Ash has been involved with the shoe repair, key cutting and engraving chain Mister Minit since 2000, and acquired his franchise in 2012. He runs the St Lukes kiosk with wife Amanda Han and a tight-knit team of four staff.
Mister Minit St Lukes’ success is down to excellent customer service, Ash says, which in turn is determined through high-quality team-building.
“I’m big into laying a foundation for our staff where they have an environment which is fun and professional at the same time,” he says.
Staff are encouraged to interact and enjoy conversations with one another, but as soon as a customer arrives, the customer must be their number one priority. Ash says he’s raised the customer’s average dwell time from around 30 seconds to over two minutes by asking his staff to engage with them socially. They might spot an Auckland Blues shirt on the shopper and comment on it, or ask about the customer’s country of origin.
It’s important to forge a connection with the customer, Ash says: “They’re not just a dollar sign, they’re another human being.”
St Lukes is a high-volume area, says Ash, who is proud that his Mister Minit franchise is the busiest in New Zealand. In fact, it this year won Mister Minit’s internal awards, beating 278 other Mister Minit franchises to become franchisee of the year across New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia.
Winning the Westpac Franchisee of the Year Award had the Mister Minit St Lukes team “walking around a foot taller” on Monday morning, Ash says, but the earthquakes further south brought them crashing back to earth as some team members had family caught up in the disaster. Ash empathises with their concern.
“We’re a small family business where everybody feels part of our St Lukes family.”
Here’s the full list of winners from the awards:
|Title||Subheading||Winner||Sponsored by||Franchisees' names|
|Franchise System of the Year||Community involvement||Fastway Couriers (New Zealand)||Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre|
|Field Manager of the Year||Home & Lifestyle Services - under 500k||Sofia West - Green Acres Franchise Group Ltd||Franchise New Zealand Media|
|Field Manager of the Year||Home & Lifestyle Services - over 500k||Brad Hay - General Manager Sales & Marketing - Signature Homes Ltd||Franchise New Zealand Media|
|Field Manager of the Year||Retail, Food & Beverage - over 500k||Greg Hoar - National Operations Manager - Super Liquor Holdings Limited||ABC Business Sales|
|Field Manager of the Year||Business Services - over 500k||Sangeetha Shaikh - Paramount Franchise Services Ltd||Crowe Horwath|
|Best Emerging||Franchise System of the Year||Zones Landscaping Smyobpecialists||MYOB|
|Master Franchisee of the Year||Oporto Franchising New Zealand Ltd||McDonald's New|
|Erica and Lawrence Pereira|
|Export Achievement||System of the Year||Dream Doors NZ Ltd||Stewart Germann Law Office|
|Media Campaign of the Year||The Coffee Club Franchising (NZ) Limited||ABC Business Sales|
|Service Provider of the Year||MYOB||Jani King|
|Business Services||Franchisee of the Year||Fastway Couriers (Wairarapa)||Crowe Horwath||Russell and Therese Boniface|
|Business Services||Franchise System of the Year||Paramount Franchise Services Ltd||Crowe Horwath|
|Retail, Food & Beverage||Franchisee of the Year||SKEW NZ Ltd - Mister Minit - St Lukes||Franchise Accountants & Franchise Infinity||Michael Ash|
|Retail, Food & Beverage||Franchise System of the Year||Mister minit New Zealand Limited||Franchise Accountants & Franchise Infinity|
|Home Services||Franchisee of the Year||Vogue Homes Ltd - T/A Signature Homes Bay of Plenty||Franchise New Zealand Media||Craig and Debbie Williams|
|Home Services||Franchise System of the Year||Signature Homes Ltd||Franchise Accountants & Franchise Infinity|
|Lifestyle Services||Franchisee of the Year||Just Cabins - Northland||Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre||Ben and Jan Wood|
|Lifestyle Services||Franchise System of the Year||Just Cabins||Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre|
|Supreme Award||Westpac Franchisee of the Year||SKEW NZ Ltd - Mister Minit - St Lukes||Westpac||Michael Ash|
|Supreme Award||Westpac Franchise System of the Year||Signature Homes Ltd||Westpac||Gavin and Anneta Hunt|