On the road

After working in his cousin’s CeX branch for more than a year, Mo Patel spotted the opportunity in opening his own location. Having recently begun trading, Mo tells The Franchise Magazine how finally working for himself in the technology industry is a dream come true.

Mo saw the potential in a CeX franchise opportunity after learning how the business works in his cousin’s store. He explains: “I could see it would give me the opportunity to open a large-turnover retail business, with all the support tools necessary; a proven business strategy and a tailor made EPOS system, which makes a lot of the day-to-day business decisions for me.”

Prior to committing to CeX, he worked as a Store Manager for a mobile phone retailer in one of the busiest shopping streets in the UK – Oxford Street in London. There, he developed his management skills, which he transferred to his new role. He says: “Managing your own large business is really demanding. CeX helped me to prepare for this by insisting I complete a lengthy training programme. I worked my way through various skill competencies that eventually resulted in me running another store for several months. This enabled me to really understand how the business worked and how to deal with challenging issues.”

CeX’s constant support made setting up Mo’s business far easier than it could have been. The franchisor has the success of the franchise owner solely in mind when a new partnership is agreed and so details such as store design and location are meticulously researched before a commitment is made. Mo adds: “Finding a suitable store location has been hard work. We couldn’t find a suitable location in the town where I was hoping to set up. Retail units were either the wrong size, wrong location or seemingly too expensive. Thankfully, CeX has experience here and was able to help me find a suitable unit.”

Mo raised the finance for his store with a combination of existing business capital and family support. He says: “A detailed business plan, written with CeX, helped me to understand what the capital requirements were going to be and how to plan my financial budgets.”

Now that Mo’s business has been effectively established in the Macclesfield area, he is eager to create his own legacy. He adds: “I’m finally working for myself, which is a big change for me after so many years working for big retail companies. I plan to get my new store here in Macclesfield trading smoothly and begin to think about a second business – there are lots of opportunities out there.

“Think about what you really want to do, question why you are really doing this and, in a perfect world, enjoy the business you are working in,” says Mo. His advice to interested investors holds a lot of stock as a recent graduate of the CeX initial training and development process: “The franchise model, for example, is really ‘hands-on’ and requires you to be fully committed – you need to have the experience and management skills to be able to manage a team of staff.”

Finally, when asked whether he would go through the process again, Mo simply explains: “Yes, I’ve had some great support from CeX; they want their franchisees to be successful and profitable. There is on-going support on a daily basis from specialist individuals and I know there is always someone to help without being continually told what to do.”