According to the Franchise Council of Australia (not-for-profit trade association) the growing franchise sector is currently worth around $182 billion here in Australia. If you’ve ever thought about owning a franchise, we’ve rounded up some experts that are well-versed in the franchising game to help you along on your journey. We chat to Luke Guanlao; founder of the Cryoclinics Australia empire and seasoned franchisee of 60 Anytime Fitness territories across Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as Adam Odeh; pharmaceutical compounding business owner turned Australian Skin Clinics franchisee (and previously Hairhouse Warehouse).
What are the advantages/disadvantages of becoming a franchisee?
ADAM: Since joining the Australian Skin Clinics (ASC) brand, there haven’t been any real disadvantages. In my experience, a franchise provides you with roughly 20% of the recipe for success, the other 80% is attributed to management style and internal operations of the franchisees themselves. We are continually provided with great support and training that can be practically applied at clinic level. ASC has always been progressive and continue to work hard to stay ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving industry by bringing new treatments and creative marketing to clinics.
LUKE: You benefit from the support network of an established brand. You have the freedom of the day-to-day running of your business while knowing that we are on hand to advise on wider issues or decisions. Freedom is by far the best benefit, however that’s not to say it comes easily. Like starting any business, you need to know your target market, and how to sell your product or service to them. With our assistance, this is much easier to do as opposed to starting from scratch.
I’ve discovered very few disadvantages in my time, which is why I chose to become a franchisor myself. I would recommend to anyone seeking to become a franchisee for the first time, or anyone looking to build their portfolio, to research the brand, find testimonials about how involved the franchisor is, and find out what the support network is like. Do plenty of research to make sure you align with the brand – this is the best possible starting point.
What kind of support do you receive/offer?
ADAM: 1. Extensive management training prior to opening the clinic for both myself and the clinic manager.
2. Extensive theoretical and practical training for all therapists prior to opening the clinic on all treatments offered at the clinic.
3. Head office team took care of everything prior to opening the clinic from design and fit-out to training etc. (i.e. turn-key operation and no hassles for franchisee).
4. 24/7 access to all operational material and references via our internal communication portal. This is updated regularly.
5. Extensive and regular BDM support on the ground level.
6. Access to regular ongoing practical training for all team members via ASC’s own The Advanced Skills Academy (TASA), which is offered in all States.
7. Access to design and marketing services and support.
8. Excellent financial benefit in accessing great discounts from suppliers due to being a part of a large group of clinics.
9. Everyone at head-office genuinely cares and wants to help us. They are all great to work with.
LUKE: We consider ourselves as providing an experts-on-tap service and offer support to all of our franchisees. As with most franchising opportunities, we tend to find we are much more involved in the initial stages while the franchisee sets up and establishes themselves. Once the business is in full swing, our franchisees check in with us from time to time and vice versa to make sure business is going well and to offer recommendations and advice.
What exactly do (and don’t) franchisees have control over within the business?
LUKE: Franchisees have control over the day-to-day running of their business and we encourage our franchisees to really make the business their own. Similar to all successful franchises, the overall branding strategy is set out by us (the franchisor), which the franchisee must adhere to. In our case, this is to minimise risk and maximise reward. Our franchisees use the Cryoclinics Australia branding that we supply and with that comes all kinds of benefits.
What does the establishment process look like?
LUKE: Once our non-disclosure agreement is signed and the initial pre-qualification questionnaire is complete, we conduct both a phone and face-to-face interview. Cultural fit is equally important to us as achievement of profitability by our franchisees. We manage all vendor/equipment supplier relationships and have pre-negotiated equipment prices to ensure our franchisees receive the best deal. We have done most of the research for you…and chosen only the best machines manufactured in Poland, Spain and the USA to deliver our effective and proven recovery and beauty treatments. You’re not alone at any stage. We provide upfront and ongoing support to all our franchisees, including:
- A dedicated Franchise Business Coach
- A comprehensive learning and development program, including clinic management and operation, business development, sales, marketing, treatment management, and equipment usage
- Medical team support
- Marketing support and ownership of lead generation
- State-of-the-art client booking system and software
- Vendor panel vetted by us, including bookkeepers, property managers, legal experts, booking system software and support, consumable suppliers, IT and telecommunications, printing and signage, and marketing agencies
Would you recommend the franchisee process over starting your own business?
ADAM: Yes, I would. The support that is provided is most certainly worth it, as it allows you to focus more on running the business rather than being buried in mundane tasks. There’s also great benefit in being a part of a large group in such a competitive landscape (i.e. benefits due to economies of scale e.g. marketing and brand recognition, discounts and keeping in line with industry trends etc.).