Matthew McGuire – Career Background
Having worked in the trade since 1994, I originally started out as a 16 year old assistant in a local snooker club and learnt the basics of service and food preparation.
Two years later, I moved to a large chain of Family Pubs in the Tom Cobleigh group, covering all aspects of the industry from KP and Cleaner to Relief Management. I worked with them for 4 years whilst completing a degree in Accountancy & Finance however, on completion, it became apparent that my interest lay in the atmosphere of the pubs, and not in an office!
At 22, I moved to JD Wetherspoon as a Shift Manager. Over the next 4 years, I quickly progressed through to Pub Manager, then Senior Pub Manager before taking a role as a Trainee Area Manager. This led to working directly in the audit department covering Stock and Cash Control Standards on a national basis. In 2005, this position became redundant, and I took this opportunity to seek out a new challenge.
Why Stocktake UK?
I had decided that Audit Control was an area I wanted to pursue and wanted to be in charge of my own business, with a flexibility to work around family life.
After researching the options, it was clear there were many Stocktakers in the industry. However, having never run a business and knowing little about marketing, I saw the Stocktake UK franchise as an opportunity to take advantage of a national brand, along with Stocktake UK’s experience and expertise.
In the franchise offering, it was clear that Stocktake UK offers vital knowledge in securing new clients along with permanent support and guidance, whilst allowing the Franchisee to maintain an independent status with the emphasis on self management of your own business.
A Typical Day
Everyday can be very different but, generally, a Stocktaker’s day starts early in the morning!
Our clients can range from a traditional Pub or Social Club through to large Hotels, Cocktail Bars and Restaurants.
On entering the venue, the day normally starts with a coffee and a catch up chat with our clients to see how their last month’s trading has been, ascertaining anything that I can specifically assist them with as part of my service.
The venue’s stock would then be counted, during which time guidance would be provided on any operational and standards issues I find that might help the client to improve profitability.
This is followed by an audit of the client’s paperwork, processing data relating to purchases and revenue received. Once this task is completed, I pinpoint any losses or gains by comparing the client’s till information with our report.
The stock result is then explained to the client in a short summary meeting at the end of the stock visit – focusing on the Gross Profit of the business, changes in cost prices and operational procedures.
Our clients find the service highly valuable to monitor the control of their business and to give immediate advice on how to improve profitability. For many, ours is the only external opinion they will get on their business on a regular basis, before the accountant produces accounts at year end…..this can be a long time ahead!
Operating a Franchise
Operating the Franchise is an enjoyable and challenging experience.
Not every day is easy, there can be difficult situations to deal with and early start times, however there are benefits of a Monday-Friday working week, with evenings free.
A Franchisee’s diary can be built around their own life working with their own clients to help them build a better business, which is hugely rewarding.
Long term relationships are built with our clients, resulting in high retention rate and creating a stable income.
My Stocktaking business growth was achieved on a month by month basis, starting from day 1 with zero clients.
After 12 months, I had around 20 regular clients, which roughly covered one venue for each working day during the month. Over time, through the development of skills and time management, this rose to 30 clients by the end of year 2. From there I have maintained a stable client base and retained several clients from the early days of 12 years ago.
I would recommend a franchise to anyone looking to move forward in their career, but maintain a high degree of independence.
This industry is largely built around a 24/7 environment and there are very few opportunities to work a ‘9-5’ job: Operating a franchise has given me the best of both worlds, with a strong hand still in the industry that we love but living with a better mix of work and personal time.
Stocktake UK – Lincoln