Chapter 4

Keeping the juices flowing

I’d just been named Telstra’s Australian Business Woman of the Year and made BRW’s Young Rich list (even if I hadn’t actually seen any of these riches). We seemed to be flying — and that’s when the wings started to fall off. Internal and external problems emerged, so we had to start doing things differently, thinking proactively and cutting expenses (and rocking quietly in the corner occasionally). With our wings back in place, Boost started to soar again.

As Boost got back on track, my focus started to shift — epiphanies were to be experienced with another baby and starting a Zoo.

Cracks in the foundation

We were hot! Revenue was pouring in. Store sales were increasing year on year by nearly 30 per cent. Obviously, all the partners were happy and making money. That’s when the cracks started appearing.

The first crack was something that I did not even see coming. The success of the brand meant franchise opportunities were in hot demand — and our early franchise partners knew it. They were onselling their businesses, sometimes for five times more than they paid for them. We could not legally then (and nor can we today) tell people how much they could sell their businesses for. However, problems emerged because the banks were lending to the incoming new Boost franchisees, helping them to cover the premium sales prices. The consequent enormous repayments were making it difficult for the new franchise partners.

I sourced out Lesley Gillespie, ...

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