Special Feature - White Collar Franchises - Issue 1#1

By Wendy Laursen

This article appeared in Issue 1#1 (Nov/Dec 2006) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

Join The Professional Class

It is not necessary to have office experience to take up a professional franchise opportunity. What is required is the drive to succeed and people looking for big changes in their life often make the best candidates.

Within 12 months of deciding that panel beating wasn’t the career for him, 24-year-old Daniel Bowler, became a finance manager with The Mortgage Gallery. Bowler won the company’s national rookie of the year award this year and is just one example of the diverse range of people who become white collar franchise success stories.

The Mortgage Gallery prides itself on exceeding customer expectations. It is one of Australia’s original mortgage brokers and has offices throughout Australia offering consumer finance, commercial finance, car and equipment finance, insurance, and deposit guarantees.

They provide intensive support initially to minimise start-up time and their franchise package includes a comprehensive range of business tools. A home office is acceptable initially, except in WA, and The Mortgage Gallery provides ongoing sales coaching, professional development, and training.

The Mortgage Gallery values family and offers a great team culture. They are strong supporters of local community groups, schools, and hospitals.

Mortgage Choice looks for potential franchisees with a dedication to providing a high level of customer service and that ‘fire in the belly’ to build a successful business. They have a ‘client for life’ attitude and aim for the highest levels of honesty and professionalism.

Mortgage Choice writes approximately 1 in every 20 Australian residential loans. Their unique software matches consumers with the most appropriate products and lenders from their book of 27 leading Australian lending institutions.

A mentoring program supports people from all kinds of employment backgrounds and Mortgage Choice operates a call centre to distribute leads resulting from their national advertising campaigns. There is the potential to take different career paths including owning one or more franchises, working from home or through various office locations, and choosing to offer add-ons like commercial property lending. Each consultant gains qualifications and accreditation as a mortgage broker.

Mortgage House is a well-established business with a recognised brand. They believe that their strong marketing and sport sponsorship initiatives give their brand an edge in the increasingly competitive mortgage market.

Mortgage House has a revolutionary mortgage processing system and a strong commitment to seeing their franchisees develop a sustainable and growing business, fast. 

“We don’t charge franchise or training fees and our intensive training programme includes independent, specialist advice on developing your own network,” says Luke Sheales, National Sales and Distribution Manager for Mortgage House.

“We are looking for long term business partners and we invest heavily in their businesses through lead generation on a continual basis,” he said.

Mortgage House offers the option of being the executive principal of a branch with support staff or an owner operator. Their minimum requirement is for franchisees to have an office, although this may be shared, and they look for potential franchisees with sales, finance, or small business experience.

Resi Mortgage Corporation is one of Australia’s major non-bank lenders with a range of award winning home loan products. Franchisees receive comprehensive training and benefit from a well-established support system. They have a national marketing and advertising campaign and provide franchisees with demographic information to help them identify their target market. resi have an internet-based home loan management system and consistently offer some of the best interest rates on the market.

“Despite an influx of competitors into the market we have continued to grow quickly and to invest in product development and processes which meet current consumer needs and also look to the needs of the future,” said resi National Manager for Consumer Advocacy, Lisa Montgomery.

There are no ‘hard and fast’ qualifications for becoming a resi franchisee but knowledge of the finance industry is an advantage. City Pacific Finance is a ‘one stop shop’ for finance that offers clients the products of over 35 different lenders.

They have 40 offices throughout Australia offering home loans, commercial loans, development and construction loans, leasing and hire purchase finance, plant and equipment finance, investment opportunities, and insurance premium funding.

Franchisees have the potential to develop a profitable business with ongoing revenue from repeat and referral business and through commissions paid by the lenders on most types of loans.

They offer extensive support including inhouse software to research, write, and track loans, marketing, and training. They have strong links with industry bodies and associations and actively manage their relationships with lenders on behalf of franchisees.

Increasing taxation legislation and the introduction of GST means there are many accounting opportunities across Australia’s 1.6 million businesses.

First Class Accounts provide a comprehensive bookkeeping service and have grown to be Australia’s largest bookkeeping franchise. They have over 200 franchisees that set-up and maintain bookkeeping and office systems including the production of management reports, debt management, bank reconciliations, payroll and PAYG, BAS/GST and the preparation of books of accounts.

Franchisees receive an extensive four week correspondence course as well as 14 days of live-in training spread over three months. The training includes MYOB and Quick-

Books as well as marketing and business planning. Franchisees are supported by a dedicated 1300 number for technical support and receive on-going training on developments in software and legislation.

The Award Bookkeeping Company is one of Australia’s fastest growing franchises. According to founder and CEO Debb Shugg, it is her ‘human’ approach to business, support, and franchise development that is a major drawcard for franchisees.

“We try and involve all our franchisees in interactive ways that allow them to share their experiences with one-another, whilst establishing a communication network with colleagues on a national scale,” she said.

Award Bookkeeping Company now has 45 established franchises in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA and aims to have franchisees in every state by next year. Their franchisee induction kit includes almost 100 business tools and they pride themselves on the level of training and support they offer.

Accounting Express Centres focus on providing great service to small businesses and to building business-to-business relationships that last. They are tapping into the huge potential left under-serviced by traditional suburban accounting firms.

Franchisees do not need to be accountants, they prefer that they aren’t, as comprehensive training is provided and there is on-going support from their large accounting and tax team. An office is provided by Accounting Express Centres along with state-of-the-art management systems.

iSold It makes the most sales on eBay and is one of the world’s fastest growing franchises. It offers a network of drop-off stores for people who want to sell items on eBay.

Their service includes photographing each item, posting it on eBay, and packaging and shipping it when sold. They have proprietary software that manages the whole operation so franchisees don’t need previous eBay or business experience.

They help franchisees find a store location and offer a “store-in-a-box” package for quick and easy setup. They have a national advertising program and ‘ready-to-use’ marketing material. Customer cheques are centrally processed at the click of a button, saving the franchisee time and money.

iSold It already has over 900 franchise stores globally and they are planning to offer additional services such as corporate account programs and e-commerce opportunities.

Business Barter Exchange (BBX) is an expanding barter trading service suitable for most industries. According to general manager of BBX, David Freeman, the barter boom is being felt across a host of industries in Australia including travel and tourism, hospitality, restaurants, florists, and jewellers.

“People with a strong will to succeed, a degree of business maturity, and the ability to talk to different people should find it easy to succeed as a BBX franchisee,” he said.

The system BBX has developed involves a business joining a trade exchange to exchange goods or services with other members. The exchange acts as a regulator and third party record keeper, similar to a bank, and issues members with monthly statements.

Barter has become widespread in the US with total annual sales reaching billions of dollars. BBX has offices in all Australian states, as well as New Zealand and India. Their international expansion increases supply and export opportunities.

The Contact Group helps businesses to grow through the use of ACT! – the world’s top customer management system. ACT! is a software solution that can ‘power the engine’ of any business by automating most sales, marketing, and administrative functions.

Directors Jenny Gustafson Backman and Cedric Amoyal are a young, dynamic team that have already helped thousands of businesses grow with their services and solutions. According to Amoyal, they are in a $9 billion industry that is growing at approximately 4% a year and in establishing the franchise model for The Contact Group they have built in many passive revenue streams.

Franchisees do not require technical skills. Most services offered by the franchisee are delivered over the phone or the internet. The business model is web-based allowing franchisees to handle clients located anywhere in Australia.

David Reid Homes, the winner of the most building awards in New Zealand, has established a franchise presence in Australia that is rapidly expanding across the country.

Their reputation has grown to the point where many referrals come from architects and developers and their superior product and workmanship has led many people to aspire to a David Reid home.

They offer over 60 architectural plans and franchisees manage the construction process from concept to hand over. David Reid Homes have national supply agreements, a live back costing system, and area directors to support and mentor franchisees.

It is not necessary for a franchisee to be a builder but they must have practical and administration skills relevant to sales, costing, and project management. Exclusive territories are being set up, generally centred on large population areas or popular tourist destinations.

David Reid Homes provide full training and support and deal honestly and ethically with franchisees to establish a successful business based on best practice methods.

Leadership Management Australia offers a unique training and professional development experience for people that guarantees measurable increases in performance and productivity. They identify gaps, clarify needs, and deliver solutions in any industry, organisational structure, or role.

They have worked with over 80,000 people from small business to major corporations and government departments and have opportunities for people who are looking for a challenge. They offer their business licencees ongoing training, support, and development as well as national branding and marketing. They are looking for people to develop relationships in their expanding enterprise that have previous business experience and good communication skills. These people will be able to grow a small business, working with dedicated facilitators, and there is the opportunity for travel and communication with international business partners.

Brad Sugars has helped more than a million clients around the world through his business coaching company Action International. “It’s not just ‘getting into your own business’ that will make you rich. Just as it’s not just doing some exercises that will get you to the Olympics. There are specific strategies, skills, and so many more things you’ll need to follow to turn your business and wealth dreams into reality,” says Sugars.

Action International is one of the world’s fastest growing franchises and already boasts 820 ‘offices’ in 22 locations. Every month they run a 10-day training program in Las Vegas followed up by localised support from master franchisors. Franchisees can work from home and a set royalty fee, with the first three months fee free, provides franchisees with the incentive to be successful.

Action International franchise opportunities continue to grow throughout the world and their services have proven invaluable to people taking up franchises in a wide range of industries.