Everywhere you look, there are franchises.
It’s a booming business and it works because it gives people something relatively familiar and reliable. People like to feel comfortable – so especially when budgets are tight, people will always choose what they know over taking a chance on something they don’t know.
City livers are especially time-poor and don’t want to waste the chance for a break on something that might turn out a disappointment. So, people go with what’s familiar, and as franchises grow they become more familiar as they move into more locations and so increase their value. Growth is the goal of every franchise but some do it better than others, and looking at what they do well can help you grow your own business.
Fast Food and Fitness
If you look at the fastest growing franchises in the US, the list is basically all fast food and fitness with a few cleaning companies thrown in the mix. Franchises in Australia don’t look all that different, with cafes, restaurants and fitness studios surging as some of the fastest growing franchises in Australia.
In fact, the franchise council of Australia estimates that there are more franchises in Australia per capita than any other country, with 1160 franchise brands and over 79000 franchise units for a relatively small population – 86 % of which are home grown. Blessed with good weather for most of the year, Australians are active people who enjoy social gatherings where they can grab a coffee or refreshing drink in a nice setting. The most successful domestic franchises accommodate for that lifestyle.
Social Media and Word of Mouth can be your biggest marketers. Once of the major benefits of entering into a franchise is that the marketing is taken care of. But for many modern businesses, the best way to grow your clientele is through social media and marketing. The world is saturated with advertising so people take more notice of what their friends and family are saying in social media rather than just another ad or another billboard. So make the most of your social connections.
Most of Australia’s population is gathered into our major cities, so there is intense competition among businesses in those city areas. For new businesses, franchising offers a competitive edge because it offers an element of familiarity and a recognisable face. While our franchises in Australia aren’t as structured as those in the US, there still needs to remain a strong cohesion between franchise units to ensure that the familiarity people feel is always a positive link, no matter which franchise shop they enter into.
A franchise also needs to fill gaps. Location and real estate are essential items to good franchising, as has been learned by McDonalds. Finding the right place to open your business is crucial – find the gap in the competition and offer people a solution to that gap that they will welcome. Bring a positive input into a community rather than being seen as opening just another shop in an oversaturated business district.
Growth is just one sign of a healthy franchise, but it’s important to find the right business for you and that requires time, research and consulting people who have been there and done it. Before you invest, always take the time to look into the company’s legal policies and consult with an attorney and accountant to look over the fine print and numbers.
You don’t want to get caught out down the track because you jumped right in from a fit of excitement. Look beyond the surface numbers and profits and talk to franchisees about their experience with the company.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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