Tips for Mobile Franchises: Franchisee to Franchisee

Kathy Smith, Regional Franchisee Perth, Fastway Couriers

Kathy Smith, Regional Franchisee Perth, at Fastway Couriers offers her top tips for future mobile franchisees.

With the appeal of a flexible and dynamic work environment, many, including myself, are drawn to operating mobile franchises. There are a few key factors to keep in mind when considering a mobile franchise.

Research your market

The first step to operating any franchise is to research the market. While you need to know your industry inside out, understanding your business environment is just as important. Many mobile franchises have the potential to cover a wide geographic area, therefore conducting research into all potential locations and customers is crucial. Keeping up to date with the latest economical, legal and technological developments, can also assist you in identifying growth opportunities, distributing resources, and ultimately, staying ahead of your competitors.

Consider the costs

In some cases, operating a mobile franchise can offer an avenue to explore your entrepreneurial spirit with a smaller degree of financial risk than a bricks-and-mortar franchise. Although set up and overhead costs are lower for some mobile franchises, keep in mind that you are susceptible to changes in variable costs, in particular, oil prices. Therefore, monitoring costs, creating a flexible structure and adapting to change is essential to ensuring your lasting success.

Seek innovation

One of my most important tips is to ensure you’re aligned with a franchise that heavily invests in technology and innovation. This will secure your competitiveness in the months and years ahead, which is hugely important to the success of your franchise. Fastway’s franchisees benefit  from the continuous roll out of new technology and innovations across the network. Due to this, our customers have access to the best levels of service and products.

In the last 12 months, Fastway has invested heavily in developing innovations, for example, Fastway has developed a new delivery service called Parcel Connect, which offers customers a more convenient way to send, collect and return parcels. As a franchisee it’s important to embrace the technology that’s available to you and seek new opportunities to improve your operations. Also, as a mobile franchise, you’ll be on the road for a large part of the day, therefore, technology becomes a crucial tool in communicating with your customers and, if appropriate, your franchise network.

Grow your business

As a franchise owner, it’s in your interest to consider ways of maximising growth opportunities in order to stay ahead. In my experience, I’ve found that the most effective way of achieving this is by expanding your network, developing your contact base and, above all, providing the best customer service. At Fastway, we’re renowned for ‘delighting our customers at the door’ and being the friendly courier experts. This is something we’re very proud of.

Efficiency is key

Logistics management is a key factor for all mobile franchisees. By developing a streamlined process you can reduce unnecessary tasks and expenses and in turn, offer your customers the most efficient and timely service. Additionally, technology plays an important role in efficiency,  along with having the best staff on your team.

It’s a team effort

Although you may spend most of your time in your vehicle, teamwork is an integral part of operating a mobile franchise. The Fastway network is made up of Regional Franchisees, Courier Franchisees and support staff. Each person has a part to play in bringing the brand to life and ensuring the customers’ needs are met and exceeded. By working together to solve problems, encouraging new ideas and attracting and retaining people that approach their work with heart and enthusiasm, together you can grow your business and drive its success (literally).

At our Fastway Perth franchise, we host a fortnightly lunch at the depot to give the team an opportunity to interact and share ideas and experiences. Something as simple as this goes a long way in creating a team culture and spirit for a team that is rarely in the same place at the same time.

Put your best foot forward

A strong brand is one of the most valuable assets an organisation owns. To make it powerful, the brand needs to be applied consistently, so that anyone dealing with it knows exactly who you are and what you stand for. Keep in mind that, to your customers, you’re the face of your brand, so ensuring you always represent your brand’s identity and culture is important.

Prior to joining Fastway Couriers, Kathy gained extensive knowledge in retail sales and senior management by owning and operating a large supermarket franchise, managing over 70 staff members. Joining Fastway in March 2015, Kathy has focused her initial efforts on restructuring and streamlining the operations and logistics of the Perth franchise, in order to enhance efficiency.

Established in New Zealand in 1983, Fastway Couriers’ global network includes 63 regional depots and 1,200 Courier Franchisees across Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Northern Ireland and South Africa.

Through its industry-leading franchise system, Fastway Couriers has developed a reputation for providing a fast, friendly and cost-effective service to its customers.

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