Early attempts at franchise collaboration

May 2012 was a very eventful month for Paperight. We launched our website v1.0, Michelle Carstens of The Office Crew became the first outlet to top up her Paperight account and the marketing manager of Jetline registered with Paperight. All three of these events had particular significance for me.

It had been my idea to create an outlets map and I was in charge of placing the outlets on our original map. The Office Crew was an outlet which I introduced to Paperight and became our first VIP outlet. I believe the reason for this is that The Office Crew had an outlet owner who was passionate about Paperight and it was close to my home. This meant that I could give them close attention and get feedback from them regularly.

Jetline had already on my list of potential franchises to approach when, a publisher recommended that we contact Jetline and forwarded a contact number to us. This was the start of what led to our biggest outlet partnership yet.

I headed to Durban for two weeks to collect my car and in the process visits and sign up outlets face to face. During this visit I learned that outlets require at least two visits to have them buy in to Paperight effectively. The first visit to introduce them to our concept and the second to answer questions they might have thought of and physically training them how to use the service.

In the meantime, Zukisani and Zimkita were in Cape Town completing the tasks laid out in the Silulo Marketing plan. The main highlights of our plan were a presentation with H.O.D.’s from various schools in the area and a training session with the managers of the various Silulo Ulutho branches.

The training with the managers was postponed due to a miscommunication between Zukisani and Lonwabo (a director at Silulo Ulutho). The presentation took place right after I had returned from Durban which meant that I also had the opportunity to be involved. Zimkita was the MC whilst Zukisani and I each had a portion in the presentation.

Only 4 of the 40 H.O.D.’s that were invited attended. We made the mistake of supplying catering for 200 people and the projector for the presentation wasn’t properly organised. We also had Paperight-branded mugs and chocolates made for the H.O.D.’s and Paperight team. The biggest lessons that we learned from this is to manage our promotional spending better and to utilise resources that are fully in our control as much as possible.

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