Tania Katsanis has a five year old business, Flowers by Fruit, that she is now ready to franchise. Follow her adventures each month as she shares the experience of transforming her business into a franchised group.
On 1 March 2006 I officially launched my business Flowers by Fruit. This blog will tell you a bit about my experiences in setting up my business and most importantly, where I am now – on the next step in my journey, ready to franchise.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do hope that in sharing my experiences with you I can let you know what I’ve learnt, as well as hearing any advice you guys may have to give me.
My business, Flowers by Fruit creates edible fresh fruit and chocolate dipped fruit arrangements.
We only make to order and launched the business as a predominately online business. With a passion for food, I spent over ten years working in various marketing roles in fast-moving consumer goods with a burning desire to have a business of my own. If possible, that business had to be in food. After all, it was, and still is, my passion.
After a lot of soul searching and a discussion with a friend about what I would like to do, I set out to launch Flowers by Fruit. I quit my job, ssold my home and invested that money to get the business off the ground. Fast forward five years and we’re still here and looking to expand via a franchise model.
As you know, life outside of work must go on.
After five years I feel that the business is ready to move onto the next stage. My vision and goals rest on the premise that we want to be the best at what we do, the pioneers of edible fresh fruit and chocolate fruit arrangements in Australia. In order to do that, we’ll need to expand. The goal is to grow to 25 – 30 stores nationally.
Why the franchise model? When I started out, I wanted to offer that good old-fashioned service from start to finish and build a relationship with my customers. I figured that people who invest in starting their own business will share that passion too. The decision was easy, the difficult part was how to turn Flowers by Fruit from a single store business into a successful franchise and then find the right people to buy into that franchise.
I knew I needed a good team around me. As well as my existing team in my store, I hired my accountant, Mike Trehy of Hadlow & Trehy. After briefing several franchise consultants and law firms, I settled on what I felt was the best fit for the business, Franchise Systems Group and HWL Ebsworth. Once I was happy with the team, we held a strategic planning day that outlined the business as it currently operates, highlighted its strengths and deficiencies from an operational point of view as well from a competitive point of view. From here we developed what we felt as a team would be the strongest franchise model for Flowers by Fruit.
We agreed that Flowers by Fruit would offer two types of franchises in the following formats. The first was to be called a Creation Centre in which the franchisees are responsible for the creation and delivery of our products within a designated region. Within each region we would have a number of Edible Gift Guru’s or Eggs (the second type of franchisees we’re looking to recruit). An Egg would have a territory within a region and would be responsible for the local area sales and marketing of the Flowers by Fruit product and brand.
So we now had our vision, what next? Next time I’ll talk you through how after identifying what needed to be changed, we got my business into a position where we could hit the green light, and multiply!