As a young lad of 19 years, Ashley Horton, along with his brother Andrew started Printable in 2003. Andrew was a computer geek and Ash needed one of those, so Andrew was dragged along for the ride. Ash was a go-getter and had his master plan from day one: to set up 30 Printable offices throughout New Zealand.

To duplicate at this scale, you need the ingredients of a world class system and great people. The goal was to run the best franchising system in the print industry. A system built around a core value of ‘win-win’ for both franchisor and franchisee. This meant that if the franchisee achieved, the franchisor would be achieving results so everybody had the same goal of team success.

Many New Zealand franchise systems are the opposite from this and are stacked heavily in the franchisor’s favour with large fees. Ash and Andrew felt that this wasn’t a long term approach to building a quality sustainable group of businesses. Every decision made should be centred around that core value: ‘win-win’.

So Ash built the business by walking the streets, cold calling in a suit that didn’t fit. The trousers didn’t match the jacket and he was carrying one of those 80’s brief-cases full of samples convincing people, twice his age, to put their trust in him. It worked!

Andrew, in the background, was developing a world-class work-flow system. Software unique to Printable that allows advantages that other printing companies haven’t had the vision or resource to create. Other companies simply can’t buy the Printable efficiencies off-the-shelf. The system is being improved daily. As the business adapts, the systems adapt with it. To cut to the chase, a world class system allows two things;

  • Extreme growth with ease
  • Duplication (franchise offices)

Printable thinks of their systems as the spine of their company.

Ashley Horton says;

‘It shows the quality of an organisation when you can double your turnover in a month and the wheels stay on. Most companies struggle with 20% growth so I’m really proud of our achievements. You definitely need great people but the spine of your business that your people rely on is your system and we’ve certainly put ours to the test’.

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