It was only 12 months ago that Corey Helm literally took the helm of his first business: going from work experience to boss – now the 23 year old is throwing open the doors to another new business in Parramatta.
With 104 stores across Australia, Corey is Battery World Australia’s youngest franchisee: after partnering with husband and wife duo Ailsa and Martyn Cross in 2016 to buy the Ryde store.
“I started working with Martyn at his auto-electric business eight years ago doing work experience and then my trade as an auto-electrician,” Corey said, “A lot of young people want to go into debt and buy a flash car or save for a house but buying a business is a sure way to give yourself a good shot at all of those things. I am not afraid of hard work and I know how important it is to give customers a good experience. The fact I am also a fully qualified auto-electrician means customers can feel confident when I change their battery.”
According to the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA), 460,000 Australians derive their livelihood from franchising across the 80,000 franchised workplaces contributing over $144 billion to the Australian economy.
While many employers would not look at all employees as potential business associates, especially one so young, Martyn said he had no hesitation in partnering with Corey – in fact right from the moment Corey opened Ryde the team has been talking about a second store.
“Corey showed us right from the start he was not going to be an employee for the rest of his life,” Martyn said, “He grew up in the western suburbs and has always been driven to move up and move forward: aiming to better everything he did from the day before. If he was a bricklayer and put down three bricks yesterday it would be five today.
“He has shown maturity beyond his years. He shows initiative and is not a clock-watcher so we identified a career path we could work together with. We are keen to work towards owning three stores: so would look to mentor future employees to also step up into a partnership role.
“Today the battery business is technology driven: things are moving at a great rate of knots, as we continually want to be plugged in and powered up.”
Corey says customers are sometime surprised when they ask to speak to the boss and he steps forward.
“At a time when bricks and mortar is really under the microscope with all the conversation about buying from the Internet: being able to talk to someone one on one about technology and battery needs is becoming, not only incredible relevant, but also very important,” he said.
“Batteries can be unstable: you just have to look back at the hover board battery scare to see how risky it can be to use the wrong battery: so there is very much peace of mind in being able to go to a store and speak to a batteryologist.”