The Franchise Association of New Zealand Inc. (FANZ), the peak body for the $20 billion franchising sector, has launched a free online training course in association with Massey University that can be accessed through the FANZ web site: www.franchiseassociation.org.nz.
Although there are almost 24,000 independently owned New Zealand businesses operating in a franchised format, up to now there has been no NZ based pre-entry education programme for people considering buying a franchise. The availability of relevant information is part of the total solution for greater informed decision making by prospective franchisees.
In recognition of the benefits of such a course, some funding was provided by the Ministry of Innovation, Business and Employment towards the initial production costs.
Franchising research in Australia has previously found that improved pre-entry education is likely to have significant positive impact on the franchise sector. One key study found that 71.3 per cent of respondents felt completion of pre-entry education should be a mandatory requirement before entering a franchise agreement.
Principal author of the 5 module course is FANZ Affiliate Member, Franchize Consultants, with contributions from other key FANZ Member experts from the banking, legal, accounting and property leasing sectors.
Each module incorporates a mixture of downloadable text and short videos followed by a self-assessment questionnaire. Completion of a module allows access to the next in the series, with Massey University providing a Certificate of Participation to individuals who complete all 5 segments. Potential Australian franchisees have had the benefit of a similar course for some years produced by Griffith University of Queensland.
New FANZ Board takes up its responsibilities following the AGM
The election result saw Ian Robertson, the National Franchise Manager for New Zealand Post, re-elected and Sean Dwyer of ASB, elected for his first term. Chairman, David Foster, did not have to re-stand as he automatically stays on the Board as Immediate Past Chairman.
At its first meeting, Ian Robertson, who was Vice Chairman last year, was elected as Chairman, with Brad Jacobs of The Coffee Club New Zealand elected as Vice Chairman.
Ian Robertson is an experienced franchise professional with more than 20 years in the franchise industry; initially as a franchisee and then in franchise sales, recruitment, training, operations and management. He was elected to the Board in 2011 and as Vice Chairman in 2012. He brings with him a wealth of hands-on experience across the franchise sector, with previous involvement in both large and small ticket retail systems, along with experience in the home service sector.
Ian is still passionate about franchising and the benefits it has to offer and he commented, “As an industry that generates a turnover of approximately $20 billion in New Zealand, franchising contributes significantly to our economy. The high standards set by members of the Association, combined with their commitment to self-regulation, certainly add credibility to those franchise systems and affiliates that are members.” As the new Chairman, Ian commended previous Boards of the Association for their focus on self-regulation. He went on to say that the work carried out by the Board over the past two years, to develop and implement the free pre-entry online course for prospective franchisees was a major step forward. “A clear focus for the Board over the coming two years will be on-going education for existing members and targeting additional quality franchise systems and affiliates to take up membership,” he said.