Front Page Feature

by Simon Lord

last updated 15/02/2024

Simon Lord is editor of Franchise New Zealand magazine and website and has worked in franchising in NZ and the UK for over 40 years. Inclusion of any franchise system by name within this article does not imply endorsement by the author or publisher.

Home - Family, Community, Business

by Simon Lord

last updated 15/02/2024

Simon Lord is editor of Franchise New Zealand magazine and website and has worked in franchising in NZ and the UK for over 40 years. Inclusion of any franchise system by name within this article does not imply endorsement by the author or publisher.

How could buying a franchise help you enjoy putting down roots in a new area?

A survey on the Franchise New Zealand website last year revealed that almost a third of franchise buyers would be prepared to move to another region to take up the right franchise opportunity. A franchise is also a popular option for recent immigrants.

Getting into a good franchise, with its brand, systems, buying power and training, clearly makes sense from a business point of view – but there’s more to it than that. Buying a franchise can also help you return to your family, or put down roots in a new region or country, by helping to make you a part of the local community.

And that could make taking some big life decisions a little bit easier.

We can do this

When Anita Kingston’s boss, who already owned several Paper Plus stores in Auckland, suggested that they go into partnership to buy another one, she leapt at the chance. There was just one snag – the store for sale was in Gisborne, a city she had never even visited. But she and her husband Ashley were up for an adventure, so they packed up their home and three children and moved away from the city where they had grown up to start a new life.

Brave? Certainly. Foolhardy? Definitely not. The couple had previously lived in Perth for a number of years, so were used to being far from home, but having returned to Auckland they discovered that buying a house of their own was next to impossible. In addition, there was the traffic – Anita was sick and tired of commuting for two hours or more a day from their leased farmlet to Paper Plus in Meadowbank, so Gisborne sounded attractive.

‘We love a road trip, so we drove down to Gisborne for a long weekend,’ she recalls. ‘We stayed at a local campground with a swimming pool and a great playground. The beach was beautiful and close to the city centre, and everyone was so friendly that it just felt right. We looked at each other and said, “We can do this!” – so we did.

‘Four years on, we realise it was the best thing we could have done. We could afford our share of the business and a house, we love the place and the community, and as for the commute, well – at one point, I had to do a school run to three different schools every morning. It took me 15 minutes. Try doing that in Auckland!’

How did the kids adapt to their new life? ‘Nate and Tiana were at primary school, so that wasn’t too difficult, but Riley was in fourth form so it was a big change for her. We moved between terms and she spent the whole of the holidays saying how much she hated it. Then school started and within a week she was saying, “I love this!” She went on to become head girl, and now she is studying law in Wellington. Meanwhile, the younger ones are really thriving at local schools with great teachers and wonderful principals.’

Where we needed to be

For Luke and Brooke Mullinger, it was the chance to move closer to Brooke’s family that prompted their move from Palmerston North to Blenheim. With daughter Addison just a year old, the couple were already thinking about their options when Brooke’s father told them about a site that was becoming available on the front of a local car yard. As Luke worked for Streetwise Coffee, did he think they might be interested in the site for one of their permanent coffee carts?

‘We put down the phone and started talking,’ Luke recalls. ‘Then we listed our house for sale.’

It was a big decision. Luke was a Palmy boy through and through, and they had built their house themselves – ‘It was the house we had brought our daughter home to,’ says Brooke wistfully. Now they were starting their first business together, ‘Going into debt as a couple,’ as Luke says. ‘The bank wouldn’t have lent us the money if it hadn’t ...'

This article appears in full in Franchise New Zealand magazine (Year 32 Issue 3). You can read it in the digital magazine here or request a free print copy here.

Simon Lord is editor of Franchise New Zealand magazine and website and has worked in franchising in NZ and the UK for over 40 years. Inclusion of any franchise system by name within this article does not imply endorsement by the author or publisher.

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