August 28, 2017
John Vella’s phone rang. It was the bank.
“It’s about your business loan ...”
For 12 months, John and his wife, Mary-Jane, had been preparing to buy a Muffin Break franchise. Now the waiting was almost over. Their dream of owning a business was starting to feel real.
To get the business loan, John and Mary-Jane had switched their mortgage to the new bank.
Now, though, the bank was ringing to tell them it had made an error.
“Something had changed – the bank said they were not an approved lender for Muffin Break,” John said.
“I wasn’t happy at all about it. I said, ‘I just changed my home loan – now you are telling me we can’t get a business loan!’”
Owning a Muffin Break was going to be a career change for John. He had spent 13 years with the logistics company DHL and had worked his way up to become an export operations manager.
He and Mary-Jane had been thinking about buying a franchise for some time but they hadn’t felt ready to take the risk.
“My day-to-day schedule had become very structured. Every day I knew what was going to happen and what I was going to do. We thought it was the right time to start looking into buying a franchise,” John said.
“Muffin Break has always been something the kids love. We were chatting and thought like this might be good for us.”
The bank’s bombshell couldn’t have come at a worse time.
John had handed in his notice at work and agreed a leaving date. He had been planning to attend Muffin Break’s training in Sydney. Now everything had to be put on hold while new finance was found to buy the business.
Peter Machell, from Mortgage Choice Bendigo & Macedon Ranges, had been helping John and Mary-Jane with their loan application.
Now Peter had to quickly find an alternative lender. He identified the ANZ Bank and got an assurance from them that they would fund the Muffin Break purchase.
The ANZ finance proceeded smoothly – “The biggest relief is when you get the phone call from ANZ and you get told the business loan is approved,” John said.
Peter also recovered the $600 in fees that John and Mary-Jane had paid to the previous bank when they transferred their home loan.
“If I had done it myself and this had happened, I would have just given up,” John said.
“Peter was there and kept me informed. I started having negative thoughts. But Peter said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll have other options,’ and it ended up working out well.”
John and Mary-Jane have now completed the purchase of the Muffin Break at Essendon Fields and are finally turning their dream into reality.
“The kids think they are going to have muffins every day,” John said. “We are all pretty excited about it.”
John’s Advice for Buying a Franchise
1. Research thoroughly
“This was the big one for me – especially about the area where you are looking to buy and about the franchise.”
2. Get a clear indication of the up-front costs
“They tell you it’s going to cost this much, but you have got to factor in legal fees, training – paying for a place to stay. Even though I factored all these things in, I was still a bit short. Other people told me this happens a lot.”
3. Get expert help
“I got legal and accounting advice, and financial advice from Peter. Get a mortgage broker. If I hadn’t, I’m not sure where I would have been today.
“I wouldn’t be able to count the number of days and hours I would have been away from work. The fact that Peter was there and I channelled everything through him was massive. I kept going with my job and he was doing everything in the background. I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own. It would have been too time-consuming and costly.
“Having someone like Peter takes a lot off your mind. I didn’t have to worry about too much. He even came to my house at my convenience.”
4. Ask lots of questions
“Speak to other franchisees and get their feedback. That was really important for me. Fortunately, I found people who had no problem sharing their information with me. It helped to back up what it said on the Muffin Break website.”
Are you looking for business finance?
Get friendly, expert help - it's free
Phone Peter at Mortgage Choice Bendigo & Macedon Ranges on 0438 117 706