The New Generation of Super Franchisees

Australia is cultivating a new generation of franchisees who are expanding their businesses using a range of innovative models.

Research by the Franchise Relationships Institute (FRI) indicates this new breed of franchisees, who operate multiple units, now generate over 50% of Australian franchise sector revenues. FRI predicts this percentage will grow.

Greg Nathan, FRI’s Founder, says several trends will continue to drive the growth of multi-unit franchising in Australia.

“Because many franchisors are experiencing a softening of new franchisee inquiries, it makes sense that they expand their footprint using existing franchisees they already know, and who know them” he says.

“Also the maturing of the franchising sector means there are many highly experienced franchisees needing a new challenge, and growing their existing operations into multiple businesses is a great way to reinvent themselves.”

He says the team at FRI decided to organise an annual Multi-Unit Summit for existing multi-unit franchisees and their franchisors, to explore and promote best practice in this growing area of franchising.

A unique facet of the Summit is the high calibre of presenters and panelists, including two leading experts from the USA, and two of Australia’s most successful multi-unit franchisees who own and operate nearly 100 stores between them.

Nathan points out that in the USA, there is a trend that could be described as the rise of the super franchisee, with 1% of large franchisees now controlling 23% of all franchised units.

He says in Australia, we are likely to see a different trend with more of a focus on diversity, characterised by a range of multi-unit models, such as:

  • Family run franchises operating 2 to 5 units.
  • Entrepreneurs getting together as business partners to operate 5 to 8 more units.
  • Corporately trained executives establishing mini-organisations with 10 or more units.
  • Mature franchisees mentoring high potential staff into business partnerships.

Nathan says he particularly likes the last model as it is a win for the experienced franchisee, who gets to expand their business and enjoy the satisfaction of mentoring others; a win for the franchisor, who gets a new franchisee with experience and enthusiasm; and a win for a fresh generation of young franchisees who get to spread their entrepreneurial wings.

“At the Summit we will be exploring these various models through panels and case studies, as well as running sessions to assist multi-unit franchisees develop higher level leadership and financial management skills, essential for success when expanding into multiple units.”

The Multi-Unit Summit will be held in Melbourne on Thursday August 24. Nathan says participants can expect to come away revitalised with new ideas from outside of their industries, and proven tips to improve profitability and grow their businesses with confidence.

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