Building a successful Kall Kwik franchise

Andrew Michael opened his Bradford Kall Kwik outlet in 1987 and is now one of the printing business' longest serving and most successful franchisees.

Name of franchise: Kall Kwik

Business: Printing, copying and design

Average franchise turnover: £425,000 (2003 data)

Set-up costs/investment: £25,000-£50,000 (though can cost up to £130,000 to take over an existing franchise)

Interview with Andrew about his franchise outlet

“Our turnover is not quite around the £1 million mark yet,” he concedes “but we’re nearer than most.”

Perhaps even more telling is the fact that his franchise has seen sales grow by 60% in the past three years, a period that has seen the printing industry dogged by a complete technological overhaul and ever-increasing levels of competition.

Despite his success, however, Michael insists that there is “no magic formula”. Initially lured to the franchising model – like so many others – because “the figures showed the success ratio was much higher”, he claims to be generally happy with the whole experience. He does warn, though that ‘”the forecasts they give are never likely to be exactly what you will achieve.”

In terms of advice Michael believes that it is very important to draw up both a short- and long-term business plan and stick with these throughout, even in the face of fierce competition.

He attributes the recent surge in his branch’s revenue to the fact that it now operates to ‘maximum capacity’ and points out that franchisees will also have to wrestle with additional costs, such as purchasing equipment. A printing press can cost anything between £20,000 and £200,000 and are usual acquired via hire purchase. Copiers and other equipment, meanwhile, are typically rented.

“Kall Kwik often send potential franchisees to me for a chat and there are two things I always say to them,” he concludes. “Firstly, be absolutely sure you want to run your own business as there are a lot of sacrifices involved and secondly, don’t wait to be 100% sure of all the details before deciding what you are going to do. You’re never going to be 100%, but if you’re 85% sure and have a gut feeling it’s the right thing to do just go for it”.

To find out more about KallKwik, go to

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