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Interview with Con Klestinis - Director of Games2u Australia

Con Klestinis
Owner and Director at Games2u Australia

Eden Exchange recently spoke with Con Klestinis is who is the director of Games2u Australia.  Games2u is a leading mobile entertainment franchise business which is aggressively expanding across country. Con discussed with his franchising journey and provided some unique insights on the Games2u business in Australia.
 
Edenexchange
Thanks for speaking with us Con. Can you tell us a bit about your background and career? Why did you get in to franchising and how did you first get involved with the Games2u?
 
Con Klestinis
Throughout my working career technology has played a significant role. I starting out with the National Bank in their data centre. I then spent over twenty years in the accounting industry developing management reports for businesses Australia-wide. I then spent several years managing IT companies before setting up my own benchmarking company. Franchising was always on my radar and I was constantly looking for the right opportunity.
 
I believe that with franchising you need to be confident in your own abilities and in the company. Factors to consider include the viability of the business, the competition and whether there is a ready market of the goods or service. Games2u ticked all these boxes for me.
 
In 2014, I bought the South Australian franchise. My long-term goal was to eventually run the company, and in November of 2016 an opportunity arose to buy Games2u Australia. Having successfully run my own franchise for almost three years, without hesitation I bought Games2u. One of my next goals is to let the rest of Australia know the great potential this company offers.
 
Edenexchange
In simple terms, what does Games2u do? What differentiates it from other companies in the mobile entertainment and events industry?
 
Con Klestinis
Games2u provides a mobile Game Theatre and Entertainment system. Our activities include mobile Game Theatre, Giant Hamster Ball (Zorb Ball), Laser Tag (Laser Skirmish), Bumper Balls, Water Tag and Water Roller.  Hiring any one or a combination of the above allows us to give the customer the ultimate action party or event that everyone will be talking about in weeks to come.
 
Everyone is looking for something new, exciting and fun for their next event. At Games2u, we provide several activities that can appeal to both the young and those young at heart. Our activities also appeal to that hard to please age group of 7-13. Both boys and girls love to enjoy the Games2u experience.
 
In most cases, our competitors offer just one of the activities we provide. By offering several activities to choose from, children are engaged longer. At Games2u, we also promote children being active.
 
Edenexchange
You currently have franchise territories available across Australia.  Which areas are you focusing on?
 
Con Klestinis
The reality is parties and events are held anywhere and everywhere. For a franchise location to be successful, you need access to families and schools. For this reason, our territories are available Australia-wide and we are focusing on all capital cities, metropolitan as well as regional areas.
 
Regional areas offer a great opportunity. Anyone who lives in these regions will know that most companies are reluctant to travel there. Our philosophy is different. Why should children miss out simply because of where they live?
 
Edenexchange
What major trends should franchise operators and buyers in your sector need to be aware of?  What’s your take on where the mobile games and entertainment industry is heading?
 
Con Klestinis
Statistics show that mobile businesses are growing. The entertainment and gaming industry is also growing. Most parents would be aware that mobile phones and video games play a significant role in their children’s lives. There must be a balance though. At Games2u, we not only provide our state-of-the art mobile Game Theatres, but also provide activities to promote children being active and engaging socially with each other.
 
Technology is constantly changing. For this reason, we are always on the lookout for what the latest trends are, not only in games, but also in hardware. Again, our focus is not only technology, but entertainment. Most of the activities we provide are about being active.
 
Edenexchange
What advice do you have for someone looking to run a franchise for the first time? What’s the key message you tell new franchisees?
 
Con Klestinis
Running a franchise is not easy. Running a franchise for the first time is even harder. You need to be skilled in not only running the business, but also attracting new business, customer service and administration.
 
Edenexchange
In your opinion, what makes for a successful Games2u franchise owner? What type of background and experience does a new franchisee need to have and what makes running a Games2u businesses unique?
 
Con Klestinis
A successful Games2u franchise owner needs to be multi-skilled. Being a self-starter, they need to also have an entrepreneurial spirit, with a willingness to learn. Strong interpersonal skills and enjoying being with children are integral in our business.
 
I believe that it is a person’s internal drive that makes one successful. Your background or experience play a part, but are not the key drivers. If you are willing to learn, then anyone can quickly grasp what we do and the processes we follow. A strong work ethic and view to the long term are essential for any successful business owner.
 
Running a Games2u business is all about working hard, both physically and mentally. Dealing with children, your primary concerns are the safety of the children and them having fun. Tick these two boxes and you are well on your way to running a successful Games2u franchise.
 
Edenexchange
After a new franchise opens for the first time, what type of support does Games2u provide?
 
Con Klestinis
Each new franchisee starts with a new fitted out mobile Game Theatre and equipment. Training in their use is critical to running their business. We conduct an on-the-job training where franchisees travel to our head office and go on the road to run real parties and events using their equipment with our staff. Carefully guided through the processes, they quickly learn the essentials of running a successful event.
 
We also spend time going through our training manual, operating systems, marketing strategies and on-line booking system.
 
Support does not stop there. It is on-going. We use today’s technology to keep in regular contact and new franchisees can feel comfortable to call at any time with any queries or concerns they may have.
 
Edenexchange
Where do you see Games2u in a year from now? What are your strategic priorities?
 
Con Klestinis
Having run my own franchise for several years, I know first-hand what is needed to run a successful Games2u business. It is now time to show others the true potential of what can be.
 
In 12 months’ time, I can see the number of franchises throughout Australia increasing. This in turn will benefit all existing franchisees as our brand awareness increases. Our strategic priority is getting people to understand what we do and the fun and excitement it provides. Advertising nationally as well as at a local level helps to achieve these goals. Best of all though, is word of mouth. Each of our franchisees love it when a child says, “That was the best party EVER!”.
 
Edenexchange
What challenges have you faced to get the business where it is today? On the other hand, what are some of the key achievements you are proud of?
 
Con Klestinis
Every business faces many challenges. It is how you overcome these challenges that makes you successful. As an example, there is a misconception out there that all we do is play video games. The reality is that this is only 20% of what we offer.  At Games2u we promote children being active. Be it running around a field playing Laser Tag or crashing into each other with our Bumper Balls.
 
Another challenge is people’s idea that we only cater to boys. The truth is, girls just want to have fun too! When we run our highly successful School Vacation Care program, 50% are boys and 50% girls. Girls have as much right to enjoy the Games2u experience as the boys do.
 
Since taking over the business less than 6 months ago, much has changed. A new website and on-line booking form and enquiries are just a few of the many new initiatives.
 
Another thing to be proud of is that each of our Games2u franchisees has experienced a 10-20% growth in revenue each year.
 
Edenexchange
What’s the most interesting part of your job?  What drives you to do what you do?
 
Con Klestinis
The most interesting part of my job is seeing how similar people really are, no matter what their nationality or level of income is. We get to play a key role in one of the most important days in a child’s life – their birthday party. Everyone want to share the experience of this special occasion with their friends and family. We get to be a part of the family for a moment. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces makes it all so worthwhile. Not everyone goes to work every day to make others happy.
 
Edenexchange
Thanks for your time Con
 
 
 
About Game2u
 
Everyone loves to have a great party or event. And by making it easy and pleasant, we've not only tapped into a truly vibrant industry, we've secured the lead position. Games2u is the instantly competitive, branded choice. With complete operating, marketing, and financial systems, you can focus your talents on growing your Games2u business.
 
Franchisees enjoy a beloved brand, a thoroughly tested operating platform and solid marketing strategies. An ideal franchisee is a self-starter, has entrepreneurial spirit, the willingness to learn, strong interpersonal skills, and a view to the long term.
 
If you’re interested to find out more or are thinking about becoming a Franchisee with Games2u speak to us today to discuss how the franchise could be right for you or click here to contact us for more information.

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