10 QUIET ACHIEVERS
10 businesses to watch that are flying below the radar.
While some franchise brands really sparkle, they take a low-key approach just going quietly about their business.
Nuggets of brilliance glitter across the franchise sector, with some brands quietly going about their business, picking passionate and hardworking franchisees to help grow their network while benefitting from a sound commercial concept.
Here are 10 businesses to watch that are flying below the radar...
Most of Fastway’s 800 courier franchisees working from 27 regional depots stay in the network for at least five years.
It has been 35 years since the concept launched in New Zealand (25 years in Australia), and as part of the Aramex global network now, Fastway is poised to launch international services.
The model is effective because businesses need a reliable courier service, and it is a simple system with training and a cost-effective entry price. Fastway has made a point of using innovations that make life easier for couriers as well as customers, who are increasingly shopping online.
THE MEASURE: Sales across the board are growing at 11 per cent this year, with growth of more than 20 per cent in regional areas.
Fernwood has been franchising its fitness clubs since 1994. There are 69 clubs across Australia run by 54 franchisees, whose average tenure is seven years. National expansion plans include 14 new locations – four in Melbourne, two in Sydney, two in coastal New South Wales, two in Western Australia, two in Queensland and two in South Australia.
Fernwood is a strong brand with a proven track record in women’s health and fitness in Australia since the first club opened in 1989. Its success is partly attributable to the time taken to recruit franchisees who share the brand vision, values and passion, and providing them with ongoing support and education.
THE MEASURE: Growth of 5 per cent last financial year, and 10 per cent this year.
Boasting 78 territories with 51 franchisees, 14 of whom are multi-unit owners, the Gutter-Vac outdoor handyman business has been in franchising for 20 years - and not just in Australia. There are 30 franchise territories in the US, and the brand is working to gain a licensing agreement to expand in the UK.
Franchisees commonly stay for seven to 10 years. So why is it a good proposition? As Gutter-Vac explains, “Quite simply because we are an ageing population with cashed-up baby-boomers needing work to be done, and safety and regulatory requirements demanding greater compliance”.
THE MEASURE: Gutter-Vac has been showing 35 per cent growth year-on-year for the past three years.
HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Home Instead Senior Care is a basic service that meets the needs of a rapidly growing market - ageing people living independently in their own homes. Its franchisees are helping elderly people and their families achieve independence by enhancing their home lives.
Recent government reform to how home-care is funded and delivered makes a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in regional areas far more lucrative than when the brand started franchising 12 years ago.
The business is growing its national footprint, particularly in regional areas such as Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle (New South Wales) and Tasmania.
There are now 24 franchisees, half of them with multi-unit businesses.
THE MEASURE: Year-on-year revenue growth of 30 per cent since 2005.
Traditional family values have been instrumental to this home-building brand’s success since it started franchising in 1993. There are currently 73 Hotondo Homes franchisees, and the average tenure is 10.3 years. More than a third of franchisees have been with the brand for at least 15 years.
Strong marketing, sales, building and design support enables franchisees to compete with national building groups; processes and policies help them identify areas for improvement within their own business, which the franchisor can help them address.
Growth is targeted for metro markets in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as regional areas across the eastern seaboard.
THE MEASURE: Sales inquiries have increased 5.3 per cent over the same time last year, leading to more client appointments and sales.
Hairdressing experience isn’t needed to own and run a Just Cuts franchise. Stylists are empowered to run all aspects of the business, so many franchisees spend less than 30 hours a week working on their business, and 53 per cent own more than one salon.
Franchisees stay for the long term - the first franchisee has been in a Just Cuts business since 1983.
A fixed-fee structure means owners commit to a weekly investment of 12 haircuts a week. The marketing investment is based on the same structure at five haircuts a week.
THE MEASURE: The company has opened a $3 million warehouse and international distribution centre following 40 per cent year-on-year sales growth since 2013. It offers an exclusive range of professional haircare and styling products.
MAIL BOXES ETC (MBE)
MBE franchisees serve small to medium-size businesses, providing tailored services covering their packing, shipping, printing and marketing needs. It is essentially a one-stop shop providing back-office support.
The global brand has been franchising for 22 years in Australia, where its network comprises 35 franchises, nine of which are multi-unit businesses.
MBE is in the midst of opening eight more centres, and has just introduced an enterprise-based training program for franchisees. On average, a franchisee spends at least eight years in the network.
THE MEASURE: MBE is showing same-centre sales growth over the past four years averaging 5.6 per cent.
Quest will be opening seven properties across Australia before 2019, its key growth markets including New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Its network of 150 properties across Australasia is run by about 180 franchisees, who typically stay for five to seven years. Some are husband-and-wife teams or parent-and-child teams, and about 20 per cent have multi-franchises.
Quest launched in 1988 with the first franchisee starting business in Carlton, Victoria, in 1991.
The brand has been a pioneer in the serviced-apartment sector, and this first-mover advantage has led to a sustained market leadership status. It is backed by franchisee commitment to deliver the extra 1 per cent on a daily basis to exceed guest expectations.
THE MEASURE: Growth is about 8 to 10 per cent.
One of Australasia’s largest pool and spa specialist groups, Swimart was established in 1983 as a single pool-retail store. Now the business has 73 franchise outlets across Australia and New Zealand, with a fleet of more than 250 mobileservice vans.
The company is backing metro and regional expansion including both brick-and-mortar and mobile franchises.
Testament to its success as a system, several franchisees have extended beyond the five-year agreement with one option to renew, and have been with Swimart for more than 25 years.
THE MEASURE: Swimart franchisees have, on average, achieved strong sales growth, especially in home pool services. This corporate workplace coffee business is organically growing its market share in all territories, with more than 150 outlets throughout Australia, New Zealand and the US. About 10 per cent of franchisees have more than one outlet.
Over its 13 years as a franchise, Xpresso Delight has seen franchisees typically stay for six or seven years. While they need passion, enthusiasm and motivation for personal growth, they don’t need experience - the support systems and work mode have been designed to cater for people who have not been in business before.
THE MEASURE: Xpresso Delight has same-store sales growth of 10 to 15 per cent.