Top tips and expert advice for professionals looking to own a franchise business

Zoe Baker | Franchisee and Partner | Australian Skin Clinics

If you’re interested in working for yourself but aren’t quite sure where to start, owning a franchise business can be a viable alternative to starting your own business while benefiting from the experience of a big business network.

But just like any unchartered territory, it is important to consider your options, take the time to research the right industry for you and, of course, seek advice from an experienced source.

Australian Skin Clinics Franchisee Zoe Baker did just that and is now running two successful clinics in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs, Warringah Mall and Chatswood. We spoke with Zoe to get her insights into how to be successful in your own franchising venture.

Where to start?

Search engines are a great, basic starting point, but there are also franchising events, great franchising magazines, word of mouth referrals and of course websites like Business Franchise Australia and New Zealand.

Be sure to get your accountant involved straight away to determine whether you’re making a financially feasible decision and obtaining the services of a solicitor that specialises in franchise law is a must when considering getting involved in a franchise – cover all your bases.

What will be the best industry for me?

It’s imperative you choose an industry you are passionate about or think you will enjoy working in so that you stay motivated, as owning a franchise, just like any business, can be all consuming at times but the rewards are worth it.

If you are able to look around and say to yourself that you love the team you have created and the business you have built, and if it has helped you achieve the things you set out to do i.e. have more time to spend with family and pick up the kids from school, then you have done the right thing.

As an example, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the medi-aesthetic, hair and beauty sector represents a $3.8 billion industry and is only growing thanks to the world of online bloggers and eager consumers, making it a great industry to get involved with.

What do I need to know about franchising?

The best thing about getting involved with the right franchise is the support you will receive. There is a lot of work to be undertaken when starting your own brand or business i.e. researching competitors, choosing a business structure, registering a business name, choosing an accounting system etc, but the great thing about owning a franchise is that most of that is already done for you.

The support the franchisor offers their franchisees is invaluable. You will be surrounded by a knowledgeable network, making a huge difference to your own business development.

How do I build the right team?

Creating the right team to help you reach all your business goals is extremely important. The biggest thing to look for in staff is their attitude and cultural fit to the team you’re looking to build.

You want to drive an amazing customer experience and not compromise on that, as it’s what remains at the core of most franchises and your business goals.

Your staff members need to complement the rest of the team as well as your brand and mission, they should be passionate about the business, industry and services offered to help you reach your goals. Just look either side at your fellow franchisees and you can pinpoint performance down to staff and customer experience.

Again, the support network from the franchisor will help you through this process with guidance on employment, team structure and employee training.

Is there any growth in Franchising beyond your own Franchise?

The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) is the nation’s peak body for franchising. Becoming a member of your franchise’s council should be at the top of your list of goals, as that’s how you will be able to work closely with the FCA and provide input and insight into the world of franchising, helping mould it into what you think it should be.

Ask the questions, make enquiries and make it a priority to become a member, if you really want to get the best out of franchising entirely.

Australian Skin Clinics has more than 45 clinics across Australia, offering a variety of treatments from laser hair removal and skin treatments to their newest treatments CryoDefine Fat Freezing, Micro-Needling and LED Light Therapy. www.australianskinclinics.com.au/franchise

Zoe Baker is a franchisee and partner of two successful Australian Skin Clinics, Warringah Mall and Chatswood. Zoe is also a member of Australian Skin Clinics’ Franchisee Council who meet quarterly to discuss improving processes as well as new training for staff and owners.