Michael Ash, who owns the Mister Minit outlet at Westfield St Lukes, Auckland, has been named Supreme Franchisee of the Year at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards 2016/17.
The announcement was made last night in front of an audience of over 220 people, including Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Father of five Michael, who is originally from Christchurch but now lives in West Auckland, and his Chinese wife Amanda have owned their own business since 2012, although Michael worked for Mister Minit for many years as training manager. Buying the St Lukes franchise gave him the chance to practise what he preached, and to reap the rewards of his own efforts.
Changing from employee to franchisee was still a big step, though, as he shared on Facebook just a month before taking over. ‘Cashflow, profit & loss projections, business plans… Arrrgh what have I done!’
It’s a sensation that will be familiar to many new franchisees, but Michael got on with it and put that nervous energy to positive use. Now he has been named as the best franchisee in New Zealand, beating stiff competition from other top brands in all sorts of industries. There are around 20,000 franchised units in New Zealand.
According to judges from the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation, some of the key strengths of Michael’s business are his openness to input from his loyal team members, his creation of an open workplace culture and his focus on environmental challenges.
Signature Homes wins Supreme franchise system
The Westpac Supreme Franchise System of the Year Award went to building franchise Signature Homes. Founded by Fletcher Challenge in 1983, the company was sold in 1995 to Gavin and Anneta Hunt, who had been involved with the business right from the start.
In 2009, Signature Homes launched an independently-bonded building guarantee programme that guarantees completion of a client’s home as set out in the building agreement. Signature Homes says this gives clients more protection than any other available in New Zealand, covering not only home completion but other aspects including weather tightness, structural and non-structural defects.
The judges said, ‘This company’s recognition that long term sustainability is the key to continued success reflects its success in a highly competitive market. They continue to grow through review and improvement of their processes and systems.’
Today, there are 14 Signature Homes franchisees around the country and the company is still led by Gavin and Anneta Hunt with the support of a strong management team. Anneta turned up at the Awards night looking very elegant despite having completed the Rotorua Marathon earlier in the day.
For a full list of all 20 awards, go to http://franchise.co.nz/article/2414
Pictured: Micheal Ash.