How to give your life a boost

Jurek Leon asks what it takes to build a successful franchise business? Different people do it in different ways and some are willing to share their secrets. One of these people is Jim Penman of Jim’s Mowing fame and his story What Will They Franchise Next? is available as a free e-book at the Resources section of my website:

The latest to do so is Boost Juice founder Janine Allis – and what a fascinating lady.  From leaving school at 17 to take a job with McCann Erickson Media, to travelling and working overseas for six years, including famously working as a deck-hand on David Bowie’s yacht in the Mediterranean, to opening her first store in Adelaide in 2000, to being named Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year in 2004. Oh, and in case you didn’t know she is also the mother of three young children.

From zero to nearly 200 stores in five years from Adelaide, across Australia to New Zealand, Indonesia and beyond. This is a story worthy of investigation, which makes her book, Boost Your Life – My recipes for success in life and work a must read. At least that’s what you’d think, but it isn’t. It’s tedious.

Clearly, Janine Allis is a superb selector of staff and franchisees. But judging by this book, she is a lousy chooser of ghostwriters too. The book is tedious and the writing style and book structure doesn’t work well at all.

Yet, when I attended the book launch late last year I found Allis to be a natural, down-to-earth, lively speaker – a genuine person with a zest for life. Her enthusiasm, commitment and healthy focus reminded me of Anita Roddick, but without the radical streak. So, despite my critical comments, the book is still a must read for anyone involved in franchising, whether franchisor or franchisee, for anyone looking for ideas on promoting healthy food options and for anyone hungry to absorb information and ideas from a successful retailer.Here are some excerpts to give you a taste of the contents:

Ever had to audition for a job?

At Boost, we devised an interesting and unusual way to interview for counter staff.  Every six months or so, depending on our employment needs, we hold a Boost audition, usually in a different capital city. We advertise in the papers and often hundreds of people turn up. These are not your ordinary job interviews…

The applicants audition: they play games, they dance, they sing, they perform. We are looking for the right spirit for our business, and we use these exercises to single out the leaders, those who work well in a team – the right people for Boost.

It’s not all about hiring extroverts. You need a mixture of personalities on a team. We’ll have extroverts looking after the registers and people who love people working in our pourer area.

A tough cookie (or is that celery stick)?

At the end of 2004, we had a shake-up at Boost. I asked our heads of departments to assess their teams and decide who they wanted to take into 2005 with them. There was a group of people who didn’t make the cut. Were they bad people? Absolutely not. Were they the right people to continue on at Boost? No. As a leader, you must have courage.  So I took the initiative and our team is streamlined and working well.

Selecting franchisees

It’s very difficult to become a Boost franchisee. We are known within the franchising world as being incredibly selective, and we’re proud of that. We select franchisees based on the philosophy of: “It’s not necessarily where they’ve been, but where they want to go.” We do not tolerate mediocrity. The best decisions we have made involve the people who are not with us, not the people who are with us.

Get into bed and do your shopping

You don’t have to waste time paying bills or grocery shopping. I’m not suggesting you can get away without doing these things, but make it easy on yourself – get online! I spend a lot of time trying to find easy ways to do things and online supermarkets are one of my favourite inventions. My son Oliver and I go shopping together – we hop into bed with the laptop and cruise the aisles.

Sell good feelings

You can’t mistake a Boost Juice Bar for anything else. They are plastered all over the place with phrases such as ‘love life’, ‘low fat’, and ‘healthy’. Hopefully people then feel good about buying our products. It’s all there in front of them.

Why share your secrets?

I once attended a seminar where the head honcho of Toyota was giving a presentation.  Everyone in the room was shocked by the amount of seemingly critical information he gave away. When asked about his willingness to be so candid, he replied, “Everyone can listen, but few will act.” His words are too true.

Jurek Leon is a speaker, trainer and consultant. To subscribe to Jurek’s free monthly email newsletter go to the Free Articles section of his website and type in your name and email address. It’s simple and easy. Alternatively, email Jurek at