Business Franchise Australia

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Chapter 1 Australia and New Zealand Business Franchise Guide

Franchise Council of Australia Helps Businesses Face New Challenges

 

Ongoing staff shortages, rising interest rates, and inflationary pressures in the wake of the COVID pandemic combined to place major pressure on Australian small businesses in 2022, according to FCA research.

 

While the pandemic reshaped the business landscape, there is substantial anecdotal evidence that franchising has emerged from the worst of its impact faster than most of the SME sector.

 

During 2022-23, the FCA’s business “Pulse Check” survey series found that although pandemic trading restrictions have ended, significant new obstacles were hindering the recovery of Australian businesses.

 

These surveys, which included responses from diverse franchised brands comprising thousands of business outlets across Australia, found that finding suitable employees for franchisee outlets (and staff for franchisors’ support offices) was a significant challenge.

 

For the first time since the surveys began in March 2020, rising interest rates and persistent inflationary pressures were also identified as a challenge, alongside supply chain issues and franchisee recruitment.

 

There has never been a greater need for the Franchise Council of Australia and its advocacy, support and assistance to its members, underpinning franchising as the preferred model for small business success.

 

The role of the FCA

 

The FCA is the peak body for the $172 billion franchise segment in Australia, encompassing franchisors, franchisees, professional advisers, and suppliers.

 

The FCA is committed to building a strong franchising culture in Australia based on the view that meeting legislative and regulatory compliance obligations is a minimum standard: always striving for best practice in franchisor-franchisee relationships and business conduct.

 

The FCA’s support for members and its advocacy during the pandemic earned respect across the commercial and political spectrum and consolidated its reputation for taking a strong stand on behalf of Australian small businesses.

 

The FCA continues to advocate strongly for franchising as the best model for small business by promoting the needs and concerns of all small businesses, whether franchisors or franchisees, and by highlighting franchise network support for franchisees during the pandemic and subsequent recovery in 2022-23.

 

In one of the most difficult economic environments ever experienced by Australian businesses, franchisors and franchisees have demonstrated resilience, adaptability, and determination to successfully steer their businesses through the challenges they have faced in recent years.

 

Looking ahead 

 

Moving forward, the FCA will continue to focus on two key priorities:

 

  • Advocating and representing the interests of its members to all levels of government on the issues, concerns and needs of FCA members and the small business sector more broadly; and
  • Through media activity, enhancing the standing and reputation of franchising as the preferred model for SME success, including highlighting the resilience of franchise systems in a tough economic environment.

 

The FCA is committed to ongoing engagement with governments and other policymakers to ensure franchising remains the most successful model of small business ownership in Australia. To this end, the FCA will maintain its focus on public policy advocacy and business support on issues that matter to its members.

 

The FCA will continue to provide a dedicated program of education and information through an incisive series of webinars focusing on subjects including industrial relations, taxation, sustainability, wellbeing, and broader business and legal issues. These webinars typically feature industry experts, franchisors and/or politicians who have generously shared their time and knowledge to educate and inform FCA members.

 

The Franchise Council’s annual National Franchise Convention was held this year on the Gold Coast in May, with the consensus among franchisors, franchisees and other participants being that it was the FCA’s best convention yet. The 2024 convention, to be held in Cairns, promises to be bigger and better again.

 

The FCA will also build on its successful webinar program to provide ongoing opportunities for members to meet at face-to-face to events for networking and exchanging information, as well as continuing to offer online events.

 

Regardless of whether they’re based in metropolitan or regional Australia, businesses that belong to franchise networks continue to outperform many other parts of the SME sector.

 

The FCA is optimistic about the future of franchising, and believes the innovation and resilience demonstrated by franchised businesses in recent years, against a backdrop of trying economic conditions, will ensure the franchising sector continues to lead national business recovery in 2023-24 and beyond.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matthew Monaghan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA). He has more than 20 years’ experience working in senior leadership roles across private, not-for-profit and public sector organisations. 

A Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Management, holds an MBA, Matthew has recently completed executive studies in business disruption and digital transformation with Saiid Business School at the University of Oxford. 

He is committed to driving the development of organisational capacity and capability through effective governance, leadership, and sustainable business practices.

 

ABOUT THE FRANCHISE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (FCA)

The FCA is Australia’s peak body for franchising, representing franchisees, franchisors, and service providers to the franchising sector. 

The FCA is a strong voice focused on raising awareness of the benefits of franchising and on educating governments, regulators, other government decision makers and the broader community on the important economic and social contribution franchising makes in Australia. 

Membership of the FCA is open to any organisation or individual involved in the franchise sector including franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers to the sector. The FCA adds value to the businesses of its members by advocating on their behalf and by providing education, information, networking services and opportunities to support a prosperous and growing franchise sector.

IBISWorld Research’s July 2022 report found that franchising in Australia contributes $172bn annually to the national economy through 94,524 individual business outlets employing 565,251 Australians.

 

Franchise Council of Australia

1300 669 030 | info@franchise.org.au |  www.franchise.org.au