Franchise News - Issue 1#3
This article appeared in Issue 1#3 (Mar/Apr 2007) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
PODS COMES TO AUSTRALIA
Mobile storage and moving solutions provider PODS has expanded its franchise operation to Australia.
The company is available in 51 states and provinces across the US and Canada where it services more than 216 million people.
PODS delivers a portable storage container to the customer who can then pack it at their leisure. A unique hydraulic lifting system is used to transfer the unit to a truck which then delivers it to a storage facility or the desired destination.
The concept eliminates the need to rent space, rent a truck, pack and drive it, all in the short space of time traditionally available when moving.
PODS has been off ering the service since 1998 after CEO and founder Peter S. Warhurst, who owned a typical storage facility, decided to make things easier for his customers.
There are currently more than 110,000 PODS containers currently in service around the world.
PIZZA HUT NEW STRATEGY
Ownership changes as part of Yum! Brand’s national Pizza Hut growth strategy have paved the way for more individually-owned franchises.
Yum! Brands has finalised an agreement which allows corporate franchisee Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited to exit the Victorian market.
Yum! Brands general manager of operations for Pizza Hut, Kurt Whitlow, emphasised that the agreement does not change their commitment to the Victorian and Australian market, rather it is part of a strategy to increase store numbers.
“Yum! Is committed to growing the Pizza Hut brand including relocating existing stores and building more than 50 new Pizza Hut stores throughout Australia over the next three years,” said Whitlow.
“Furthermore, the execution of our growth strategy presents greater opportunities for locally-owned, single-unit Pizza Hut franchises to be opened, with the nimbleness and fl exibility necessary for such a fast-moving and highly competitive market.”
Yum! Brands has over 30,000 restaurants worldwide, over 10,000 of them Pizza Hut stores.
CAFE2U MAKES IT INTO TOP SEVEN
The December 2006 issue of Australian Financial Review’s Smart Investor Magazine has listed Cafe2U as one of Australia’s top seven franchises.
Over 600 Australian franchisors were examined. One of the assessment criteria was “providing a reasonable level of return on investment and ensure they (franchisees) are fully informed about potential fi nancial rewards and risks”.
The Cafe2U franchise was established in 2000 and there are now 63 franchises across Australia and 15 in the UK.
The vans have an innovative power system. “Using a proprietary energy inverter system, the vans run silently all day long. The energy produced is totally independent from the vehicle and produces no emissions. This is not only good for the environment, but also ensures customers benefit from the reduced noise output,” said general manager Alan Biddle.
According to Biddle, developing innovative solutions has been a key factor in their success. “This enables each franchisee to focus on developing their individual business with the knowledge that Cafe2U are focusing on product and system development.”
BOUTIQUE BURGERS READY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Global Burgers is a new franchising opportunity in the fresh and healthy take away food market.
Founders Mark Bayliss and Clayton Rose have developed a unique eating experience that combines the familiarity of a burger with fl avours from around the world.
“There will always be a market for great burgers. People keep coming to Global Burgers because they know that they can trust us to deliver inexpensive, exceptional and individualised products every time,” says Mark.
Individuality is a defining concept for Global Burgers. According to Clayton, “We endeavour to approach our clients on an individual, personal level. That’s the Global Burgers difference”.
He believes their Kings Cross store has become recognised as one of Sydney’s leading burger stores and their business system has been further proven on the Gold Coast.
Two more stores are ready to open and franchise opportunities are available across Australia.
NEW FCA CHAIRMAN
Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien has been elected chairman of the Franchising Council of Australia.
O’Brien is the current Australian Franchisor of the Year outright. He has over 20 years experience in franchising and has won numerous other awards including Australian Franchisee of the Year and the inaugural Australian Master Franchisor of the Year.
The idea for Poolwerx came from California where O’Brien found that 80% of pool owners outsourced their maintenance tasks. In Australia, it was just two percent. O’Brien launched straight into a franchising business model and aimed to saturate the fragmented and disorganised billion dollar pool and spa aftermarket.
Poolwerx is now a market leader in Australia and has expanded into the US, European and New Zealand markets. The business includes shopfronts, retail centres and a mobile fleet, giving O’Brien a broad range of experience to draw on in his role as chairman of the FCA.
RECORD HIGH SALES FOR CLARK RUBBER
2006 Franchisor of the Year, Clark Rubber, has smashed its own record with weekly sales exceeding $3 million outside the Christmas period.
The sales were achieved in the last week of November and the first week of December and they cement the 17 percent growth rate the company has experienced recently.
Clark Rubber managing director, Chris Malcolm, said Sunday trading was a major factor.
“Increased brand awareness and aggressive marketing have also played a major role in the increasing sales fi gures of the business. Clark Rubber has a marketing budget of almost ten percent of its 2005/06 annual turnover, which shows a real commitment to growing our brand,” he said.
Clarke Rubber has 80 franchises throughout Australia. Their annual sales figures were close to $80 million for the 2005/06 year and budgeted sales of $95 million are expected for 2006/07.
EXHIBITION DELIVERS THE GOODS ON FRANCHISING
The Franchising industry’s continuing success has a growing number of investors searching for information on the business opportunities and options available in Franchising. One proven way to access this information simply and quickly is the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo.
The Expo to be staged at The Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre 23 – 25 March will showcase around 120 exhibitors including some of the biggest names in the business, some exciting newcomers, state and federal government bodies, industry associations, financial institutions and small business services.
Staged annually since 1987, the Franchising Expo has been the forum to provide visitors with the opportunity to not only look and compare businesses, but also, to talk face-to-face and learn from experts at a comprehensive free seminar program.
An exciting innovation this year is the Franchising Boot Camp to be held in a theatre on the show floor. The Boot Camp will provide a power packed introduction to ‘everything franchising’ including: presentations and panel discussions from Franchisors, Franchisees, financial institutions and the Franchise Council of Australia. The Boot Camp will conclude with a networking session where participants will have the opportunity for informal one-on-one discussions with the presenters in the Boot Camp Lounge.
Also new this year will be a series of seminars titled ‘Women in Business’. The seminars are a prelude to ‘Women in Franchising Month’ in April and are designed to promote the diversity of opportunities within today’s industry for women and in particular within the franchising industry.
The Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo is staged alongside the Property Expo and The Investment Expo at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre 23 – 25 March 2007. Admission price is $18 which gives entry to all three shows.
E-LEARNING WITH MORTGAGE CHOICE
Mortgage Choice has launched a state of the art e-learning platform for the professional development of its franchisees.
The system aims to lessen the perceived complexity of training and encourages franchisees to plan for business growth through continued learning. The clearly articulated career and management development pathways help franchisees to develop skills in employing staff, becoming a multiple franchise owner, and leading a sales team.
It also enables business owners to train their administration staff and loan consultants and demonstrate to them the viability of a career path within Mortgage Choice.
“Our consistent overall aim when it comes to developing our people is to build a more knowledgeable professional and ethical representative in the marketplace. We are fostering a culture of continuous learning, with the end benefi t going to our customers,” said national corporate aff airs manager, Warren O’Rourke.
Benefits of the system include around-the-clock access, selfpaced learning, and the ability to choose how much work is completed each training session.
DOLLARS UP, DISPUTES DOWN
The latest survey figures confirm that Australia’s franchising sector is maturing and now accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
The Franchising Australia 2006 survey was conducted by Griffith University and sponsored by the Franchise Council of Australia. The results revealed that there are 960 franchise systems operating in Australia, 93 percent of them Australian based. This represents a 12.9 percent growth rate since 2004.
The sector employs 426,500 people and the total sales turnover for 2005 was $67 billion.
Stability and profi tability appear to be the norm. During 2005, 91 percent of franchisee businesses did not change ownership and fewer than two percent ceased to operate.
Disputes within the sector remains low, involving less than four percent of franchisees, and mediation is being used more than twice as often as litigation to resolve them. The most common causes of disputes were related to system compliance, communication problems and misrepresentation claims.
ECOWASH MOBILE: A NEW CHAMPION
Ecowash Mobile has taken out the NSW/ACT 2006 Small Business Awards Champion of Champions in the Automotive Services Category.
The Commonwealth Bank is the primary sponsor for the awards and companies are judged on their business history and growth, marketing and promotion, customer service, community involvement, and staff training and motivation.
Ecowash Mobile was established in 2004 by two former race and rally drivers, Jim Cornish and Stewart Nicholls.
“The business is successful because we off er a professional, convenient and high quality service,” said Cornish. “Our franchisees have a strong support system, an effective brand and the accessibility of a complete ‘business in a car’.”
According to Cornish and Nicholls, the waterless system they employ is extremely eco-friendly and has already saved over 21 million litres of water in Australia.
“Being waterless opens the doors to opportunities that would not be there using traditional car washing methods,” said Cornish.
Healthy Inspirations operates as a franchise system and recently the American founder Casey Conrad merged with another USA women’s fitness franchise, Slender Lady. As a result it instantly doubled in size and consolidated the business position of the franchise as an emerging force in the global weight loss market.
Casey has been in the fitness industry for 24 years and prior to founding Healthy Inspirations was the president of Communication Consultants, a company dedicated to providing high quality sales and communication seminars for professionals in the health and fitness industry worldwide. She is the author if “Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships,” and has created over 20 other sales, marketing and management books, videos and audio-tapes for the industry. In late 2006, she toured Australia and launched her new book, “Winning the Struggle to be Thin”.
In addition, the Australian component of the franchise has just taken out the runner up position in the Australian Slimming & Health magazine awards for the Highly Commended prize in their Weight Management Program category of the 2007 Healthy Eating Awards. More than 5,000 readers voted in a variety of healthy eating and weight loss categories.
Healthy Inspirations currently has over 135 locations worldwide, with 30 being in Australia and New Zealand, with 5 more Centre’s opening shortly.