Ian Krawitz | Head of Intelligence & Founder | 10 THOUSAND FEET

This article appears in the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

If you are looking to buy a franchise, the first thing you want to do is find an industry which enables you to perform a role that you can be passionate about.

If you are an employee, and you fall out of love with what you are doing, you can easily hand in your resignation and go do something new. In franchising, on the other hand if you have invested a lot of money and a lot of time training, it is not so easy mentally to walk away from, even if you are not enjoying yourself.

We have just conducted our latest industry wide Franchisee Satisfaction Survey as part of the 2016 topfranchise awards with over 1000 franchisees and there is no surprise that being passionate about what you do, and having family and friends believe in what you do is a critical factor when franchisees think about renewing their agreements with a franchise brand. It makes up a full quarter of their decision making, so if you are thinking long term, take the time to reflect on what you can get passionate about and feel proud about.

Some prospective franchisees will take the familiar well-trodden path of looking for a franchise opportunity in an industry they know and have experience in. But what if there are no suitable franchises in the industry you are familiar with? You will need to do both desktop research and get out amongst it, and see what it is like to be a franchisee in different industries.

As part of a discovery process, most franchise brands will encourage you to spend time with existing franchisees. Where feasible, do as much of this as possible. For example, running a café and being a big part of your community may sound great, but you should see how you feel after a day of being on your feet non-stop. Similarly, cleaning homes might sound like a no fuss business, but you should see how you feel about working on your own each day and not having a workplace camaraderie. There will be parts of every industry that you may not enjoy; it’s just about making sure your passion runs deep enough to get through those challenging moments.

If you don’t know where to start, here is an insight into how to find your passion and why franchisees from the brands who took out the 2016 topfranchise Awards Passion Top 10, get so excited about going to work every day.

1 Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers

Smartline are in the mortgage broking business. From the outside this may not look particularly interesting, however, scratch the surface and you will find that helping everyday Australians get into their dream homes, when emotions and hope are heightened is highly rewarding.

2 Snooze

According to Medibank, in a recent study of 50,279 Australians, almost two million of us are affected by sleeping disorders or sleep apnoea. Whilst a complex issue, having a good mattress and bed can make a world of difference in sleeping through or tossing and turning all night. Snooze franchisees get a real kick out of making a real difference to the mental and physical health of Australians.

3 Mister Minit

Yes, fixing shoes or cutting car keys may seem everyday, but it is the culture that Mister Minit have created, to see the extraordinary in the everyday and to drive a mentality of care and service that flows through to their franchisees. Mister Minit’s motto is “Real People, Fixing Problems”, one example that was shared with me by a customer of Mister Minit is that they were desperate to find a dog leash as they needed to have their new pet on a leash when getting it registered. After being dismayed that no shops sold dog leashes, as a last resort they stopped in at Mister Minit. Mister Minit don’t sell dog leashes, but the franchisee Christine, set about making a dog leash from spare material just to help out and make a customer’s day.

4 Mrs. Fields

Putting a smile on a customer’s face is not hard to do when you are selling delicious cookies. Mrs Fields also offer coffee and bakery products such as Toasties and it is these everyday products that help to drive frequent customer visits, enabling franchisees to get to know their customers more and so in turn developed a connection with individual customers in their community.

5 Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness are a group of healthy franchisees, encouraging others to be active and stay healthy. Given the low staffing model, Anytime Fitness franchisees also work far less hours than the industry average for franchisees, with plenty of time off making them look very successful to family and friends.

6 MLC Advice

Part of the National Australia Bank, MLC Advice is a business steeped in history. It is the everyday difference that franchisees make with their clients through financial planning that provides franchisees with immense satisfaction. It is not the financial planning itself, but rather the outcome that franchisees deeply care about, in helping their customers retire with the lifestyles they want.

7 Choice Home Loans

Choice Home Loans is also part of the National Australia Bank stable, and once again what makes franchisees excited is not the financial transaction itself, but rather the outcome on the other side. For Choice Home Loans franchisees it is about both sides of the emotional scale, the euphoric side of helping a first home buyer into the market, which is a classic story of joy. On the other side of the coin, there are lots of stories about Choice Home Loans brokers helping families get out of financial hardship by consolidating credit card debt and other loans into a sustainable repackaged loan that relieves financial stress.

8 Gutter-Vac

It may seem like a straight forward service, but for Gutter-Vac franchisees it is the interaction with their customers that brings them the buzz. While customers can’t get up on their own roof to see the service in action it’s the before and after photos of a gutter that has been cleaned that brings the service and customer experience to life. Every customer receives such a photo with their job report and the testimonials flood in, giving franchisees the warm glow that comes with a job that is appreciated.

9 Snap-on Tools

The Snap-on Tools team is so passionate about what they do and the quality of the products they supply, that you fast find yourself entranced and ready to buy the latest set of screwdrivers and spanners, as well as a set of drawers to house them all. Most Snap-on Tools franchisees are pretty handy themselves and many have been around the automotive industry or other workshops which forms a core customer base in servicing automotive aeronautical and mining mechanics and providing the latest gadgets as well as classic tools.

10 Kwik Kopy

Kwik Kopy franchisees build up long standing working relationships with their customers. As a B2B franchise, Kwik Kopy franchisees enjoy repeat business, and with that comes years of getting to know individual clients as people as well as getting to know their print and design needs. Further being surrounded by creativity is rarely dull, Kwik Kopy franchisees get to design or print thousands of jobs each year that express the creativity of their clients.

When I told my late grandfather, who was a sports tragic, that I really enjoyed fishing, he said, “Ian, every person to his own sport” and so it is with being a business owner. Remember to reflect on what you can get passionate about and go and experience a day in the life of a franchisee before you decide. To read more about the most passionate franchisees, see and best of luck in your search!

Ian Krawitz is the founder and Head of Intelligence at research house 10 THOUSAND FEET and franchisee satisfaction rankings website

Ian has led the 10 THOUSAND FEET team through participation tracking studies, customer, client, and franchisee satisfaction projects, consumer behaviour, segmentation, usage and attitude, advertising impact, media consumption, brand repositioning, concept development, brand and market sizing research projects.

Ian is also the founder of the not-for-profit 10 THOUSAND TREES, planting trees in Australia and Nepal and encouraging Australians to be more environmentally conscious in their purchasing decisions. rates franchisee satisfaction across key criteria see for more details.

Ian can be contacted at:

02 8080 7544