Franchising may seem like something for the big end of town, but it is most often employed by SMEs as a means of rapidly yet cost-effectively scaling their business.
Over the more than quarter of a century helping Australia’s SMEs, My Business has spoken with many such businesses, including Oporto, Boost Juice, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, SumoSalad, Anytime Fitness and many others that have embraced the franchise model to take their business to the next level.
According to Mark Rusbatch, CEO of Mister Minit Australia, franchising not only aids to scale a business, but also ensures that the direct connection between business owner and customer is not lost.
Firstly, he says it is important to ensure that your business model and your products or services remain sustainable at scale.
“Sometimes I hear companies say, ‘We’re a franchise business,’ as if franchising is a business in itself. Frankly, I take a different point of view. I think franchising is a means by which you deliver something. It’s a little bit different how others see it, but I’m very clear that the first thing that you need is you need to have a product or a service that someone wants,” says Mark.
“There’s got to be a sufficient demand that you can commercialise it. You’ve actually got to have a business model whereby you can actually make money out of it.”
Read more: What you need to know about franchising
The second piece of advice Mark has for would-be franchisors is make sure that you can standardise it, to ensure the brand and service level you have worked hard to build can be carried across.
“People come to the franchisor and there’s a good faith expectation that they are providing something that has proven that will add value. You’ve got to have the systems and processes behind it,” he says.
Mark’s final piece of advice applies not just to franchising, but indeed to every business, regardless of size, industry or model.
“I personally feel very strongly on [this:] you’ve got to have an ethos of doing the right thing. Ultimately, you’ve got to act in good faith. Sometimes there can be that tension between the short-term and the long-term, but ultimately you’ve got to say, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’,” he says.
“I think if you focus on that, then you have a much higher chance that you will be successful. You’ll just feel better about your life, anyway.”
Get first-hand insights on what it takes to take your business to a franchise model from Green Chilli Marketing founder Belinda Bow, or hear more words of wisdom from Mark on the My Business Podcast below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.