Small Business

The breakfast of champions

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We saw tennis legends take to the court this week, so it is timely for us to ponder whether we make too much of our sports stars at the expense of other achievers.

The other week I caught up with the milestones of Nabi Saleh, one of the founders of Gloria Jean’s Coffees (GJC).

This is a guy who in 1995 bought a GJC master franchise with his then partner Peter Irvine and opened up two outlets in Sydney.

Fast-forward to 2012 and he now has 2000 coffee shops in around 50 countries, with over 500 in Australia.

But we haven’t seen anything yet, with 1500 expected in India alone within 10 years and 800 in only two provinces of China.

Along the way he bought out the US owners, so he now owns the brand and business worldwide.

Back to sport and there are hundreds of thousands of young cricketers pondering what Michael Clarke did to hit 329 runs in a not-out innings recently. Meanwhile, Aussies of all ages marvel at what Geoff Huegill did to lose 45 kilos and win gold at the Commonwealth Games in India.

Well, in reality there are close to two million small business operators who would love to know the secrets of Saleh’s success. Would-be business champions would love to create their own version of the GJC story, just like most Aussie kids would love to wear the baggy green cap.

However, what you have to do is not a secret – business champions are happy to share their insights with others. The challenge is for normal people to commit abnormal efforts for outstanding results.

How far is Ian Thorpe swimming each morning now to reach his new Olympic goal?

Saleh read me a series of statements he wrote before buying his master franchise in 1995.

It was a blueprint of what is happening now.

The vision statement said, “Gloria Jean’s Coffees will be the most loved and respected coffee company worldwide”.

The mission statement said, “Gloria Jean’s Coffees is committed to building a unified family who consistently serve the highest quality coffee and provide outstanding and personalised service in a vibrant store atmosphere”.

Finally his values statement came down to this: “Partnership based on integrity and trust, commitment to excellence and innovation in a culture of joy and passion, belief in people, building and changing lives”.

Saleh says he has always listened to the market.

“Start small, test it out, trial it and then roll it out,” he advised.

He is a devout man but he says his messages about God in his life and business are shared with his Christian as well as his Muslim and Hindu franchisees around the world.

He is passionate about his business as he is his religion. Like a world-class sportsman, GJC’s success is a deep conviction.

Muhammad Ali once said: “It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

Nabi Saleh is a legendary Australian and like Michael Clarke is a role model worthy of national recognition.

If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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