“A World of Opportunity” was the theme of this years National franchise Convention, and with over 500 attendees from Australia, NZ and further afield, we certainly had a fantastic cross section of franchisors, franchisees and experienced service providers gathered to share, learn and network with their peers.
The conference commenced with The Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Small Business and Minister for Housing and Homelessness addressing some of the key Federal Government budget initiatives to support the cost of living pressures on household and businesses alike such as the small business energy incentive of 20% tax deduction and the $20,000 instant asset write-offs.
The Minister also spoke about the strengthening of Unfair Contract Terms regime as well as the impending Franchise Code of Conduct review.
Brendan Green, Chair of the FCA, responded to the Minister that reduction of red tape to allow franchise businesses to operate effectively is how the FCA will continue to advocate for when presenting as part of the Code review.
New FCA CEO Matthew Monaghan gave his inaugural address where he confirmed the FCA’s priorities of increased focus on education and member engagement.
Keynote presenter, Michael McQueen, dived into industry trends that will affect the franchise sector. Rather than looking for waves, that are like fads, Michael focused on the rising tides such as:
- Acceleration of Ai
How are franchisors using chat bot is all aspects of their business such as drive through, outbound sales calls and producing content? How will driverless cars impact on food delivery, courier franchisors and other retail customer experiences?
Most conference attendees were fascinated with the speed and jumped on to ChatGPT to find out more!
- Age of Empowerment
Consumers of today are demanding transparency and the voice of customer on social channels can control your brand. Anyone can post about an experience in your shop, reveiving your service or an interaction with a franchisee, instantly, which could go viral. How are you prepared and how are you managing your online reputation?
- Generation Transition
Gen Z, those born from the late 90s to early 2010s are currently 20% of the population but already account for 25% of retail spending. They are 27% of the workforce and 40% of the hospitality staff. Most baby boomers are happy with feedback once a year whereas 40% of Gen Z seek feedback weekly! Gen Z are spending up to 6 hours a day on a smart phone, averaging 107 minutes on Tik Tok, but generally don’t answer the phone when you call and never check voicemail. Are you innovating as a employer, franchisor and mentor to ensure you are engaging with this generation? Have you asked them what are the dumb things your organisation does and what can we eliminate?
The creative juices were flowing after hearing Michael present which allowed for engaged discussions for the various franchisor led panels of aa range of topics from international expansion, legal trends, regional hotspots, best practice franchisor recruitment and the panel I facilitated on “ How franchising can demonstrate leadership in balancing profit with purpose”.
Each day was filled with networking opportunities and finished with amazing keynote presenters, Dr Richard Harris SC OAM and Amna Karra-Hassan.
Congratulations to the FCA events team on an enjoyable couple of days on the rainy Gold Coast!