Phil bought his first Subway franchise and opened in Blackpool’s Clifton Street in 2004; he saw the brand flourish in Australia and America whilst on a backpacking world tour. The store was refurbished in 2005. Following the continued success of the Clifton Street store, Phil expanded his business by opening Whitegate Drive Subway, in February 2008. Whitegate Drive store serves as the head office and the main training centre for both stores and has a large office. Unfortunately a fire at the next door Yates's totally destroyed the Clifton Street store in 2009.
Phil sort funding as the insurance would not cover the refurbishment of the new premises he had to acquire, due to the fire damage. The funding organisations kept asking more and more complicated questions and using more jargon, needing information that Phil didn’t have easy access to, as only his accountant held financial management information. Phil got lost in the process and be became very confused and frustrated with it. This time delay caused over staffing at Whitegate for 9 months, until the new shop opened. This time he relocated round the corner to Market Street 100 yards from the Tower.
He was referred to Community and Business Partners then matched with Guardian Angel (Carl Bradshaw). At first he listened and assured him that he was not on his own. Carl made things clearer and simpler as he supported Phil to strip away all the jargon that had caused frustration and confusion. He spent time with Phil, helping him understand the processes of accounting and applying for funding, and confirmed that he was on the right track in the first place. Phil just needed a clearer understanding of management accounts for the business and how to use the information to support the funding applications.
The new shop opened in November 2009, in a much better location in the town centre. In the beginning however cash flow was a major problem awaiting money from the insurance payout, so again Carl enabled Phil to manage this.
With Carl’s support Phil has improved his business management and developed his business knowledge (particularly financial). The business turnover has increased by approximately 20% and he has created a further 10 jobs. Because of his success Phil was invited by the Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) to join the board of directors and help lead Blackpool town to greater things.
Phil has also purchased a delivery van and a mobile store. He is currently completing a funding bid to the Council to site the mobile store on the Blackpool Promenade. If successful, he intends to put on free entertainment and games for the locals and visitors. The next stage of the bid sees Subway kitting out a Blackpool tram that is to be sited on the new tower headland.
The company, because of its prosperity, has diversified and invested in property, purchasing 1 commercial town centre promenade property and is looking to secure a second property shortly, which Phil hopes will suit his third store.
Through the mentoring process, Phil has been inspired to help other businesses in Blackpool, from start-ups, to companies struggling in these difficult times.
“This process has made me a lot more positive and given me a great deal of confidence. It has taught me that you shouldn’t be scared of the jargon, as with help and guidance like I have had with Carl, you can find your way through and not only keep your head way above the water but hovering above! It helps you look towards the future rather than dwelling in the past, and gives reassurance to be able to meet your future head on. By the end of 2011 I will have signed a lease on my 3rd store.”