Co-working Spaces, A New Opportunity in Franchising

Co-working Spaces, A New Opportunity in Franchising

Co-working spaces are trending globally as employees call for more flexibility in their working arrangements and companies embrace the remote workplace. The concept of shared office spaces is not a new one, with many small companies opting to pool their resources into a shared office space. However, this trend has evolved into the co-working spaces we know today, unique multi-purpose buildings often located in city hubs and retail precincts.

International Workplace Group reported that by 2030, it is predicted that 30% commercial real estate will be flexible workplaces. This figure is quite realistic, with the co-working market current worth $36 billion and at least 50% of workers doing their job remotely a couple of day a week. A survey of 18,000 business leaders found that an overwhelming 89% believed utilising flexible workspaces helps their business grow.

With flexible workplaces and remote working set to become the new normal, we can expect to see changes in city plans, with a shift away from corporate parks and office districts towards a more integrated approach. A significant appeal of many co-working spaces is their proximity to dining and retail amenities, often located in the heart of the city.

As an industry set to see significant growth in the coming years, co-working spaces present an opportunity for the franchise industry to grow and diversify. Whilst traditionally the franchise model is associated with retail and quick service restaurant brands, getting involved in a flexible workplace franchise is an investment in a new era of corporate operations.

With lower overheads and operating costs than more traditional franchise businesses, co-working spaces present an opportunity for high return. There are a range of options for those looking to invest, ranging from a full service office space, with hot desking, private offices, meeting rooms and communal areas, or simply a desk within a large open plan space.

So whether you are looking to purchase your first franchise, or diversify your existing franchising portfolio the co-working market could be the right investment for you.

Tips for First Time Franchisees

Tips for First Time Franchisees

Opening up your own business is an exciting and daunting time, new business owners often feel  overwhelmed at the thought of navigating their way through the countless paperwork, legal documents and contracts. Opening up a new franchise should be an exciting and enjoyable time, to make sure your experience goes smoothly, we’ve compiled a few tips for first time franchisee owners to help you get up and running:

Do your homework

The very first and most important thing you can do before venturing into a new business, is research! You need to do your due diligence to ensure you are making informed decisions before entering into any business contracts. Start by researching how owning and operating a franchise works, and all that is involved with it. You may or may not already have a franchise in mind, either way you should research and find brands that align with your personal values and goals. It is essential you thoroughly research and ask key questions of franchisors. Questions should include:

  • Criteria for accepting new franchisees
  • Initial funds required to open
  • Ongoing fees
  • Companies financial history and current situation
  • Level of initial and ongoing support and resources
  • Expectations of franchise owners

Learn from the ground up

To make a great leader you must have a deep understanding and empathy for your staff experience. Spend a day walking in the shoes of your employees, get involved early and learn how your franchise works from the ground up. You will need to understand the inner workings and processes of your business, so you can run the day to day operation. By working on the ‘front line’ it will give you valuable insights into how your business actually operates, and allows you to test if your systems are working properly.

Seek Guidance & Consult the Experts

Ask the experts, and talk to the people who have experience in the industry. Many people are happy to talk about their experiences and offer advice. This is one of the greatest tools you can utilise before opening your franchise. Start by speaking to people and asking about their experiences and they will offload some valuable insights and knowledge. As well as speaking to experienced franchisees, you will need to seek professional advice. Find yourself a good team of professionals (tax experts, lawyers, advertising agencies etc) to help create a foundation for your business.

Follow your Franchisors Systems

You have chosen to open a franchise, a tried and tested formula with proven success, so it makes sense for you to follow the systems your franchise has in place. Take advantage of all the resources and materials the franchisor provides, making it easier for you to become established and grow your business.

Learn the Basics of Running a Business

For many people who are new to owning businesses, or feel a little nervous they will often opt for a franchise because it is already a proven model, with most things already set up ready to go, minimising their need for business management. If new franchisees rely on this, they will not succeed in their business. It is vital that you learn and understand the basics of running a business. Take the time to learn how the franchise operates, but also take the time to research how businesses work so you can reach the full potential of your new franchise.

The Role Of CSR In Franchising

The Role Of CSR In Franchising

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a term that was coined in the late 60’s, but has truly come into prominence over the past decade. CSR is a broad term but generally refers to a company’s involvement and activities regarding ethical and social issues affecting the communities they operate within. CSR at its core aims to ensure that companies are held accountable for their social, economic and environmental impact. At first, this began with the philanthropic actions of corporations, but now extends to include changes made to the everyday running of a business that are geared towards a more sustainable future.

When it comes to the franchise industry, lines can become blurred when it comes to exactly who should be making and implementing CSR initiatives. No matter if it comes from the franchisor at a top level, or is built from the ground up by a networks franchisees, any action towards running a more socially responsible business has a positive impact.

Often franchise brands run CSR initiatives on a national scale, and encourage each partner within their network to get on board and represent the cause at a local level. Partnering with a charity leads to increased exposure not only for the franchise brand but for the cause they support, doubling the potential for awareness. A prime example of this is the Poolwerx Swim Safety Initiative to Make A Difference, which aims to prevent drownings by giving every child the chance to learn to swim. If a company doesn’t have a national strategy, many franchisees partake in CSR by investing in their local community. Common activities include sponsoring a local sporting team, donating to a charity or supporting school or club.

You may be wondering why a CSR strategy should be a top priority for a franchise brand, given so many around the world have seen success without one? Well studies have shown that Millennials, more than any generation that came before them, consider real social change hugely important. This generation represents a large portion of the consumer market and actively seek out brands that have meaningful CSR programs. This is further reflected by a survey of online consumers that showed more than half would pay more for products and services if they come from a company that is socially and environmentally responsible.

When creating and implementing a CSR strategy, the first and foremost goal should be to make a positive contribution to society. But this doesn’t mean that this is where the benefits of being a responsible company stop. A well thought-out CSR plan should make sure that customers feel a sense of good for their purchase, knowing they’re helping contribute to a larger cause. Because of societies drive and desire to do and feel good, this can ultimately lead to a healthier bottom line.

For franchise brands in particular, CSR has come to play a crucial role in franchisee recruitment and retention. As more and more Millennials start to invest in the franchise industry, the importance they place upon ethical and sustainable business will become a key factor in the recruitment drive. A company’s corporate behavior gives potential franchisees valuable insight into values and principles that brand practices, and potential recruits are looking to align themselves with like-minded brands.

CSR plays an important role in ensuring that the world’s commercial practices remain ethical and sustainable. Many brands take pride in their CSR initiatives and strive to give more and more back to the community and their businesses grow and succeed. However, whether you are a national franchise network or a single franchisee, CSR should be a top priority for more reason than one!

Healthcare Providers In The Franchising Sector

Healthcare Providers In The Franchising Sector

As Australia faces the realities of an aging population, the franchising sector has seen a new area of healthcare based businesses boom. When we think of franchising the first thing that comes to mind is likely QSR operations or home services such as those offered by the Jim’s group, however, as Australian businesses adapt to meet the needs of aging consumers, the popularity of healthcare based franchise businesses is on the rise.

The country as a whole is facing somewhat of a crisis with a lack of adequate services for older residents. This has resulted in a rise in the number of senior and home care franchises, as well as other complimentary services including urgent care centres, medical equipment and supplies providers and assisted living facilities. However it is not just businesses catered towards the elderly that are thriving, with chiropractic, dental, massage, sleep therapy and walk-in clinics also adopting the franchise model.

While this trend of healthcare providers operating within the franchise industry is fairly commonplace in the U.S.A, in Australia the concept is fairly new to market. Consumers are already beginning to see the benefits, with the franchising model offering a level of consistency and quality that is replicated across all locations.

A major benefit of the franchising model is that it offers consumers a recognisable and consistent experience. Healthcare as an industry sees extremely high levels of brand loyalty, with consumers often visiting the same doctor, dentist or even masseuse for the duration of their life. In circumstances where this is not possible, the franchising model allows consumer to interact with a business and process they are comfortable with, no matter which location they visit.

Franchisors are able to leverage this brand recognition to rapidly grow their national customer base. The franchise models ability to offer a large national network of locations is a selling point for consumers, who are more likely to choose a brand where they know they can get the same familiar experience no matter where in Australia they are. Once one location has built a relationship of trust with a customer, the whole network will benefit.

For many healthcare based businesses, the franchising model offers a growth system that allows them to expand rapidly to meet the existing and growing demand brought on by the countries aging population. In particular in-home care and senior transport services are experience high demand, and a lack of existing services has left a gap in the market for new ventures to operate.

It is not only direct healthcare providers that are seeing an increase in demand. The rapid growth in within the sector has resulted in a need for more secondary and related services, mainly complimentary services such as administration, medical billing and supplies.

This trend of healthcare providers entering into the franchising sector provides an exciting new area for investors, and current franchise owners to diversify. As the demand for healthcare is only rising, such franchise brands offer a sustainable model that caters to an ever-growing audience.

Why Mobile Franchising Is Having a Moment In The Spotlight

Many looking to break into the world of small business ownership through franchising a seeking an option with low initial investment but opportunity for future growth. For a long-time mobile franchises have offered the solution.

Mobile franchising offers a broad range of benefits to its owners and operators. Initially, the buy in is often low and start-up costs are minimal without the need for a large initial fit-out. In the long term the lack of a lease and few secondary employees to pay produces lower overheads, allowing franchisees to maximise on profit. In addition to the financial perks, mobile franchising is often considered a lifestyle choice, allowing for more flexible working hours and more control.

Mobile franchisees also report having strong customer relationships, and invest little into marketing as their mobile business offers great exposure. Considering long-term growth, mobile franchisees can expand into a broader geographic market without having to invest in a second location, a known limitation of the traditional bricks and mortar model.

With all these benefits it is no surprise that mobile franchises are becoming a popular choice among aspiring franchisees. While Mobile franchises may be limited in the minds of consumers to portable dog washes or home cleaning services, this micro-sector of franchising has seen a wealth of innovation and growth.

Consumer demand for convenience is driving industry growth, and as a result the goods and services offered by mobile franchises are expanding. With pop-up markets and mobile events appearing frequently on consumers marketing calendars, the industry has responded with food trucks and and bars. Other fresh ideas to the mobile franchise market include group finesses classes, home improvement service and even innovative concepts such as within the hour alcohol delivery for parties.

Mobile Franchises offer a unique opportunity for franchisees to invest in a business that can be flexible to their lifestyle, sensitive to their budget and move with them wherever they may go. On top of this, the mobile model is better able to adapt to changing trends and consumer preferences, without the confines of a bricks and mortar model that required significant financial investment to adapt.