In 2014, franchising in Australia had an estimated total sales turnover of $144 billion, employing $460,000. While Australian business has been in decline since 2012, the franchise sector is growing in leaps and bounds, with an additional 6000 franchise units per year. Now, more than ever, people are looking to franchises as a viable career choice.
Buying a franchise is often a daunting decision, from both a monetary and lifestyle perspective. Here are six pearls of wisdom to consider when scoping out potential franchises.
Happy franchisees – It may seem like common sense, but many people don’t talk to people who are working within the franchise when they are sussing out a potential franchise to join. Does the lifestyle they lead appeal to you? Do they feel financially secure? Are they well supported by management? These are all questions worth asking.
Brand familiarity and trust – It goes without saying that one of the greatest advantages of joining a franchise is that it is a known brand that consumers recognise and trust. Choose a franchise that has a great reputation, or if the brand is lesser known – ask to see what plans they have.
A solid training and support network – Talk to other franchisees and find out about the systems in place. A good franchise will have an existing training induction, as well as ongoing support for the franchisees. It is a fine balance to strike for franchises – giving their franchisees the freedom to own their own business and work independently, while still providing support when it is needed.
Demand – Think about a franchise that will stand the test of time, providing a product or service that people consistently buy. While trend based franchises may run red hot initially, there is always the risk they will fall out of fashion, leaving you with a franchise that has low return and is difficult to sell.
Appeal – You’re going to be working this job, day in, day out, for (possibly) years to come. You’ll invest a lot in the franchise; so don’t be focused on only the money. This is something you’re going to need to enjoy, so pick a franchise that brings you a feeling of excitement to get out of bed every morning!
Consider your strengths – The most important part of the whole franchise equation is you. What are your strengths? Are you a team player or solo worker? How do you feel about managing staff? If sales are a strong component of the job, are you comfortable with this? When it comes to the success of your franchise you are the most important piece of the puzzle.
About the Author:
Derek Black knows a thing or two about franchising. Prior to joining Cafe2U in 2008 as Brand Managing Director, the Sydneysider owned his own franchises, which he developed and sold as a multi-franchise business.
In his time at Cafe2U he has refined financial planning, cash flow management and rigour around brand development. The franchise now has an international reach across Australia, New Zealand, UK,US and South Africa. The Retail Food Group recently acquired Cafe2U, which turns over more than $48m annually.