We catch up with NightOwl’s Head of Operations, Ross Cutler
How long have you been at NightOwl? What was your previous experience?
I joined the NightOwl team in March 2023. I have over 25 years of working in big box retail, working for big brands such as Barclays Bank, Amart Furniture and Bunnings Warehouse. I specialise in commercial, operational and customer experience businesses as well as refinement of operational structures and lean processes.
What initial training is involved in becoming a Franchise Partner?
Our induction training program is an intensive 5-week hands on program. You will have a tailored training schedule that involves classroom training and in-store training. We are mindful of the fact that some new Franchise Partners have run businesses in the past or may have held leadership roles. These factors are taken into consideration when designing their tailored program. The program primarily focuses on the financial management of the business and the execution of a business plan. It is also important for our new Franchise Partners to align their personal goals with their business goals in order to obtain the most successful outcome. There will be focus on people management, and learning the business processes of buying and marketing including our in-house systems.
What are your main duties as Head of Operations?
Constantly looking for ways to improve our Franchise Partners’ businesses. Executing from the ground up, reviewing standards, aligning our processes and policies, building succession plans, instilling disciplines and leveraging all opportunities to increase incremental sales/margin. Grow our network of stores that we can be proud of. Stores that operate at the highest standards that are
able to serve our local communities. Managing my team of Area Managers to ensure they give the best possible assistance to our Franchise Partners.
How do you ensure your Area Managers are supporting the NightOwl Franchise Partners?
All of our Area Managers have vast industry experience. Their job is to support and nurture our Franchise Partners to assist in achieving their personal and business goals. They are also our Franchise Partner’s solution providers for those problems that arise from time to time in running a business.
How is ongoing learning handled?
Direct support from your appointed Area Manager, access to our Training Manager and of course we hope you build your own local network with other NightOwl Franchise Partners.
Online, we have a great in-house learning platform that gives you access to a wide library of tools, communication, safety, marketing, trade plans and much more.
What does a good Franchise Partner look like?
Being a retailer myself, I believe you have to love retail, live and breathe it, always wanting to be the best and to create an exceptional customer experience each and every time. You will lead by example, have a strong financial and business acumen, great communication and want to invest time in building a great team and working environment.
What skills does a potential Franchise Partner need before applying for a NightOwl Franchise?
Understanding that retail is “detail” so you have to be flexible, have pride in store presentation, therefore have a flair for merchandising and the ability to be adapt and act quickly to change. Behind every store is an effective team, you have to be able to lead by example and influence change through coaching others. Able to set and action tasks, embed routines, have high levels of emotional intelligence and be goal driven.