It’s your business path
To run a franchise, you have to believe in the product, writes Cara Jenkin
FRANCHISEES need to do their homework and believe in their product if they are to be successful operators.
That is the advice from Gabby Kelly, general manager of national franchise chain Baker’s Delight.
‘‘ Establish whether the business is a good fit for you,’’ she says.
‘‘ Speak to customers, staff and other franchisees to gauge their level of satisfaction with the product, service of business and brand.’’
The longevity of product also should be a priority.
‘‘ Will the product you are selling stand the test of time? Invest in a versatile staple that is never going to out of fashion with consumers.’’
Franchisees need to be happy to buy the product themselves to be able to sell it to others, and be prepared to work hard.
Franchisees often can obtain operational support from franchisers in areas such as marketing, recruitment, information services and business development. But they still are accountable for business success and must be prepared to put in the hours, Kelly says.
‘‘ Determine whether the business offers forums in which to openly communicate with other owners,’’ she says. ‘‘ Sharing results and experience facilitates business growth so determine the openness of the franchise in how it shares results in the group.’’ A positive attitude is pivotal to success as well as willingness to embrace the system.
‘‘ Your people determine the success of your business, so be prepared to develop and nurture progression,’’ Kelly says.
‘‘ Offer the opportunity for all staff, from the apprentice and sales assistant to the sales manager, to contribute to the business and create an environment that encourages this involvement.’’
Xpresso Delight is a franchise that has enabled success for many people who have never been in business.
Franchisees own automated gourmet espresso coffee machines placed in workplaces to provide workers with gourmet coffee alternatives to cafebought product and at a cheaper cost.
‘‘ This pent-up demand for gourmet coffee in the workplace is very poorly met,’’ a spokesman says.
‘‘ Each day, thousands of workers trek to the nearest cafe to spend as much as $3 to $4 for their morning coffee.
‘‘ This is a huge market waiting to be tapped.’’
UNTAPPED DEMAND: Stephen Spitz and Paul Crabtree are founders of the Xpresso Delight franchise.