Home and Leisure

Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

Our feature topic in the July/August issue of Business Franchise magazine is Home and Leisure.

Obviously it’s an area close to all of our hearts. Who doesn’t enjoy coming home after a long day at work, and putting your feet up with a cuppa.

And then the mind turns to thoughts of what to do now! Homes are always in need of a lick of paint, guttering fixed or lawns mowed…I’m sure many of us feel that the list is never ending!

Many of us are currently engrossed in a multitude of home improvement television shows such as The Block and other home and garden makeover shows, inspiring us all to make the most of our own little patch in the world.

We buy it, sell it, build it, fix it, and improve it. Aussie’s have a long-standing love affair with their property - and hundreds of franchise systems across the nation are helping home-owners create, update and maintain the great Australian dream.

Whether property owners wish to buy or build a new home, add value to, or beautify their existing home with an extra room, a second storey, a garage or fencing, an outdoor entertainment area, landscaped garden or swimming pool, one thing’s for sure: there’s a franchise out there to service their needs.

The Australian mortgage market is worth around $30 billion and is a sector where mortgage broking franchises are doing extremely well, and providing enormous franchisee satisfaction. Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisors was recently ranked number one in the top ten franchises by topfranchise.com.au. Real estate franchises are also using the bulk marketing power of franchising to garner their share of this massive industry.

The $3.5 billion building industry is one that is leading the way in sustainable and economical construction of new homes. A steady rise in home-building approvals, has led to increased building activity, and outstanding opportunities for construction and design companies to take on franchise partners.

The market for home improvements in Australia is certainly big business. Many of us are feeling the pinch of rising costs of living coupled with uncertainty within the real estate market, and are choosing to renovate rather than move.

Australians have always been passionate about home renovation and improvements, but even the do-it-yourself renovators often require the assistance of professional experts. Recent Australian Bureau of Statistic figures show the trend in home renovations is increasing and that the sector is currently valued at around $550 million.

There is an enormous range of home improvement franchises currently available including bathroom re-conditioners; tilers, pavers, fencing and roofing specialists; gardeners and landscapers; pool and spa services; energy products; garages, sheds, patios and carports, etc, etc. The variety of home services available by franchise seems to grow each day.

House and garden servicing franchises offer a lifestyle choice which is attractive to many, and they also have the advantage that they are, in most cases, mobile and rent-free – which means low overheads and less stress because franchisees generally don’t have staffing issues and expensive shop fronts. These franchisees can often choose their own hours and customers, often scheduling work around family and other commitments, tipping the work/life balance scale in favour of ‘life’.

Families these days are working longer hours and have less time to spend on general home maintenance, however we do have more money. Thus, home and garden servicing franchises are widely popular. The latest Household Expenditure Survey
(HES) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the average Australian household spent $1,236 per week on goods and services in 2009–10, an increase of 38 per cent ($343 per week) from the previous 2003–04 survey.

For franchises in these industries it’s a great time to get on board, extending your own offerings to those out there looking to make improvements to their home.

At home health care is a growing industry. With an ageing population, and a desire for people to stay at home as they get older, franchises within this sector look set to grow. Once we’re through with spending all of our money on the house, we may be left with a little for some leisure time.

Aussies love their leisure time, and why not? We are a sun drenched country after all. In 2006, the time spent on recreation and leisure was 4 hours 13 minutes per day. Overall, men spent 4 hours 29 minutes a day on recreation and leisure activities in 2006, compared with 3 hours 57 minutes spent by women on average.

We all have the desire to take time out and enjoy life, and leisure franchises are all about helping us achieve this.

Recently there has been an upsurge in small businesses that cater to consumer demand for leisure products. Many of these companies have expanded their businesses through franchising and are eager to offer opportunities to new franchisees.

The leisure industry is extremely diverse with sub-specialties in areas such as entertainment, gambling, sports, travel and other recreational activities. This translates into a wide range of franchising options. You can be assured that no matter where your interests lie there is a franchisor ready to help you get started in the industry. There are leisure franchises out there ranging from paintball all the way through to pole dancing!

A key development in the way we spend our leisure time has been the Internet. The Internet has significantly changed the way we communicate, do business, and interact socially. In 2008-09, there were almost 11.6 million (68 per cent) Australians aged 15 years and over who accessed the internet at home. Over nine in ten (94 per cent) were using the Internet at least once a week, with over half (58 per cent) of these people accessing the internet daily, up from 50 per cent in 2006-07.

Most franchisees are well aware of the power of harnessing this important medium for their own benefit through building their own website, selling online, and using this powerful tool to conduct social marketing. You can be assured that the demand for franchise offerings across the Home and Leisure market will continue to grow and evolve as consumer needs develop and change. If you are passionate about spending your time building a successful business then there is sure to be a franchise out there that will appeal to you!

Take a look through this edition and you will find many of our profiles and articles are about franchising within the Home and Leisure markets. We hope they can help you on your path to building a rewarding business in this exciting market.</p>