Drew Sherwin and Amanda Monaghan
By Ashleigh McMillan
A Specsavers store on the Gold Coast was awarded Franchisee of the Year for Queensland and the Northern Territory at the Franchise Council of Australia Awards last week.
The shared venture between optometrist Drew Sherwin and dispensing director Amanda Monaghan employs 14 staff members including one other full-time optometrist. The store is located in the Australia Fair shopping centre in Southport.
Mr Sherwin said he was delighted to receive the sector-wide award and believes the store stood out from the competition because of its broad focus on eye care.
‘The fact that you can provide good health care, good service and good product in one package is something that’s very rare in the [franchise] marketplace,’ he said.
Mr Sherwin said he saw a range of patients in his store which he described as CBD-style and in a lower socio-economic area compared to the rest of the Gold Coast, but also near the region’s legal district.
‘We just try to individualise the service and the eye tests, so that regardless of whether they are a high-paid lawyer working at the courts or whether they are someone who is a pensioner or a retiree, they have a positive experience from us,’ he said.
While he said there was no silver bullet to creating a successful business, Mr Sherwin spoke highly of the support provided by Specsavers and Ms Monaghan.
‘Specsavers absolutely gives you the tools you need, and they give you more tools than you need as well, and it’s up to the individual team to find what works for them,’ he said.
‘What makes our franchise special is that I have a very good business and retail partner, and it’s the relationship that we have that enables us to work efficiently with our staff and interact with our patients in the best and most positive way we can.’
The store will receive detailed comment from the Franchise Council of Australia on its application and the mystery shopper used to assess them. Mr Sherwin said they are looking forward to seeing how they can use that information to review their business and see where they could improve and grow.
Specsavers Australia Fair will now compete in the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on 11 October to coincide with the Franchise Council of Australia’s national convention.