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Franchisee Advice

Passion Project with Sport For All

Sport For All is not your average franchise, and Marina de Lange is not your average franchisee, which is why the partnership is proving exceptionally fruitful. With the help of Sport For All, she is uplifting her community in a very meaningful way.

GG van Rooyen

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In order to be successful, you need to find a burning need within your community. 

Vital Stats

  • Player: Marina de Lange
  • Franchise: Sport For All
  • Branch: Geluksdal
  • Established: August 2015
  • Franchised In: 2005, Sport For All (SFA) is a social franchise, which means that it uses the methods of commercial franchising to achieve social goals, specifically economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles for children and youth employment.

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Marina de Lange started operating an SFA franchise in her town of Geluksdal at the beginning of August 2015.

When Entrepreneur spoke to her towards the end of August, she had already signed on around 100 kids. Below is her perspective on how the franchise works, and what it offers franchisees.

On who this franchise is aimed at

“SFA is a social franchise that’s primarily aimed at uplifting the community. Because of this, franchisees need to be very engaged in their communities. You need to care about your community and be very involved in it,” says de Lange.

“If you open a franchise for the right reason – to help those around you – you’ll be very happy with Sport For All. It makes getting a sport programme off the ground so much easier because you’re provided with a turnkey solution. All the sports equipment needed, for example, is provided for you.”

The sports on offer

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“The great thing about Sport For All is that it allows you to offer a wide variety of sports. For example, here in Geluksdal we offer popular sports such as cricket, rugby and soccer, but we also offer dancing. So there is something for everyone.”

The importance of competition

De Lange doesn’t just offer sports activities as a way of killing time and keeping kids busy. Many of her teams compete in official leagues.

“Sport For All allows you to enter your teams into official leagues, which is very important. Kids want to compete. They don’t just want to kick a ball around for an hour. They want to be part of a team that competes against others. Competition provides a sense of purpose, which improves participation,” says de Lange.

Why members need to pay

“If you don’t pay for sport now, you’ll pay for rehab later. Sport offers a sense of belonging that could otherwise easily be filled by gangs or other negative influences.”

This is what de Lange says when people ask why they should pay for their kids to take part in her Sport For All training sessions.

Prior to launching a Sport For All franchise, de Lange ran a soccer programme that allowed local kids to take part without paying. When she took on a Sport For All franchise, she switched to a pay-for-play model. Unsurprisingly, there were a few grumbles.

“Initially, community members wanted to know why they suddenly had to pay,” says de Lange.

“Membership is very affordable – only R20 per child– but in a community such as Geluksdal, that’s still quite a bit of money. However, there are very good reasons for asking people to pay. Firstly, people become far more invested in something if they actually have to pay for it. If something is free, it’s all too easy to undervalue it. Secondly, a programme becomes self-sustaining this way. Without membership fees, this sort of community programme is dependent on charitable contributions, which means that it tends to operate in fits and starts, only providing a service when money is available.”

Opportunities for growth

“I’ve been amazed at how receptive the community has been to the Sport For All model. I never thought that I’d sign up close to 100 kids in less than a month. I thought that there would be more resistance to the membership fees, but people really understand that it makes the various sports programmes sustainable. My aim is to have 300 kids signed up within three months, and I don’t think I’ll struggle to do it.

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“At the moment, I’m focused on providing programmes for children, but I want to expand to provide programmes for adults as well. A lot of adult community members have already approached me, asking if adults can take part as well. So there’s a lot of room for growth there,” says de Lange.

Franchisee training

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“Sport For All provides great training for those starting up a franchise,” says de Lange.

“I received two weeks of full-time training, which really prepared me for the operation. Particularly useful was the information on communicating with children. SFA really prepares you for interacting with kids. I also received very useful first-aid training, which is crucial in a sports-training environment.”

For more information, visit www.sportforall.co.za.

GG van Rooyen is the deputy editor for Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa. Follow him on Twitter.

Franchisee Advice

What To Know About Franchising Your Business

For many businesses, franchising is an excellent route to growth, opening up new opportunities and markets. Laurette Pienaar, National Franchise Manager at Nedbank, unpacks why it’s worth considering this route.

Nadine Todd

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Vital Stats

  • Player: Laurette Pienaar
  • Position: National Franchise Manager
  • Company: Nedbank Limited
  • Visit: nedbank.co.za

What type of business is ideally suited to the franchise model?

Franchising has been proven successful across all industries, including the automotive, food, entertainment and retail industries. However, several key qualities ultimately determine a concept’s ability to successfully become a franchise.

Firstly, the business model must be scalable and able to be repeated in several locations. Secondly, there must be demand for the products sold and, thirdly, the franchise model must be proven as profitable.

Related: (Infographic) 7 Digital Marketing Strategies For Franchises

Why is franchising a good growth option?

Franchising is often used as a cost-effective growth strategy for businesses. A key benefit of this strategy is that no capital layout is required for a new franchised store as opposed to corporate-owned stores.

Franchised stores are also proven to be more successful than corporate-owned stores. This is mainly due to the fact that the franchise owners have a vested interest in the store, whereas corporate stores are supervised by a manager. Franchising is therefore also a great way to build your brand.

What should business owners focus on?

Franchisors should set up good infrastructure to support their franchisees, including good upfront and ongoing training to both the franchisees and their staff, the correct legal advice and assistance, and a strong operational team to assist franchisees daily.

Many successful franchisors provide support by expanding through vertical integration, which provides franchisees with logistics, supply chain security and product consistency.

Several franchisors advocate a structure with both franchisee and corporate-owned stores. This enables a franchisor to keep in touch with the daily challenges franchisees experience and new products and solutions can be tested at a corporate store before being rolled out to the franchise network.

How can franchising consultants assist business owners?

Franchise consultants provide daily operational support to franchisees. They are responsible for daily store visits to assist with quality checks, process flows, supplier relationships and, often, financial assessments. They are a helpful soundboard on any improvements to be made in the business model and can convey suggestions to the franchisor.

Related: The Secret Sauce To Great Franchise Leadership

What challenges should business owners be aware of?

Businesses looking to franchise need to ensure that their business is teachable to others. Overcomplicated products and systems may deter franchisees from investing in your brand.

Franchisors have to do ongoing introspection regarding their company culture. For example, does the culture promote innovation and inspire franchisees and consumers, which ultimately is a culture worth investing in?

New franchisors’ selection criteria for franchisees are often not sufficiently thorough and comprehensive. For a new franchisor, it is important to choose good quality franchisees and to have strict selection criteria to ensure that your brand remains reputable and stable during fast-expanding cycles.

What lessons can be learnt from SA’s successful franchises?

Businesses looking to expand through franchising should consider setting up several corporate-owned stores first. This assures potential investors that your business is based on a proven model with a track record and supportive infrastructure.

There is not always a one-size-fits-all model. Many franchisors have created custom models to accommodate and adjust to the need of a specific property or consumer market. A great example of this would be the food industry where many franchisors offer shopping centre concepts, drive thrus and kiosk or express concepts. Consider this when developing your model.

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Franchisee Advice

Develop Digital Marketing Competency In 3 Simple Steps

Conquering the digital revolution needn’t be daunting. Polish up your tech skills and watch your digital marketing prowess increase throughout your franchise.

Diana Albertyn

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As a franchisor, digital marketing may be proving to be a challenge due to the unique structuring of the business.

“The very nature of franchises is ‘structured’, however, when it comes to marketing, that structure often lacks,” says Marcela De Vivo, Founder and CEO of Gryffin Media.

Franchisors and franchisees often struggle to reach common ground when looking to achieve different marketing goals. While the franchisor needs to control the brand in its entirety, the franchisee wants to market their business using particular strategies suited to their location.

Research has found that smartphones are the biggest influencers of 82% of users when they make their in-store purchase decisions while. It’s for this reason that the importance of digital marketing for franchises has increased.

Here’s how to harness its power of influence, amplify foot traffic and solidify brand loyalty:

1. Recruit digital natives and early adopters

As much as you’re the leader of your franchise network, there are franchisees in your chain you could learn from. The global increase in millennial franchise owners means it is highly likely that you’ll be able to identify early digital adopters within your franchise network.

“The best people to learn from are those who have been in your shoes before,” says Matt Forman of the Franchise Centre at Griffith University.

“Encourage and support their efforts and use them as case studies to demonstrate to the rest of your franchisees the value of digital marketing, and how to do it right.”

2. Invest in training your team

“Each digital competency level requires more education and resources in order to integrate digital marketing with your physical stores,” says Forman. For this reason, regularly investing in continuous training for your team so as to ensure they keep abreast of any new and emerging trends.

Proactivity and adapting to the constantly evolving digital landscape led KFC to open a LinkedIn account for its founder and mascot Colonel Sanders. KFC’s out of the box tactic is a fresh approach to what has long been considered a B2B platform, under-utilised as a B2C platform.

3. Apply custom targeting techniques

The discovery of new and small businesses is being fuelled by Google searches, social media and online reviews, making these platforms a goldmine of invaluable tools.

Leveraging certain custom targeting techniques like easily searchable keywords and exposure on other reputable and high-traffic websites, gives your franchise’s digital marketing efforts a boost. This results in an effective campaign, favourable reviews and meaningful and lasting interactions with consumers “whether it’s a reply to a Facebook comment or a retweet,” says Entrepreneur’s Emily Conklin.

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Franchisee Advice

How To Hire Skilled Workers For Your Franchise

Your staff run your business – you just have to show them how. This is why employing the best people for the job is essential.

Diana Albertyn

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According to the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) 2017 Franchisor Survey, one of the main challenges facing franchisees is finding the right staff.

“Staffing your franchise can be one of the most challenging parts of running a successful business. Without a great team of employees, you cannot run your business effectively,” says Saxon Marsden-Huggins, founder of WebRover.

These three tips could help you find the best employees for your franchise outlet:

1. Don’t hire in haste

While you may be rearing to go and keen to fill gaps to speed up profitability, research your candidates thoroughly.

Related: Insights On Recruitment That Could Affect Franchise Performance

As the job applications keep flowing into your inbox, keep in mind that not all of them qualify for the positions available – it may even be a small percent who are actually viable candidates. This is why your hiring process should include:

  • Taking the time to thoroughly screen CVs to develop a short list
  • Creating a carefully crafted list of interview questions
  • Setting aside adequate time for thorough interviews
  • Getting to know the candidates through a second round of interviews to confirm your choice.

Giving the hiring process dedication and attention will ensure you get the cream of the crop, contributing to the long-term success of your franchise.

2. Demonstrate support in the workplace

While you can instil the necessary skills into new recruits, it’s difficult to train for culture. This is why choosing the right employees from the beginning will make the rest of your franchise management system will run more smoothly.

“The manner by which you run the franchise will influence employee perceptions of the brand as well,” says Hireology’s Erin Borgerson. “Your staff must become ambassadors of your franchise system to attract the target consumer market.”

The best way to do this is encouraging staff to give you their honest feedback. Your commitment to creating and upholding a positive culture will result in increased loyalty from your current staff and a superior pool of applicants.

Related: 3 Things You Should Consider Before Buying Your First Franchise

3. Offer appealing incentives

When advancement opportunities are clearly communicated, staff is keen to hear how they can get there, as they have career goals of their own. Encouraging this ambition will draw good employees to your franchise.

“Helping employees understand the steps to advancement helps them to view their current job as an important part of a career with an upward path, not just a pay cheque for this week,” say financial reporting technology experts at Qvinci.

Performance bonuses and employee benefits incentivise staff’s efforts, therefore increasing their income alongside the profit of the business. “This serves to make employees a part of the business and not merely people ‘who work there’,” they explain.

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