Meet Jean-Jacques Terblanche, the franchisee of Cash Converters Hillfox in the West Rand of Johannesburg. One of the feathers in the cap of the highly successful Cash Converters network, the Hillfox store is, in many ways, a perfect example for how a franchisee can become, and remain, a successful and meaningful part of the local community.
Beyond that, the business has been turning a profit despite the difficult economic conditions. While a big portion of that reality is due to the three-pronged business model of Cash Converters – an area that we touched on in Why choose Cash Converters part 1, the other important factor behind Hillfox’s impressive success is the franchise owner himself.
Terreblanche came from the fast-food franchise business before buying into the Cash Converters business model. “Fast-food wasn’t for me. Cash Converters’ business is very vibrant. You have to think all the time, there’s different people, different goods. It’s not the same thing day in and day out. Essentially, you need to be a trader. That is the personality type that thrives in this business,” he says.
He took over the Hillfox store 11 years ago. An underperforming store at the time, JJ knew he had what it took to turn the business around. Within two months he turned it around.
1. A business where having the right attitude is important
“Probably, the biggest factor to success is attitude,” explains JJ. “If you have the wrong attitude you will never be successful at anything in life. Things go wrong, you will make mistakes. My view is that everything forms part of a learning curve. You can throw your hands in the air and be negative, or look at the situation and ask, ‘right, what have I learned, what must I do differently going forward?’. You must have the right attitude.”
2. You are always learning
The minute you think you know everything is the minute you stop growing, he says. “You never stop learning in this industry. Technology and product changes all the time. There is a basket of products that are fundamentals, that stay the same – but you need to adapt to markets and demand. If you are in a recession your retail might be slow but then you need to focus more on the moneylending side of things, and when the economy picks up, then retail will pick up and so you have to adapt and learn which levers to pull at what time,” he explains.
3. You will always have the drive to want to get up and work.
“It’s not the kind of business where someone can say ‘okay let’s sit back and just invest money and it’s going to work’. If that’s you, then go buy shares. This is something you need to actively engage in and manage day in and day out. You must have energy and drive – you must want to do this.”
What you put in, says Terblanche, is without a doubt reflected in what you take out. “I am enjoying success. But it isn’t always plain-sailing. It is hard work and I am willing to put that effort into the business in order to reap the rewards.”
A successful Cash Converters franchisee must have an attitude that is always positive; and seeking out solutions, opportunistic and underpinned by initiative. When coupled with the high degree of ethics that Cash Converters has built its business upon, this entrepreneur mindset can translate into sustainable success and long-term wealth generation, in any economy.
Next week, Terblanche reveals one crucial element of the Cash Converters brand which reaffirmed that he made the right decision joining the network.