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How Sorbet Franchisee Kate Holahan Is Nailing Success By Following Her Dream Sorbet franchisee Kate Holahan went from corporate employee in 2015 to owning two franchise locations in just over two years. By September 2017, she had launched a new location, acquired new clients and was learning something new every day. It took a few learning curves and partnering with the right bank to lead her to successfully running her Sorbet and Sorbet Man stores at Benmore Shopping Centre in Sandton.

By Nedbank Franchising

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Devin Lester

Vital Stats

  • Player: Kate Holahan
  • Franchise: Sorbet
  • Position: Franchisee — Sorbet And Sorbet Man Benmore
  • Established: 2015
  • Visit: www.sorbet.co.za

What were you doing before becoming a Sorbet franchisee?

I was in the marketing department of a corporate IT company. The long hours and the pressure made me realise I needed a lifestyle change.

What drew you to franchising?

It was purely because of the backing you receive. Franchising offers better support systems than going into entrepreneurship on your own. Everything is structured and ready for you to run.

Why did you choose to invest in Sorbet?

I had been a Sorbet guest for a couple of years and admired the company's culture and service. I knew it would be an amazing brand to be a part of.

What have some of the challenges of operating a Sorbet outlet been?

I've encountered minimal challenges on the salon side, but Sorbet Man has been a little more challenging. Since opening the male-focused grooming bar I've had to deal with different client personalities, but I'm lucky enough to still have the team working for me that I started with when I opened my doors for the first time three years ago.

Why did you decide on a second location so soon after launching your first?

It was always the plan to open a couple of stores. The centre from which I operate complements both the target markets for the men's and women's salons, so it was an inevitable and lucrative venture.

Also, as an entrepreneur, the earnings are not the same as a corporate job, so being a multi-unit franchisee is a great way to meet my financial needs.

How often do you communicate with head office and what support are you offered?

I meet with my area manager bi-weekly for quality control and hygiene checks. From the Sorbet Man side I'm getting a lot of support because I'm new to the concept.

Sorbet helps me source staff and run marketing initiatives, although we're allowed some flexibility with localised promotions, provided they don't clash with the brand's overall marketing calendar.

Why is it important for a franchisee like yourself to have a good banking partner?

As a franchisee in a specialised field you need a bank that knows your business intimately so they are attentive and pre-emptive to your needs.

How has Nedbank supported you in your journey since launching the business, to successfully running and growing it to its current size?

When I started my business I was with a different bank, then I changed banks for the second time before opening my Sorbet Man store, which I set up through Nedbank, on the advice of Sorbet's head office.

Unlike the previous two banks, Nedbank customised its solutions to suit me without any qualms and I ended up moving all my banking for both outlets to them.

Nedbank recognises the contribution franchising makes towards growing South Africa’s economy. Nedbank Franchising is all about partnerships – a concept we pioneered in the area of business banking in South Africa. With our client-centred philosophy ‘partnering with you to grow your franchise’, Nedbank Franchising offers clients a banking partnership founded on our willingness and ability to understand your franchise and provide you with a solution-driven service. Our unique approach allows us to deliver, through a single contact point, an integrated franchising solution centred on three key principles: localised decision-making with national support, access to specialised expertise and customisation.
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