Building the outlets network

Arthur had already made contact with Silulo Ulutho in Khayelitsha and wanted the outlet team to work on a marketing plan on how we will roll out Paperight via Silulo Ulutho stores. With my strong interest in marketing, Arthur allowed me to take the lead on drafting the marketing plan. In order to make the most of my teams strengths, I decided to include them by brainstorming ideas together on what we should do.

We already knew that we wanted to connect schools with their local Silulo Ulutho outlets which meant that Zukisani’s past experience would come in especially handy. We sat down and put several ideas in place, some ideas I disagreed with but, added for Arthur’s approval or disapproval so as not to appear to dictate to and disregard my new team. After feedback from Arthur we finalised our Silulo Ulutho marketing plan and began setting the wheels in motion.

At the same time, I began work on connecting Paperight to national franchise outlets. I began by attempting to set up a meeting with Chris Dunn, the head of 3@1. At the time, 3@1 was in the process of establishing franchises in the UK. This meant that a meeting with Chris Dunn was near impossible. In the meantime, I approached individual 3@1 outlets and managed to sign up several of them, who also insisted that I approach Chris Dunn as they felt that he would love the idea.

After failing to solicit a response from Chris Dunn, I could only manage to get a hold of a lady by the name of Megan. When she explained to me that Chris Dunn is unavailable for the foreseeable future, she suggested that I send information about Paperight to her and she would then forward the information to all of their outlets nationally. I sent her the information but, she failed to forward it to the outlets, despite several times stating that she would.

I called her one day and asked for permission to contact them myself, which she gladly gave. Nick drew up an information booklet about Paperight and I forwarded it, along with a detailed description about Paperight urging them to register for the service, to all the 3@1 outlets nationwide. It was initially successful with about 10 outlets registering within 2 days. Until one outlet forwarded the email to Chris Dunn who warned all outlets against us, saying he knew nothing about us (despite Megan stating the contrary telephonically) which resulted in 3@1 outlets ceasing to register for Paperight.

I appealed to Chris Dunn that Megan had given me permission to send out the emails but, Megan had suffered an onset of amnesia and didn’t know who Paperight was. I decided to refrain from contacting 3@1 any further, with the intention of contacting them again in future when tempers have calmed down. I focused on the 3@1 outlets that had signed up, identifying other outlets to approach and working on the Silulo Ulutho Marketing plan.

In order to keep track of what we were doing, I designed a weekly report sheet that we shared with the rest of Paperight. This proved to be quite effective in stoking the friendly competition within the team and ensured that we were all busy despite working independently.