It was an exciting week at BDC Partners, as we held our annual Growth23 Franchise conference in Melbourne. This interactive workshop event saw franchise owners come together with our BDC team to discuss franchise operations and growth, and how to create a successful franchise through:
– Benchmarking and financial data
– Partnering for Performance
– Best practice franchise recruitment
– Legal compliance
– Location & territory intelligence
– Leasing and site selection
– Fit out and planning considerations
– Finance and funding
– Customer experience
Great discussions were had during the day with the attendees and the experienced team from all of the BDC Collective sharing their insights and challenges. We’ve highlighted some of the key points that each topic brought up for you to consider:
Benchmarking your Network
Aaron March, Director of Accounting Blue Rock, started of the day with everyone’s favourite topic, accounting. He spoke through the importance of benchmarking and assisting your franchisees to understand their financial reports. Being educated to interpret and use the data to assist them with their business can help their grow, not all your franchisees will have an analytical mind or financial knowledge – but nurturing them to understand the numbers is imperative to success.
He also spoke through the importance of transparency with the franchisees and their numbers, and having visibility of their books early on – this can save you a lot of stress for both your HQ and your franchisors. Jehan Hapuarachchi from Spotlight Reporting demonstrated how consistent reporting can assist both franchisors and franchisees.
Aaron said that rolling out software systems that can be used across the entire business will remove headaches, using the same accounting software allows everyone to be on the same page – make sure to provide training to make sure everyone is using it to its full extent.
Partnering for Performance
Shortly after this we moved onto partnering for performance with John Cooksey, CEO BDC Performance, who spoke about relationships being essential from highly developed franchise systems. Often it is found that partnering with other businesses can create a network of franchisors or franchisees who can help build each other up and create a thriving business. Using conscious coupling, we can help each other work more positively towards reaching our goals.
Have you considered partnering with others out of the business or within the business to build a stronger connection and increase your ROI?
We also heard from Alexandra Laurence, Senior Marketing Manager at OpCentral. OpCentral are the worlds leading operations, training & compliance management software. She spoke through the software and how it can assist with better performance and brand consistency amongst franchisees.
Recruiting your next franchisee can often be like mastering a fine art. You may think it’s an easy process, but finding the right person that fits into your brand can be somewhat of a challenge. Rori Kokken, CEO of BDC Recruitment, spoke about the challenges that can come with hiring the wrong franchise partner she also spoke about the franchise recruitment deselection process. What do you do if you find yourself inundated with applications, consider, do they reflect your business strategy and model, are they trainable to meet those needs? Using a deselection process can help you correctly identify the right applicant.
Using a data powered tool like Zorakle profiling can help a recruiter to understand if the applicant matches the values, culture, stages of growth and workstyles of a business and if they are the right persona to run a successful franchise.
Read more about Zorakle profiling here.
BDC Law MD, Kristie Piniuta talked us through the franchise code changes that have been that came into effect in 2021 and how the ACCC and franchisors were applying them in practice, 2 years on. Regulation have continued to ramp up over the years, as the franchise code has been reviewed and changed over the years to meet standards and demands.
Take some time to understand exactly what the documents are that you are sending to your prospective franchisee, are they correct and informative enough? Have you checked in with your franchisee to ask if they have fully understood what they have read and if they have read the right documentation?
GapMaps, BDC Property and Associated Projects spoke to the group about understanding your customer database and how far a customer is likely to travel to buy your products or services.
Understanding customer demographics will allow you to create effective territory maps for your business. Consider looking at the catchment area for your business, if this is large then you should have less sites per territory to avoid cannibalising your brand.
Investigate your area competitors, what are they doing and how many sites do they have? How would you be positioned against them?
Lastly, if you build your territory too big you can’t expand and you can’t manage the “noise”, you also may restrict your revenue as if you optimize your territories, you can provide services closer to prospective customers.
Keith Doyle, CEO of BDC Property spoke with the group about tenancy terms and best practices on negotiating with the landlord and finding the right property for your brand. Mark Gale warned the attendees of situations where franchisees hadn’t considered the planning requirements or specific challenges of their building when starting the fitout process.
There are many questions around insurance within the franchise industry, as there are a lot of moving parts to consider when building and growing your franchise brand. Richard Cholewick from Benjamin & Benjamin Insurance Group, answered many questions from the franchisors about their current insurance policies. He provided an understanding of why premiums go up and how to handle issues with group policies and business policies.
Learn more about franchise insurance here.
Blue Rock Digital and Dokio
Finally, we finished the workshops with a presentation about CX (customer experience) and the importance of understanding your user journey. Adam Henwood, Associate Director BlueRock Digital, spoke to the franchisors about understanding their customers persona, how do they react with the brand and what their needs are. Vital steps to influence repeat customers and to attract new customers.
This was closely followed by our final sponsor, Dokio, where the CEO and founder, Tracey Cooper, demonstrated how her software can create ease of branding and marketing materials across all territories. The system makes content creation simple and timely with the ability to generate material for all your businesses with precision.
We finished the day with a panel discussion from the team, where the brands had the opportunity to ask questions to the BDC and Blue Rock team about their experiences and ‘pick their brains’ on anything they are currently facing in the franchise industry. Almost all of our team have owned a franchise or have been in the industry for as long as they can remember.
It truly was a great day to share in knowledge and learn from one another on the best practices to grow a franchise. To receive help on the growth of your franchise fill out our form here, and we will be in touch to assist you!
Special thanks to Dokio, Spotlight Reporting and Op Central for sponsoring the event and supporting us and our clients on their franchise journey.