Char­ity be­gins at home

GET­TING IN­VOLVED IN REL­E­VANT CAUSES MAKES SENSE FOR FRAN­CHISES, SAYS SI­MON LORD.

NZ Business - - FRANCHISE FILE -

AT THE re­cent Fran­chise Con­fer­ence in Taupo, one morn­ing ses­sion was opened up to pupils from a cou­ple of lo­cal schools who were do­ing busi­ness stud­ies. The stu­dents heard pre­sen­ta­tions from a cou­ple of in­spir­ing lead­ers, one from the US and one from Aus­tralia, who talked about the chal­lenges and re­wards of build­ing ca­reers in fran­chis­ing and the ex­cite­ment of work­ing with fran­chisees to cre­ate sus­tain­able and prof­itable busi­nesses at an in­ter­na­tional level.

Talk­ing with a num­ber of the stu­dents about the projects they had de­vel­oped as part of their course, I was struck by the fact that one thing their busi­ness ideas had in com­mon was an el­e­ment of help­ing oth­ers: en­dan­gered species, Star­ship Hos­pi­tal and at-risk bees.

A char­ity an­gle has ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits for a school project, but th­ese days it’s also an im­por­tant busi­ness tool. That’s es­pe­cially true in fran­chis­ing, where the com­bi­na­tion of na­tional brand and lo­cal own­er­ship means that com­pa­nies not only ben­e­fit from be­ing seen to be a part of the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties they serve, but can use their reach to do some real good, whether by sup­port­ing lo­cal schools with prizes or band­ing to­gether on larger projects.

Per­haps that’s why, ac­cord­ing to the 2017 Fran­chis­ing New Zealand Sur­vey, some 25 per­cent of fran­chises each raise over $100,000 a year for char­ity.

Shortly af­ter the Con­fer­ence, I re­ceived an eye-catch­ing re­minder of this via a press re­lease from the Hell pizza fran­chise about its in­ten­tion to raise $75,000 for the Rain­bowYOUTH char­ity by sell­ing 3,000 lim­ited-edi­tion T-shirts bear­ing the slo­gan ‘The Only HELL I’m Go­ing To’.

The tim­ing of the cam­paign was hardly co-in­ci­den­tal. Aus­tralian rugby player Is­rael Fo­lau had said on In­sta­gram that gay peo­ple would go to hell ‘un­less they re­pent of their sins.’

Fo­lau was ex­pected to play a big part in the Bledis­loe Cup matches which were about to start, so his use of the word ‘hell’ was a gift to the com­pany. But they took the idea and ran with it to do some good with a char­ity which has a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on youth sui­cide.

As The Body Shop found out in the days of Anita Rod­dick, ac­tivism can be risky in a fran­chise, be­cause fran­chisees not only have to buy into the cam­paigns but be pre­pared to de­fend them. How­ever, it’s fair to say that if a fran­chisee joins a brand called Hell, they are un­likely to be re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ists in the first place.

The T-shirt cam­paign is a con­tin­u­a­tion of Hell’s tra­di­tion­ally edgy mar­ket­ing strate­gies by more ac­cept­able means. In their early days, they took pride in hav­ing the most com­plained-about cam­paigns in the Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Au­thor­ity’s league table ev­ery year. They courted con­tro­versy by do­ing con­dom drops to let­ter­boxes and cre­at­ing of­fen­sive bill­boards. But they have since learned to use the power of out­rage to good ef­fect. For a num­ber of years now, their ‘Satan’s Lit­tle Helper’ cam­paign has helped young New Zealan­ders go­ing through hell, while their in­volve­ment with the Tourette’s As­so­ci­a­tion has seen them bring at­ten­tion to a mis­un­der­stood con­di­tion and re­sulted in a cou­ple of tele­vi­sion spe­cials.

It’s an in­spired col­lab­o­ra­tion which has done much good over and be­yond the mere rais­ing of funds.

AP­PEAL­ING TO CORE MAR­KETS

Many other fran­chises do their good work in a less con­tro­ver­sial way. The Cof­fee Club does a great job sup­port­ing the SPCA and other char­i­ties in­clud­ing Kid­sCan – the for­mer via spe­cially-de­signed cup­cakes and the lat­ter with a Christ­mas art­work com­pe­ti­tion that sees win­ners’ draw­ings printed on cups and nap­kins. Th­ese are ap­proaches that ap­peal to the com­pany’s core mar­ket in a truly rel­e­vant way that en­gages not just cus­tomers but fran­chisees, too.

The same is true of Caci, the ap­pear­ance en­hance­ment fran­chise which of­fers free fa­cials in re­turn for hand­bags do­nated to the Dress for Suc­cess char­ity help­ing women back into the work­place.

The grand-daddy of all the fran­chise char­i­ties, of course, is Ron­ald McDon­ald House, where the in­spi­ra­tion of a sin­gle fran­chisee in 1974 turned into an in­ter­na­tional move­ment.

So let’s cel­e­brate the good that New Zealand fran­chisors and fran­chisees do on a lo­cal and na­tional level ev­ery day. Let’s ap­plaud their ef­forts to be truly in­volved in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve, to take on small or mi­nor­ity causes and set out to make a dif­fer­ence.

And, as we did at the Con­fer­ence, let’s wel­come the next gen­er­a­tion eager to learn how busi­ness works and put their ideas to use to make the world around them a bet­ter place.

SI­MON LORD IS PUB­LISHER OF FRAN­CHISE NEW ZEALAND ME­DIA, WHICH PRO­VIDE FRAN­CHISE IN­FOR­MA­TION AND DE­TAILS OF BUSI­NESS OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES AND PRO­FES­SIONAL AD­VI­SORS NA­TION WIDE. A FREE PRINT OR DIG­I­TAL COPY OF FRAN­CHISE NEW ZEALAND MAG­A­ZINE IS AVAIL­ABLE FROM WWW.FRAN­CHISE.CO.NZ “Let’s cel­e­brate the good that New Zealand fran­chisors and fran­chisees do on a lo­cal and na­tional level ev­ery day.”

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