Is it time to consider a franchise?

In the search for a balanced life that matches ambition, flexibility and achievement, franchising keeps popping up and raising its hand for attention.

And with good reason; many of the 73,000 current franchisees, who have helped build the franchise sector to the $131 billion contribution to the Australian economy,* signed up to enjoy financial gain, business achievement, and an element of control over their lives.

In the franchise set-up, both parties benefit. The franchisor, who establishes and continues to run the business model, can grow the overall business through the financial contribution and hard work of franchisees.

In turn, the franchisee who invests in the business concept has the potential to build their own future.

The franchisor

The key to a successful franchise is replication. Plenty of business owners consider a franchise as a way to expand cost-effectively. But growth of a concept will only work as a franchise if the idea is distinctive enough to stand out in the marketplace and if the processes in place allow someone other than the franchisor to operate it successfully in alternate locations. It requires the owner to ‘step out’ of the equation.

The joy of a franchise system is the financial commitment and the hard work is shared with franchisees.

In return however, the franchisees expect and deserve a high level of support to help them make a success of their businesses. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and it’s a heavily regulated sector governed by the Franchising Code of Conduct, so it demands a rigorous approach.

Franchisees

Franchisees invest in a business concept they believe they can profit from. They want to benefit from branding, a tried and tested method of business, and a head office team that will provide support when needed.

To achieve this, compliance is essential. Why sign up to the processes and operations and then go your own way?

Today’s franchisees are increasingly eyeing up a franchise opportunity for the potential it has to grow to multiple units, allowing them to build mini empires of franchised outlets.

A branded chain can be a tempting proposition for an existing entrepreneur looking to get more out of their business. Individual business owners can sign up to an existing franchise and rebrand their operation. Their buy-in often gives them access to much-needed technical development or marketing nous.

Flexibility

Almost every franchise brand offers its franchisees flexibility even if its operating hours indicate a constant presence is required. Franchisees can manage their own time, whether it’s within the seven days a week, long hours trading of fast food venues to the hands-off model of a 24/7 gym chain, or a home-based mortgage broker that conducts business after hours.

Franchise choice

Many entrants into the franchisee line-up choose a whole new sector to operate in, confident the business training and support will see them through the early days of learning the basics. That’s something that simply cannot be achieved within an independent business.

But getting the right franchise is essential to ensure a profitable future – and this starts with identifying a sector with growth, that will also fit the franchisee’s personality.

What to look for

  • A business that aligns to your beliefs and philosophy of life, a brand you can be passionate about.
  • A franchise that can offer a realistic return on investment.
  • Trust. Do you have faith in this franchisor and their vision?
  • A healthy relationship between franchisor and franchisees.

Achievement

Tales of franchisee success frequently reveal a sense of achievement – franchisees having the faith to follow a system, learn skills along the way, and end up with a repertoire of achievements they had never imagined.

Franchising empowers. It can reward hard work. A franchise business can give shape to an individual’s ambition and persistence.

Sarah Stowe is editor of Franchising magazine and www.franchise.net.auFranchising magazine is the consumer publication for anyone interested in investing in a franchise. Franchising magazine is Australia’s most trusted magazine dedicated to the potential franchisee. The publication has been established for 26 years and is part of the Cirrus Media portfolio. 

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