Ian Fuhr, Sorbet CEO, tells us about the failures he experienced and lessons learnt on his journey to becoming a well-known and established franchise owner…
Ian Fuhr started his entrepreneurial journey in 1976 when was 22 years old. Since then, he has been involved in quite a few business ventures that taught him about “start-ups and close-ups”, as he says. “I learnt many lessons during that time and eventually by 2004/2005, I decided to give it one last entrepreneurial fling” … and thus Sorbet was established.
Fuhr who spoke at this year’s FNB Franchise Leadership Summit, explained that his talk was about his journey in the entrepreneurial field. “When Sorbet came into the beauty industry, there weren’t any franchises. So as we grew, we first opened 22 company-owned stores to make sure that we had the correct business model and that the model will accommodate a franchisee and franchisor”.
Once they were comfortable with the model, the beauty salons became a franchise in 2009 and to date 80 Sorbet salons have been opened. “Franchising in this industry has since become more popular and we believe that Sorbet has improved the category…,” Fuhr comments.
There was wisdom to be passed on at this year’s Summit
As an established entrepreneur/ franchisor, Fuhr says it’s important to create a strong culture. “If you have an environment in which people feel comfortable, they will put their best performance forward when coming to serving their customers. We have a culture that focuses on people and service rather than profit and reward”.
Fuhr also recommended that people attend the Leadership Summit as “last year there were incredible speakers and I was motivated by the event. This year I’m delighted to have been asked to speak amongst some great speakers who have lots of experience and wisdom to pass on.”