A flying first year

Safwan Adam gives the low-down on a first highly successful year running his Lewisham CeX franchise and subsequent rapid expansion of his portfolio.

“Surreal” is the word Safwan Adam uses to describe exceeding his first-year targets at CeX Lewisham, with the store making its first million, but he was delighted to discover his hard work had paid off to such a degree. Buoyed by these fast results, the former printing company owner has since expanded his CeX empire with an additional two stores. The first – a resale of an existing branch – appealed as a golden opportunity to expand quickly. The second new branch – a joint venture with a friend – brought its own benefits, allowing expansion without the need to wait for the management team to train and develop. While enjoying a hugely successful first year financially, equally rewarding to Safwan has been the day-to-day running of the business and the independence afforded by his role as manager of a focused, motivated team.

He says: “I have the benefit of loving what I do, and being in control of my own destiny, whilst also reaping the benefits of being part of a large company, is a great place to be. Dealing with people and developing others is a major part of what I do daily, and this is very rewarding for me; I take great pride in my team.”

Although the branches’ results are testament to his own ability, Safwan has remained extremely impressed by the enduring support of CeX to its established franchisees. The package includes ongoing training and procedur e updates, expert advice on further stock selection, testing, marketing, and loss prevention and pricing updates via CeX’s bespoke EPOS system.

“It has been fantastic,” he says, “being part of a franchise has enabled me to grow at a fast but manageable pace, and having points of contact with each department gives me a direct line to experienced people who are always there to give guidance and support.” CeX actively encourages franchisees to expand with additional stores, and excels at helping them meet the challenge of developing the infrastructure and workforce to do so as quickly as possible.

As a multi-unit owner, Safwan has learnt to effectively divide his time and resources, putting systems and controls in place to ensure a smooth operation, and he feels CeX’s commitment and honesty has been instrumental to his results and confidence to expand.

He explains: “The Franchise has exceeded my expectations. I have been happy with the support I have received, and with the franchise in general. Starting any business is a challenge and going into a franchise you expect there to be hidden costs or issues. The great thing about CeX is they are transparent from the start and give you all the information you need.”

Safwan intends to open a fourth store in the UK, potentially followed by more internationally, as the brand develops overseas, giving him the opportunity to grow alongside it and the second-hand technology market. His own experience means he has no hesitation in pointing potential franchisees in the direction of CeX’s offering, and is convinced that here, hard work will always pay dividends. “Having already introduced a close friend to the business, I would strongly recommend considering a CeX franchise. For me it has given me as much as I have put in and for anyone who is prepared to put in the hard work it is a great opportunity,” Safwan concludes.