What is franchising?
Geek Retreat offers business format franchising – “the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to own and operate their own business under the brand, systems and proven business model of the franchisor.”
Basically, this means that instead of us opening more owner-operated stores, you own your own store and operate it under the Geek Retreat brand. We give you both initial training and ongoing support necessary to establish you in the business and keep you trading successfully. In return, you pay us a monthly management fee based on a percentage of your store’s turnover. This results in a mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationship – it’s in all of our interests to help you earn more.
Some of the benefits of owning a franchise, according to the trade body the British Franchising Association, are:
- You don’t have to come up with a new idea – someone else has had it and tested it too!
- Franchises often have national advertising campaigns and a solid trading name
- Franchises offer comprehensive training programmes in all business skills
- Franchises can help secure funding for your investment and discounted bulk-purchases
- Customers understand that as a franchise you offer the best possible value for money and a consistent quality of service – although you run your ‘own show’, you are part of a much larger organisation
- You grow the business and, when you are ready to move on, can sell it for a profit
Why have we chosen to franchise?
We love the concept of our business. That’s why we started it in the first place. As the name suggests we are a retreat for geeks, a place to get away from it all, whether that be the pressures of family, work or just life in general and to do it in a place that is non-judgemental, non-threatening and accepting of all different kinds of people.
Geeks encompass a pretty large sphere of personalities. We want to cater to those personalities to as high a standard and in as friendly a manner as possible. But we can’t do that from limited locations. We know we need to expand across multiple locations and with the advice of our expert mentors have decided franchising is the best way for us to do this. Because franchising allows us to concentrate on passing on our expert knowledge, growing the business in the fastest, leanest, most inclusive way possible.
For us it’s not just about bottom line growth. One of the truly great things about running your own business is that it allows you develop yourself and your people. Entrepreneurship excites us. While trying to decide the best method to realise our vision we also wanted to retain our fundamental business values and strive to make decisions that are not only good business decisions but are also in line with our core values as people. We believe in pushing ourselves, developing ourselves and creating opportunity for others to develop. If these are our core values, was there really any choice other than franchising? It is the only model of growth that truly reflects the values we are trying to promote.
Is franchising right for you?
To own a business is different from being a manager. You have to be able to take a lot more than most people, be tougher, make harder decisions. You don’t ever really get to switch off, work always being with you. But here’s the thing – if you do something you love are you ever really working at all ?
Please do your research. People who own their own business work harder and longer hours than anyone else but they also consistently, in study after study, research paper after research paper, report higher levels of fulfillment and life satisfaction, valuing the prospect of being in charge of their own destiny over all the stress, long hours and sacrifices made. Running a successful business gives you a fuller and more rounded life. Combine this with your interests and passions and a completely different life experience is created.
We are excited about going on this journey with ambitious people, not just ambitious in terms of financial reward but ambitious about leading a happy and fulfilled life. We want to give the benefit of our experience to others who want to take on this challenge, who decide to strive for more than just the “9 to 5” lifestyle. We want to show others how to achieve what we have achieved in such a short space of time, to explain concepts that maybe alien, terminologies that may be brand new or break down events from a perspective not normally conveyed.
Why? Because helping others to develop and grow in conjunction with yourself is truly one of the most fulfilling things in life. By joining the Geek Retreat franchise network we help each other to reach our goals. If this doesn’t sound like the philosophy for you then thanks for reading this far but it’s probably best we don’t take it any further. But if this sentiment resonates with you then please keep reading…
Who’s behind Geek Retreat
Geek Retreat is the brainchild of Stephen Walsh. Stephen holds an Honours degree in Business Economics and has a background in direct sales. He always wanted to run his own business, but struggled to find a business that was right for him. Turning his back on a lucrative management position straight out of university to avoid the “9 to 5” lifestyle he dreads, he started off running sales teams and high-volume recruitment companies but was always looking for something more fulfilling. Then he hit on the idea for Geek Retreat, which stemmed from his own ‘man cave’ he’d created at home. Suddenly, Stephen had found an idea which combined his personal passion for comic book universe escapism with his business acumen. The revolution had begun! Stephen continues to be the visionary of Geek Retreat, leading the team with his blue sky thinking and focus on personal development from the very newest members of the team to the absolute original – himself!
Stephen did things the hard way. He bootstrapped the business, re-mortgaging his home to open the first store. Looking at the competition while compiling the business plan, he quickly realised that as an astute business person he had an immediate edge. Instead of simply being hobbyists who hoped to build lifestyle jobs for themselves, we stood out by creating a viable, profitable and scalable business from the outset. With the performance data from the inaugural store, Geek Retreat was offered a place on the competitive Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator, this continues to give us access to some of the best business mentors and networks throughout the UK. With more stores and further traction Stephen then won and was awarded £30,000 through the Scottish EDGE business competition to set up the franchising operations. We’re extremely proud of these achievements, not only because of the financial advantage it gives us, but because we’ve been given the seal of approval of some of the most prestigious institutions and revered entrepreneurs in the country. The direct quote from Scottish Edge as to why Geek Retreat won was @for creating a world class business model’.
We’re currently working with BFA accredited franchising consultant, Ewan Fraser, who’s rolled out franchises for brands like Ralph Lauren, Nike and Debenhams across multiple continents. We’ve worked tirelessly to develop a franchising proposition which is attractive, good value and mutually beneficial to you and us alike.
Why franchise with us?
In a word – “expertise”. Within the geek industries you’ll notice that many stores are run by people who are mainly enthusiasts and hobbyists. While their passion for the subject matter comes across, the business acumen applied can leave a lot to be desired. You’ve probably noticed that many of these stores are manned every day by the owner or also rely on volunteers to stay open. The idea of having paid staff who work to a standard or (whisper it) a full time Manager on a competitive wage to run the store while you concentrate on the bigger picture (opening more stores!) isn’t even in the realms of possibility. Anyone can get a set of keys and open a store each day. Building a sustainable, replicable and engaging business model takes a lot more.
While we at Geek Retreat have a deep passion for all the geeky interests across the company we also recognise the importance of running the business properly with a sustainable business model. Our knowledge and backgrounds are vast and diverse with the caliber of mentors who support the business and awards won showing the high level at which we operate. In short, you’d be better working with us than without us. It’s the sensible, smart decision to make – which is what a lot of business is about.
By getting a Geek Retreat franchise you become part of our winning team with instant access to our expertise as well as the accumulated experience gained from what has been achieved so far. We’ve already made the mistakes and learned from them so you don’t have to. The difference in turnover from our first store in its first twelve months to our second store in its first twelve months is simply phenomenal. We know what we are doing and can tell you how to do it as well, from day one.
We know the ideas that seem good but are bad and the ideas that seem bad but are good. We can teach different ways to motivate your team and the importance of developing yourself as well as your team so that everyone can hit their own personal goals, both within and outwith the business. We know what the actual priorities are each day compared to the perceived ones.
We know what a good employee looks like – and when it’s your money that’s paying their wage you want to make sure you’re getting the best. We know the standard and style of service our customers expect and how to train people to achieve this every shift they work. We know what a viable, sustainable business looks like and how to have other business owners, financial institutions and government bodies take our business seriously.
We know what stock to buy so your money isn’t tied up in non-sellers (a dangerous spiral to get into). We know how to cashflow (CASHFLOW IS KING!) and will give you our proven processes and templates to work with from the outset. We know which suppliers offer the best deals, which become even better when you are part of a network – the group buying power of a franchise is a great thing.
There are many more benefits to franchising with us. Our prospectus includes more about them, more details about what’s involved and more information about how you could own your own store and what you could expect to earn. To apply for a prospectus simply fill in the form on this page.
What are we looking for?
We don’t just give a franchise to anyone who wants one – we award them to the individuals we feel have the right mix of enthusiasm, experience and ambition. We’re looking for the highest calibre of candidate, who combines a love of geek culture with the drive, determination and financial acumen to help our brand thrive.
If this sounds like you, please fill in the form on this page which gives us a little more information about you, and one of our dedicated franchising team will be in touch.