Top 10 Australian Franchises - What Makes Them The Best
Who better than a top expert in the franchising field, Colin Mackie, of Enterprise 21, to share his thoughts on the top 10 Australian franchises.
A list of the top 10 Australian franchises is akin to a list of the top 10 Australian beaches or the best cars in Australia.
If we asked 100 people from different corners of Australia what was their favourite beach we would probably get a range of answers – maybe even one hundred.
And the best car in Australia --- again we would get a range of answers from something cheap and reliable to something that very few people could afford and 50% of the population is too large to get into.
So who decides what the best 10 franchise systems are and what criteria do they use?
They may have used the franchisees with the highest number of Franchisees, or the Franchise with the biggest shop area or most powerful lawnmower, or the highest gross revenue?
Perhaps they used an open voting system where franchisees can vote for their own system? But if some franchise systems felt that motivating their franchisees to vote was not appropriate or important, we would get a much skewed result.
Looking at the various lists of the Top Ten Franchise Systems is an exercise of interest only. Who decided that Mrs. Field’s was a better system than Donut King or Jims Lawn mowing? These are lists of other people tastes and their specific criteria of selection.
Beauty, and many other things, is in the eye of the beholder.
When you are looking to buy a franchise system you would have a few major important criteria, and these would be exclusive to you. If you are an ‘out-doorsy’ type of person with a borrowing capacity of $75,000 it would not make much sense if Coffee Club or Bob Jane’s were touted as the number one franchise system. They would not suit you and they are way outside your budget.
If you have $1,000,000 to invest in a franchise system, your criteria would be very different to the $75,000 investor. If you want to invest this amount of capital you also need to decide whether you want to be 100% involved in the day to day operation of the business or you might prefer to take an investor-type role. Your choices are becoming more limited and the Best Franchise System for you would possibly not be on the list.
The Top 10 Australian Franchise Systems for YOU is what is the most important. And where do you get a ‘You-Specific” list?
You need to sit down quietly with whomever you are planning to be with you in your new venture and ask yourself a list of questions about you – and your partner needs to do the same. Not the franchise system as yet – that is later – this is about you
The questions that you need to ask are personal and must be answered truthfully. If one question is “Can you take direction” and you know that a Franchisor would want you to say “yes”, but you know that you do not take direction with grace, there is no point in lying.
“Do you feel happy with 3 am rises?” “Are you good dealing with awkward customers?” “Are you fit and healthy enough for manual labour? “What is your maximum borrowing capacity?” These and many more questions need to be asked and answered when your partner is present to keep you in line, will start to define what type of business system is going to be more comfortable for you.
Once you have narrowed your business type down to a few options, this is where the ‘The Top 10 Australian Franchise’ list becomes relevant.
This will be a list that you compile with specific criteria that is relevant to you.
You look at the list of all franchise systems in Australia and you begin a process of elimination: Wrong industry; Too expensive; Dealing with people; Working with figures; and all of the other ‘You Specific’ criteria that you have identified.
You will then end up with a short list of franchise systems that fit your specific profile.
You then contact the franchise systems on the list that you would feel happy to be associated with, (would you feel comfortable wearing their uniform or having your car covered with their marketing material?) and call and ask for a Franchise Information Package. Once you have gone through these and trimmed your list down even further, how do you find the Best one?
Easy! Who would be the best judge of whether a franchise system is good or is lacking in some critical area? The existing Franchisees of course. .
From the Franchise Disclosure Document you will get a list of ALL Franchisees in the system now and those who have left the system in the last three years.
You make a list (or get one from Enterprise 21) of the questions that you need to ask to get a clear picture of what the franchise is really like and how it marries with your profile. You call as many as you can – them all if you are getting mixed messages.
The Franchisees may not tell you exactly what they are earning, but if your questions are crafted properly, you will get a close approximation. They will let you know if they are unhappy or if they would buy the same franchise again.
This process is certainly a little more complex than reading a list compiled from a range of perspectives that may be totally irrelevant to you – but you will be investing a substantial amount of collateral and risking your whole business future in your selection of a franchise, so it may be the most valuable investigative work you ever do. (Unless you are buying an ‘Eye-Spy PI franchise).
Colin S L Mackie is the CEO of Enterprise 21 and the author of the quintessential pre-business book, The Quantum Leap.
Thank you to Colin for his advice. He is available to offer professional advice and support when buying a franchise. A highly valued service which could end up saving you thousands and help you make the right decisions for YOU. You can register your interest in a discussion.