Five ways to make franchising easy

Brent Grundy, CEO & Founder, Flip Out

Brent Grundy, CEO of Flip Out, founded Australia’s largest trampoline arena franchise just over two years ago, when he saw a clear gap in the entertainment market for kids and adults of all ages.

In this time he has grown the company from the confines of a car-park in Penrith in Western Sydney, to 36 locations globally. This growth can largely be attributed to franchising and the business model that Brent has created.

As company director, Brent has made conscious decisions to ensure that his business has effective structures, and that procedures have been put in place at all levels. Through these strong business values, Brent has been able to drive Flip Out’s growth not only in Australia, but internationally at a remarkable speed. In the two years that Brent has been launching successful franchised arenas, he has amassed five key tips for franchisees to make their new business a success.

1Rely on your parent company

One of the best things about owning a franchise is that you aren’t really your own boss. By buying a franchise you are not only securing a tried and tested business concept, but also gaining a ‘business family’. This is because franchisees instantly have access to an entire support network which has been set up by the parent company who has already made all of the hard decisions.

Here, it is important to rely on the parent company for ongoing assistance, as this is what they are there for; they are the primary reason that you are buying the franchise. Something that I like to tell my franchisees is that we are always here for them to bounce their business ideas and  that we are only a phone call away. Like any franchise, through buying into the Flip Out concept, they already have a team of people rooting for them to succeed.

Furthermore, franchisors can be incredibly useful in developing a series of micro business plans for your franchise. This can be for business functions such as a marketing plan, ideas for the location’s grand opening, as well as assisting in your ongoing business efforts. These support areas are the major benefit of buying a franchise as these systems are already in place.

Companies such as Flip Out manage a range of the larger business operations, from marketing, public relations and business growth tactics. Through this experience, the company generally has larger buying power too, ultimately saving your business big dollars. This support network is the primary reason why I encourage people to buy a franchise, particularly if you have limited business background.

2 Manage your debts

One of the most attractive reasons for starting your own franchise is that you get to avoid much of the risk associated with starting a new business. This is because all of the basic set-up decisions have already been made for you, as the parent company would have a proven track record in establishing locations similar to yours. Subsequently, they have knowledge on key financial information including predicted ROI and managing a suitable loan.

In order to effectively handle your debt, having open and regular dialogue with the franchisor is important, as it allows them to continually support you.

3 Training

Most franchise companies offer a 1 - 4 week training program or a ‘crash course’ in running their business. This type of advice is integral to learning how to run your franchise effectively. Having this level of support is one of the main reasons why franchises stand out from other business models. Here, a franchisor will train you to run your franchise exactly the same way as other franchise locations who have succeeded to date.

This training ensures each franchise location run their business efficiently, thus, eliminating the majority of common mistakes a new business owner makes. At our training sessions we like to focus on a range of topics to assist our franchisees in the day-to-day running of their store.

This includes issues such as micro level marketing, as well as staff management. These training sessions will also teach franchisees about the ethos of the company. Furthermore, they are able to tap into intellectual property, as franchisors stay abreast of changes in their industry and subsequently inform their franchisees of any important details that they need to know.

4 Store and construction assistance

More often than not, a business’ success comes down to location. Parent companies such as Flip Out make sure that the franchisee chooses the right location for their new store.

Once the position of the store is chosen, Flip Out then assists with the physical build, as decisions like the layout and design has been made. Franchisors will also help with repairs and any upgrades that are needed. As these basic decisions have already been made for franchisees, they are able to focus on the  more important aspects such as business development and sales.

5 Create your own business culture

Becoming a franchise owner means that now, whilst the major business decisions have been made by the franchisor, you can still create your own unique business culture at your store’s location.

I like to suggest to our franchisees that they make sure they hire the right people, which results in creating a positive business ethos. For a company such as Flip Out, having fun and energetic staff is imperative to creating the right environment for our customers.

Furthermore, creating a positive work culture for your employees is incredibly important as it will make them leap out of bed and love coming into work every day. At the Flip Out head office, we have a series of team building activities that encourage our staff to bond and get to know each other on a better level.

Through a combination of these key tips, franchisees are able to create a successful and thriving business, where they can focus on the primary business activities of their franchise, as opposed to the growing pains often associated with starting your own business.

Brent Grundy was a man with a simple business idea who built his empire from the ground up, and became living proof that someone can go from flat broke to running a business that turns over millions per year, in just 18 months.

In this time he has grown Flip Out into one of Australia’s most successful franchises. The zealous businessman now has his sights set on global domination; currently building centres in Dubai, Brent expects to open in 13 more countries in the next year.

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