Consultant Close-up with Grant Garraway
Grant Garraway is a 30 plus year veteran of the franchise sector, with around 15 years spent working with major franchisors and over 16 years owning and operating a franchise consultancy – The Franchise Shop. The Franchise Shop works with both new and established franchisors to help them for their franchise owner recruitment campaigns, and develops small and medium businesses into franchises.
CGB Publishing recently caught up with Grant to delve more into his background and The Franchise Shop.
What are your qualifications?
Grant is a post Graduate qualified accountant but asks you not to hold that against him! “Accounting training makes you conservative, and I think that is a strong trait in a franchise consultant,” Grant said.
What is your franchise experience?
“I got into franchising over 30 years ago almost by mistake. I got a job as a Financial Controller with Dial a Dinos Pizza, not even knowing it was a small rapidly growing State master franchise. Over the next 2 and a half years the network grew to over 100 shops, the Victorian master franchise I worked for bought 50 per cent off the Franchisor, dominated several states and sold to Pizza Hut. But it was a wild ride for an undercapitalised company that nearly went broke a couple of times during that period before selling for many millions of dollars goodwill alone.
“There were no consultants, magazines, or franchise specialist websites to help in those days. Just turn up each day, establish what went wrong in the shops the night before, and then fix it. But a great but hard way to learn about franchising!”
He then became Financial Controller and Company Secretary for US owned car repair franchise Midas when a mid-life crisis struck and he transferred into the franchise operations area at the same company and has worked in that space ever since. “Midas could not have been more different to Dino’s,” Grant said. “They had over 3,500 franchises worldwide, had been trading for around 40 years, and had policies for everything, great experience, and were outstanding teachers of their systems and managers and motivators from a great International Head Office team in Chicago. It proved an equally good learning experience; a wonderful seven years or so.”
Grant then became General Manager (Franchising) for a 200 plus store retail network spread from South Africa, to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. “We totally restructured franchising operations to make it more responsive to our franchise owners’ needs. We grouped all the people who dealt with franchise owners, whether in accounting, property, store construction, warehousing and distribution or franchise relations and put them all together so they could work as a team to ensure maximum co-ordination of our efforts to support our franchise owners. It was revolutionary at the time.”
Grant moved then into consulting and has worked with more than 50 small to large franchisors. His firm The Franchise Shop has turned over 30 brands into franchises, sold over 300 individual franchises, and more recently six Master franchises including the just completed master Franchise sale for Australia for the Canadian based Fibrenew brand, and before that a master franchise for the UK’s Time for You cleaning franchise into Australia. Having also sold masters for UK and USA brands into Australia as well as Australian brands into Asia, “it is an area of work I really enjoy,” said Grant.
What do you look for if a business comes to you about becoming a franchisor?
“We look to see what makes them different. I have said many times I do not want to be the consultant who develops Australia’s 27th franchise pizza shop chain. You need a point of difference, a great product or service niche, hopefully difficult for competitors to imitate, ideally a product or service which is purchased regularly so the franchise is rewarded by establishing brand loyalty, and strong potential profit for both the franchisor and the franchise owners.”
Can you give us an example?
“Sure, two of our most recent clients meet these criteria easily. Prestige Australian Financial Services can offer Bookkeeping, Accounting, Tax and financial products under one roof – so a franchise owner gets a client and can work with them to offer a range of services and therefore sales over time. Another client DrugSafe Communities offers drug and alcohol testing to employers, and this is done regularly for their staff and contractors. Decent margins, high barriers to entry due to the qualifications needed by the franchisor, and repeat business. Both meet our basic conditions to become a franchisor.”
When asked what the key is to good franchise owner selection Grant said it is all about knowing who you want to be your franchise owners.
“Know what attributes you want from them. Which ones are critical to their future success. This is an idea noted franchise consultant Greg Nathan introduced me to over 25 years ago, when I was at Midas, and I have been working on it and refining it since. If you can get new franchisors to focus on this area their success rates will improve dramatically.”
The biggest change in franchise owner recruitment in your time?
“The death of newspapers! Even 20 years ago The Age would have 2 - 3 broadsheet pages of ads every Saturday. - now there are none! The rise of magazines, and their associated websites has been a game changer.”
We understand The Franchise Shop is also a franchisor?
“Yes,” said Grant. “We started that many years ago now when Jane Lombard purchased the NSW/ACT franchise, and I think both Jane and I would call that deal a success. It has helped me understand the emotional reactions a new franchisor goes through much better as I have experienced them as well. Jane brought great selling skills from her two real estate franchises, and that has helped The Franchise Shop get better in that area as well. Not all wisdom flows from the franchisor to the franchise owner, much flows the other way!”
What is the next trend?
“I have a view that medical services will be a new frontier, and personal services are not fully done yet either.”
Grant Garraway | Director |The Franchise Shop