Safwan is forthcoming that his business has changed massively over the past year: “Given the success of my first store, I have expanded my portfolio to three stores. I have faced a number of challenges to expand this quickly; the biggest challenge has been with the teams in each store. Luckily the training and support that CeX provides has made this as painless as possible and I am already in a position to start preparing for store four.”
As a graduate straight out of university, Safwan started his own printing company then sold that to invest in his own CeX branch in Lewisham – his considered progress proves his prowess as an extremely capable businessman.
Safwan’s personal achievements have been incredible, but it is clear, in his mind at least, exactly what has enabled him to be so prosperous: “The ongoing support has been fantastic; being part of a franchise has enabled me to grow at a fast but manageable pace. Having points of contact with each department gives me a direct line to experienced people who are always there to give guidance and support. The great thing about CeX is they are transparent from the start and give you all the information you need.”
Of course the process of reaching the heady heights of three stores does not come without its problems. “The main challenge I have had has been developing the infrastructure and people to expand,” admits Safwan. “Having multiple outlets means I have to divide my time and resources, but putting systems and controls in place has been vital to my success.”
One of the year’s highlights for Safwan, in a year filled with growth despite difficult economic times, was reaching the million pound sales mark. He adds: “Hitting my first million was a little surreal, being in the store everyday, you sometimes do not have the time to see the bigger picture. Once the end of year accounts were drawn up and I saw I had exceeded targets by a sufficient amount, I was very happy that the hard work I had put in had paid off to this degree.
“I have the benefit of loving what I do and being in control of my own destiny, while at the same time 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.”
Safwan’s plans for the future are characteristically ambitious – the CeX path for expansion into more and more territories is well trodden by its franchise owners. “More stores in the UK and maybe further a field, concludes Safwan. “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 any one who is prepared to put in the hard work it is a great opportunity.”