Leading the way for women in convenience
The number of women owning convenience stores has increased over the past decade, but the growth has been slow. Currently, only a third of store owners are women, despite females comprising almost three-quarters of the workforce.
Women face challenges in obtaining these top positions and overcoming the gender bias that has persisted for a long time. Sereena Khan is a former teacher with 20 years of experience and five years as an Assistant Headteacher. She is a shining example of a woman who has successfully transitioned career towards owning her own retail business.
Sereena, seeking a change and a legacy for her three children, opened three stores within two years. She started with an unexpected opportunity in Barcelona. Despite lacking retail experience in the UK, she found ample support from One Stop, the franchise she partnered with when opening in England.
John Miller, Head of One Stop Franchise, explains:
“More women want to work and carve out top jobs for themselves and have the same opportunities as men. At One Stop our female franchisees are a powerhouse who are skilled leaders and decision makers, bringing different perspectives and values and enhancing our business.”
Franchising offers flexibility, allowing Sereena to monitor her stores’ performance online and access a strong support network. Many successful female entrepreneurs, like Sereena, have joined the retail industry without extensive retail experience, relying on transferable skills and adaptability.
Sereena’s journey with One Stop Franchise started with a store in Rishton, which flourished with the guidance and promotional strategies provided by the One Stop team. As her confidence grew, Sereena expanded her business to two more stores and now plans to open a fourth, benefiting from the EPoS system that enables remote management.
Sereena Khan opening one of her One Stop Franchise stores.
Sereena’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
However, Sereena emphasises the challenges involved in opening multiple stores quickly. Proper procedures, competent staff, and personal customer interactions are essential. Despite perceiving franchising as a predominantly male domain, Sereena highlights the numerous opportunities and support available for women in the industry.
She receives regular updates and assistance from One Stop through email and a franchise helpline. Sereena appreciates the time saved by being able to manage her sites from home using the EPOS system, allowing her to find a balance between work and family.
John Miller identifies Sereena as a positive role model for female entrepreneurs due to her influential leadership, delegation skills, and customer-centric approach, stating:
“Sereena has all the qualities we look for in a franchisee. She is a strong and influential leader who can delegate, whilst always providing encouragement and praise to motivate her team. Her customers are at the heart of what she does.”
To learn more about One Stop Franchise and how we can work together, we welcome you to a no-obligation chat! Our retail experts will discuss your business and give you free advice for the future.