?”
In the past I had operated multi van distribution and sales businesses, so have been able to draw on that experience.
We are currently running both areas as separate operations. So, there are no different challenges to running a single vehicle but there are some advantages. For example, last week a customer phoned Alan to say machine was not accepting any money and he was quite a distance away but I was close, so I was able to attend and rectify the issue.