Turning around a franchise fiasco
The day Lloyd Maloney and his wife Jennifer took charge of their first business venture — a hardware franchise — the parent company went broke.
“So our initial six months was very chaotic,” says Lloyd, obviously a master of understatement.
“Do your due diligence and make sure the people you’re dealing with have history,” he advises others thinking about making the leap into franchising.
Fortunately, the chain found a buyer and stayed afloat.
And while the Maloneys admit they failed to make sure they had a plan B, they made up for it with hard work and a sound plan to turn their investment around.
The business they purchased is in Merredin, about halfway between Perth and Kalgoorlie.
Lloyd says he knew his two main competitors were catering to different sectors of the hardware market — one to retail and one to tradies.
“When we took over we had major debt and I needed all of it (the market),” Lloyd laughs.
“So we targeted the tradies and we were nice to everyone regardless of whether they were a regular customer and eventually we turned it all around.”
Lloyd’s background in the building trade has always stood him in good stead — in franchising, it helps to know your product.
The secret to his success: “Bloody hard work, perseverance and a healthy dose of stupidity,” he laughs.
Three decades later, the Maloney’s business — Two Dogs Hardware, now part of the Home franchise — is thriving.
It has put their two sons through boarding school, with the eldest now a part of the family enterprise, which employs more than 10 full time staff.