How Soul Origin’s leasing manager helps franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 05 Nov 2019 View comments

How does Soul Origin’s Nick Patrick, national manager, leasing and development, help franchisees do better business?

5 questions for Soul Origin’s leasing manager

What are your responsibilities?

I am responsible for overseeing the leasing and development functions for Soul Origin. This includes scouting new sites and feasibility screening, negotiating new leases and lease renewals, as well as managing our team responsible for new store design, new store fitouts, documentation review and lease execution as well as general property and network growth strategies.

How do you measure your success?

Being in a sales driven retail business success is fairly easy for us to measure. With the key performance indicators for our team being centred around new store sales performance and occupancy cost targets.

What are the biggest challenges in this job?

The biggest challenge of this job is managing time frames. Everything we do in property needs a substantial lead time – from site identification, new store design, lease negotiation, and construction through to franchisee training, review of legal documentation and franchisee cooling off periods. 

If the process and time frames are not well managed, then costly delays can occur. Some stores we are opening now started with landlord discussions that began more than 12 months ago.

What do you enjoy most about this role?

I love working in the dynamic environment of food retail. Property and development is just one cog in a very large machine which needs to work in unison to effectively deliver business objectives. Working for a retailer gives you exposure to a broad range of business functions including new product development, operations, marketing, finance, administration and IT. Each of these represents an opportunity to learn and develop as a property, franchising and retail professional.

How often do you interact with franchisees?

On a daily basis, even though my primary focus is not franchise recruitment, which is run as a separate although interdependent function to property at Soul Origin. 

I find that because franchisees are at the forefront of the business, they are able to provide a wealth of information that is relevant to leasing and property development. 

We need to ensure that we are continually learning from, and adapting, the business decisions we make. Especially when a franchisee’s success can be so heavily dependent upon the property decisions made in collaboration with our franchise partners. 

It is therefore crucial that I am communicating regularly with our franchise partners not only to understand their needs but also to learn from their experiences of opening new stores in new and different markets. 

What’s the biggest motivator for you on a daily basis?

My biggest motivator is seeing new stores open and trade successfully. I get great satisfaction having reached the end of the new store opening process, which often started more than 12 months earlier, and seeing a store trade strongly from day one.

Read the full Q&A with Nick Patrick in the latest edition of Inside Franchise Business, out now.