Nine Harvey Norman franchisees ordered to pay total penalties of $234,000 for misleading consumers
In proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against certain Harvey Norman franchisees, the Federal Court of Australia has recently ordered a further three Harvey Norman franchisees to pay a total of $60,000 in civil pecuniary penalties for making false or misleading representations regarding consumer guarantee rights. The Federal Circuit Court has also ordered another Harvey Norman franchisee to pay a pecuniary penalty of $26,000.
The nine judgments to date in proceedings brought by the ACCC against Harvey Norman franchisees have led to penalties of $234,000.
Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break Baristas scoop first and second place at M.I.C.E 2014
Jamaica Blue barista Lewina Stewart of Toowoomba in Queensland and Muffin Break’s Melissa Hall of Penrith in New South Wales have claimed first and second place respectively, at the third-annual Davinci Coffee-Chain Barista Championships held last week (15 May) at the 2014 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (M.I.C.E).
Lewina, a barista at the Jamaica Blue café at The Ridge Shopping Centre at Toowoomba, won the opportunity to compete at M.I.C.E after knocking-out hundreds of competitors from across Australia and New Zealand in the 2014 Jamaica Blue Barista Championships; while Melissa is the 2013 Muffin Break Barista Champion.
Both trained by The Foodco Group – which owns the Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break franchise brands – Lewina and Melissa competed at M.I.C.E before an expert panel of judges from the AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA). Judged under World Barista Championship guidelines, the competing baristas were required to proficiently prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature beverages within just 15 minutes
Win A Brand New Kwik Kerb Business System
Kwik Kerb will be giving away a full new Business Package to one lucky reader of Business Franchise magazine.
THE BUSINESS PACKAGE WILL INCLUDE:
- All machinery
- All tools
- All marketing material
- Sign-written box trailer
- Comprehensive training
- Flights to and from training*
- Accommodation at training*
- Ongoing service from Head Office
To enter please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Kwik Kerb Giveaway’.
Please attach a one page presentation outlining why you would make a great Kwik Kerb operator and small business owner, including any relevant work history/experience.
Also tell us why you would be interested in owning a Kwik Kerb Business and how you plan to make it a success. To be eligible you will also need to include your:
- FULL NAME
- PHONE NUMBER
Entries close on Friday 19th September with the winner to be announced in the Nov/Dec edition of Business Franchise magazine.
This article appears in the May/June 2014 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
As a franchisor I can confirm that we are looking for ‘the perfect franchisee’. It has also come to my attention that every other franchisor is also looking for the very same perfect franchisee.
Analysing franchise websites, it soon becomes apparent that franchisors are really all looking for similar, if not the same, characteristics in their would-be ‘perfect franchisee’.
If you are reading this article as a prospective franchisee you might want to dwell on some of the common traits that franchisors look for in their perfect match. If you are not already perfect, maybe this will help to get you there before the all-important qualifying interview for the franchise award!
A quality that comes up many times as a required attribute is that of being an excellent communicator. Most people see themselves in this category automatically. Franchise candidates invariably have the ability to talk about themselves and their accomplishments, their background, their ambitions, and so on without hesitation. Most individuals naturally fail to realise that this ability ‘to talk’ is not what classifies them as a good communicator. The ability to listen and absorb information is of equal, if not greater, importance to that of just speaking.
Most franchisees will have some interaction with customers or clients as they run their business on a day-to-day basis, so their lack of ability to listen to the client is often the start of their downfall. When it comes to providing a service, it really is ‘all about the client’ and not about the franchisee. We need more listening in many cases, and less speaking – strike a balance to make it work. Franchisors like ‘self-disciplined’ individuals – why, because they can be trained and basically left to their own devices. By definition, if they are self-disciplined they do not need a lot of franchisor input and support. Unfortunately there are few people that are truly self-disciplined when it comes to running a business. This is in part because a business is a multi-faceted operation requiring multi-faceted skills and knowledge. It is unlikely that one person will be a provider of such a range of skills and, therefore, they will need help, guidance and support throughout their business life.
The other problem with too much self discipline is that it sometimes creates a lack of output – the franchisee is caught up in their own world of organisation and is not getting the big picture information. Self discipline is good but is not the total picture – we need self-disciplined individuals that recognise they are part of a bigger system and, therefore, need the ability to work within that framework. We said that self-disciplined people could be trained and then left to get on running the business. That raises the issue of ‘are you trainable’? A franchise is a system, invariably one that is proven, written down and has been in existence for a long time. Because franchisees all work within the same system they all need to be trained in the same way. Most people will admit that they are trainable, especially at the point when they are seeking a franchise award.
Often, however, that proves not to be the case, and while they can sit through hours of training sessions and extensive PowerPoint presentations; one questions if the information is really taking root. Does there come a point in time when our ability to absorb slows down while we are being presented with new and unique ideas and methods? We hear the story; the facts seem logical but are they being absorbed to later be put into practice – maybe, maybe not. As a potential franchisee one should look at this aspect and determine if you are trainable and, if so, can you hen put that training into practice. Maybe the question is also, do I want to be trained? Some franchisees enter a franchise system with little intention of absorbing the training sessions. The ability to sit through a few hours of PowerPoint presentations doesn’t create a trained franchisee.
Maybe the topic of the ‘work ethic’ goes along with the self-discipline aspect. As with many other raits, real or imagined, potential franchisees will all attest to their extensive work ethic and their ability to make things work. Hard work is second nature to many ‘corporate refugees’ transitioning from major corporate employment into the realm of self-employment and entrepreneurship. They are used to working a staggering number of hours every week. Now, in their new environment, they are probably not faced with the same challenge. Working ‘smart’ as opposed to working hard and long is the preferred way to go. Because, as we have stated, a franchise is a well-tested and proven system, the franchisee should expect to work smart rather than hard and needs to have the internal ability to make such a transition. That transition aspect often shows that some people are not perhaps as self-disciplined at they thought they were.
Consider a senior executive working in a multi-national corporation with hundreds of employees, many of whom report to the individual – a very structured environment with many ‘safety nets’ and procedures for everything. Now take that same individual and place him or her in a franchise environment – maybe even in a home-based one-person franchise. This represents not just a leap into entrepreneurship, but rather a quantum leap. The franchisee will indeed have to muster all of their self-discipline qualities to make things work.
In our search for the perfect franchisee we often use terms such as entrepreneur, entrepreneurial outlook, etc. implying that we would like to recruit entrepreneurs as franchisees. I question if that is really the case. By definition an entrepreneur is a person who organises and manages a business usually with some capital involvement. On the face of it the definition seems to fit our search pattern. In reality, however, a true entrepreneur is unlikely to be satisfied with a franchise environment. Entrepreneurs by nature are creative individuals that constantly want to re-invent the wheel and find a better way to do everything. This is not a set of circumstances that a franchisor wishes to encounter – they need someone who will accept their already proven system and work within that, notwithstanding the occasional suggestion for minor improvement.
Maybe as a franchisor we are really looking for people that may have some entrepreneurial aspirations that have yet to come to maturity. Where does all of this leave us in our search for the perfect franchisee? Probably with knowledge that we already possessed – there is no perfect franchisee. Therefore, if you are reading this article as a potential franchisee for any system, maybe you can relax knowing that the qualities you bring to the table will be more than acceptable.If we cannot recruit the perfect franchisee, maybe we can create a perfect franchisee from our existing franchisees? Maybe as franchisors we can take the raw material that we have and create that perfect individual. A franchise community is a complex microcosm of individuals that bring unique gifts, talents and experience to a franchise organisation. It’s when we see them as a group that we can say, “yes – we already have the perfect franchisee” – the sum of the parts is surely greater than the whole.