The Franchise Association of South Africa interviews Chris and Belinda Dunn
How Covid impacted the way we do business. Businesses must operate smarter to stay relevant to stay open with Chris and Belinda Dunn of 3@1 Business Centres.
What do I get?
3@1 Franchise feature in Your Business Magazine June/July 2020 Edition
Marketing and Support
Meet some of our great franchisees supplying their communities with vital services, some that have been with us for a long time and others who are just getting started on their journey to success. Find out which areas are available opportunities.
3@1 Fourways, South Africa
Tanya and Peter Edwards of Johannesburg have been with the 3@1 franchise for 14 years. Both seen here holding the DHL Ultimate Rewards Challenge boarding pass.
3@1 Windhoek, Namibia
Rita and staff recently joined the 3@1 team at Maerua Mall, Windhoek and are off to a great start. They love serving the community while their new retail business grows.
3@1 Bryanston, South Africa
Nestled in the centre of Bryanston, 3@1 Business Centre is aptly placed to provide essential services to the community. Audrey and team have a wealth of knowledge.
Read what some of our successful franchisees have to say about their experience with us and owning and running their own 3@1 store.
"Thanks to the enticing 3@1 store branding and strong partnerships with famous brands such as Kodak & DHL, here at Green Valley we have managed to carve out a firm foothold in our competitive business community. The 3@1 franchise is a great example of a good balance between allowing an Owner’s Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Independence to flourish, whilst maintaining an overall consistent standard across all stores which the 3@1 customers have come to expect. We’ve experienced regular month-on-month growth since inception, even after the disastrous Covid pandemic, and we continue to be inspired by the exceptional successes of the many 3@1 stores who continue their operations well beyond 10 years. The wide scope of Services and Solutions that is offered out of the 3@1 stable, which is often only limited only by your own creativity, is a diverse and resilient Portfolio that can grow under varied market conditions. No boring days in sight.
Assia & Elaais
Owner operators 3@1 Green Valley
"After an exhausting search into many franchise opportunities available to Tania and myself, we decided that the 3@1 model suited both our collective career experience, and our expectations from owning our own business.
After training at an existing store, 3@1 Fourways opened its doors for trading in September 2005 in the recently refurbished and remodelled Leaping Frog Garden Centre in Fourways with a 50m2 footprint.
In 4 years our business had grown so much that we had to expand.
After what is now approaching our 15 year anniversary, the business model has proven to be a success, despite an economy that is far from galloping, the 3@1 business centre service is still growing at a good pace.
Tania & Peter Edwards
Owner operators 3@1 Fourways
With my financial experience and my husbands IT and computer experience it made sense for us to look at the kind of business offered by 3@1. Neither of us had been in retail or in the printing industry though. The big benefit to us was being offered a turnkey solution where, after training, we were able to literally walk in the door and start trading right away. We have learnt as we went along and adapted the model to suit our surroundings and customer base but the advantage of having the experience and reputation of the franchise behind us has certainly made it much easier. The franchise business partners such as DHL and Kodak also assist in establishing credibility for a new business.
Owner operator 3@1 Capricorn Park, Muizenberg
"I have always known that I would like to be an business owner. Partially due to the fact that I would like to be of service to others, that I would like to offer a service/s that really adds value to the community and that I would also like to be financially independent. Owning a business is certainly not for everyone. One really needs to have grit and determination to succeed. The state of economy adds to the pressure but one has to be resourceful in order to overcome.
This business has allowed/given me a platform to be creative. The journey can be very fulfilling on many levels.
I am so grateful every morning when I am able to open my 3@1 Business Centre store's doors, I realize that I am privilidged to work for myself. This business will certainly reward those that put in the effort. What you put in is what you get out at the end of the day.
One most certainly is able to make a success of this business if one follows the guidelines set out by Belinda and Chris' team.
Owner operators 3@1 Cosmo
"I must admit, at first, I was nervous to take on such a daunting investment which meant gaining a lot of responsibility. After extensive research and investigation into businesses on the market, I decided to take the plunge! Three years down the line and I’m glad I did (although it’s unclear what the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic will have on all businesses), but we’re ready to adapt to the changed business landscape post Covid-19.
My first challenge, which ultimately turned into an achievement was to show my employees that I am committed to the growth and expansion of the business, as well as providing them with the correct tools and equipment to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This meant a further investment into advanced equipment and machines. Another proud moment was a 27% turnover growth within the first year of operation. Looking for ways to further grow the business, increase customer service/satisfaction and alternative marketing methods remain our constant focus.
There is a lot of responsibility on a business owner’s shoulders - employees are dependent on their job security, you need to ensure your business remains successful and ensure that you’re exceeding customer service, but it’s also rewarding to know that you are providing jobs, personal growth opportunities and a service to your community. Something I really enjoy is the interactions with customers and getting to know our regulars.
It has been a blessing having a franchisor behind my business; providing back office support, advise and negotiating supplier contracts. It is great to be part of the 3@1 family!
Owner operator 3@1 Stellenbosch Square
Let's get started!
Fill in your details below and the links to our info pack and application form will be automatically sent to your email address.
For Master Territory and Area Franchise opportunities outside of South Africa, go to www.3at1.com
Variety of services at 3@1 stores
Each 3@1 store is individually owned, so the services offered at each store may vary.
Find your nearest 3@1 store
Type in your area below and the maximum distance you’re hoping to travel
News and Media
Read about what we’ve been up to, from store openings and workshops to new opportunities.
Also visit our Surefire Blog for news on this and other exciting franchise opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes 3@1 different from other printing franchises in South Africa?
We're always evolving with technology and offer support. Partnership offerings from DHL International and Kodak International Express keeps our franchisees competitive. Full turnkey setup means that we manage store openings from beginning to end. Wide range of services in one venue. 3@1 store design and merchandising set us apart by creating a bright, professional, and user-friendly experience and tweaked on occasion to keep it fresh. Low royalty of 3% ensures more profit in your pocket.
What are the minimum qualifications to become a 3@1 franchisee and what are the hours of operation?
3@1 appeals to franchisees from all walks of life and innovative thinkers of all ages, with entrepreneurial drive. Retail and management experience are advantageous but not critical. An outgoing personality, desire to support/service business owners and consumers and build relationships are key. Our turnkey setup should be covered by unencumbered cash. This means we don't support finance applications. Landlords determine trading hours in shopping centres.
How much does a franchise cost and how much are royalties and advertising contributions?
Store setup starts at R595 000 plus VAT. Unencumbered Cash Investments only.
*These amounts exclude your landlords deposit (+- R50 000) and your working capital (+- R120 000). Initial royalties are R2750 ex. VAT or 3% of turnover whichever is the greater. Our monthly advertising vetting fee is R466 ex. VAT. This fee goes toward the constant development of new marketing material you can use to promote your business.
How long does it take to open a franchise and what process do I follow?
Once a lease agreement and franchise agreement are signed, it usually takes approx. 30 days to move onto the site and another 30 days start to trading. The process is strongly influenced by how long it takes to source and secure the right site. In the case of a newly constructed shopping centres, the timeframe is often longer. 3@1 is a full turnkey offering and support is provided every step of the way; from site selection to securing the lease, through the planning phase to store set-up, training and the eventual store opening.
How flexible is 3@1 with respect to operation of the business and the services and products offered?
We are considered strong industry leaders offering a myriad of business and communications services like DHL Express Easy Courier, 3@1 counter to counter national Courier, Kodak Express Offering Photo's, Collages, Block mounting and Photobooks as well as ID & Visa photos. Our leading offering is Business print, Broad format print and related services like binding, laminating etc. In South Africa 3@1 recently added Business Registration services and other Tax submission services and image transfer solutions.
Will I need employees and what training do we receive?
A typical 3@1 store starts out with the owner operator and two staff members. In-store training takes place for approximately one week in an existing outlet before store opening. It includes an overview of the 3@1 business model, marketing and advertising, store operations, merchandising, customer service and management techniques as well as inventory, cost accounting and general business procedures. The franchise team also oversees store setup, opening and initial trading period to ensure proficiency and confidence.
What about location? Do I have to find the location on my own?
Our sales team will work with you to source and secure the right site plus negotiate lease terms that will favour you as tenant.
How can I get a copy of 3@1 Franchise Disclosure Document?
When our sales team receives your completed application form and CV we can begin the franchisee evaluation process. Successful applicants will be invited to a contact interview where more information is shared.