KYLIE and Rodney Sutton have reopened their Subway store at Watertown after closing for two weeks for a major fit out. Kylie spoke to the Western Suburbs Weekly about their small business journey that at one stage included three Subway franchises.
1. When did you buy your first Subway franchise and how did you expand?
We built and opened our first Subway restaurant in February 2004. By November, we had purchased a second restaurant that was pre-existing but in need of some love. With hard work we managed to turn the restaurant into a local favourite. In 2006, we opened a third Subway restaurant in a nearby shopping centre. Our three restaurants are all within a stretch of 8km.
2. How has operating a Subway franchise changed since buying your first store?
Since investing in our first Subway restaurant, the Subway brand has rapidly established itself within WA. In 2004, there were 54 Subway restaurants in WA; now there are almost 150 Subway restaurants state-wide. The biggest change would have to be the technology we use. Subway has developed a Live IQ reporting tool, which for us has been the most important business aid to date. From any computer we can log in and see our live sales, run wages and produce any number of reports with up-to-the- minute data.
3. What has been the biggest challenge in small business?
It’s always been challenging to continually grow but fortunately the benefit of being part of an established brand we’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years to expand our business and make changes.
4. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to a small business owner?
The best advice I can give a small business owner is be prepared to dig in and get your hands dirty.
5. What is your local coffee shop?
Our local coffee shop was Gloria Jeans. Unfortunately they have recently closed for business.