Connect with us

Franchisee Advice

Working with a Master Franchisee

When purchasing a franchise, you might be working with a master franchisee. Take these points into consideration before buying.

Jeff Elgin

Published

on

Master-Franchise

Ever wonder how franchisees interact with their franchisor? Most franchises choose one of two ways for providing sales and support services to franchisees: directly by the franchise company to the individual franchisees (known as direct franchising) or via a master franchisee.

If the franchise is expanding via master franchisees, it means they’ve contracted with a person or entity to provide services to franchisees in a specified territory or country.

The master franchisee typically pays the franchise company a significant initial fee for the rights to develop the territory and then retains most or all the initial fees and royalty fees paid over time by the individual franchisees in the territory.

That master is usually responsible for recruiting the individual franchisees and providing all training and support they need, both initially and on an ongoing basis. Franchise companies often select the master approach in the belief it will result in more rapid system growth with less initial capital risk for the company.

What You Need to Know

There is no reason for you, the franchise buyer, to place a higher value on either the direct or master approach. Each strategy can be effective or terrible, depending on the skills and resources brought to the selected approach.

One significant difference between these strategies relates to your research. In the case of a master, you need to completely and somewhat independently investigate both the franchise company and the master organisation.

Keep in mind the saying that ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link.’ A great master can’t do anything about a franchise system that does not have a strong, viable business model to take their concept to market. Conversely, even a strong and viable business model can be invalidated by a weak or ineffective master franchisee.

Whether you choose a franchise with a direct or a master approach, you should be aware of the fact that the skills needed to provide effective franchise sales results are quite different from the skills needed to provide operational and marketing support to an operating business. One of the red flags in any master situation (or direct, for that matter) is when you find one person who is purporting to do both these jobs.

As a franchisee, you’re going to need a strong franchise sales effort to build the value of the brand around your operation. You won’t get that value if they can’t sell effectively. You’re also going to need support to help you operate the business effectively, and you typically don’t get that from a sales person. You really need both skills, so make sure you have talented people in both positions, especially in a master approach.

Investing in the Master

If you decide to investigate a master franchise, visit a number of franchisees from all over the system. Then visit a significant number of franchisees located in the territory of the master you’ll be working with. You need to see a strong track record in each iteration before you proceed.

If you like and are confident with either the franchise company or the master, but not both, you have a serious problem. If the problem lies with the franchise company, forget this one and find a different franchise opportunity. This is the only safe and smart move to make.

If the problem lies with the specific master you would be working with, you can either relocate to a different territory that has a good master or find a different franchise opportunity altogether. In any case, do not assume you will have an experience different from the majority of the franchisees you visit during your research calls – that’s a recipe for disaster.

As a final note, when you investigate a master franchise company and you are located in a territory that doesn’t have a master yet, watch to see if the company immediately tries to sell you on being the master. Though this may seem like an incredible compliment, don’t let your ego get in the way of your common sense. If you don’t have experience in franchise sales, marketing and operations, you’re looking at a huge risk.

Remember that a job offer from NASA doesn’t automatically make you a rocket scientist. If you’re thinking of becoming a master franchisee, at the very least you should carefully research the previous experience of the other successful masters to make sure you have the necessary skills and capital to make this opportunity a good one for you. l

Jeff Elgin has developed a consulting system that matches pre-screened, high-quality prospective franchisees with the franchise opportunities that best fit their personal profile.

Franchisee Advice

5 Tips For Franchise Agreements

Below are 5 tips to ensure that your franchise agreement complies with the CPA.

Justine Krige

Published

on

franchise-agreement

South Africa has some great homegrown franchises – Mugg and Bean, Steers, Debonairs and Nandos, to name a few.  South Africa is also no stranger to international franchise groups, such as McDonalds, KFC, Wimpy and SPAR, although there has been an increase in the number of international franchises investing in South Africa in recent years.

The Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 (“CPA“) is the first piece of legislation in South Africa that specifically regulates franchise agreements. The CPA prescribes certain minimum requirements for franchise agreements, as well as certain information that must be disclosed prior to a franchise agreement being signed.  It is important that all franchise agreements comply with the CPA as provisions in franchise agreements may be declared to be void for non-compliance.

Below are 5 tips to ensure that your franchise agreement complies with the CPA:

1. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements

The CPA prescribes “minimum requirements” for franchise agreements.  These requirements, which are set out in the Regulations to the CPA, set out mandatory terms (i.e. terms which must be included) and prohibited terms (i.e. terms which must not be included).  They also prescribe that franchise agreements must be drafted in simple and plain language so as to be easily understood.  Legal jargon must be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Related: The Perils Of The Franchise Agreement

2. Include prescribed minimum information

The CPA prescribes minimum information that must be included in a franchise agreement.  Most of this minimum prescribed information is fairly general in nature and would be contained in the franchise agreement in the ordinary course (for example, name and description of the types of goods or services that the franchise relates to, the obligations of the franchisor and franchisee, and any territorial rights).

There are, however, certain more unusual requirements in relation to prescribed information, which information would not necessarily be contained in a franchise agreement in the ordinary course (for example, the qualifications of the franchisor’s directors, and details of the members/shareholders of the franchisor).  These more unusual requirements must be kept in mind when preparing a franchise agreement.

3. Prepare a disclosure document

The CPA requires the franchisor to provide certain minimum prescribed information to the franchisee in a disclosure document delivered to the franchisee prior to the signature of the franchise agreement (including a list of current franchisees, if any, and of outlets owned by the franchisor; the direct contact details of the existing franchisees; an organogram depicting the support system in place for franchisees; and an auditors certificate confirming that that the franchisor’s audited annual financial statements are in order).

This information is intended to provide the franchisee with enough information about the franchise, its financial viability and potential business success so as to enable the franchisee to make an informed decision as to whether or not he/she wishes to “acquire” the particular franchise.

4. Prepare a non-disclosure agreement

It is important to ensure the protection of confidential information which may be disclosed to the prospective franchisee during the preliminary stages of negotiating and concluding a franchise agreement.

This may include, for example, the growth of the franchisor’s turnover, and written projections in respect of levels of potential sales, income and profit. Although not a requirement under the CPA, it is advisable for a franchisor to ensure that a prospective franchisee executes an appropriate confidentiality agreement prior to being sent the disclosure document.

Related: What Constitutes a Fair and Balanced Franchise Agreement?

5. Beware the “cooling-off” period

It is important to bear in mind that a franchisee has an entitlement under the CPA to cancel a franchise agreement without cost or penalty within 10 business days after signing such agreement, by giving written notice to the franchisor.

Continue Reading

Franchisee Advice

6 Top Tips For Reading Management Accounts

There is a golden key that reveals the secret of whether your business will survive and thrive. It is keeping tabs on the figures that summarise the strength of your business – your monthly management accounts.

Richard Mukheibir

Published

on

accounts-management

There is a golden key that reveals the secret of whether your business will survive and thrive. It is not the brilliance of your business concept. It is not your talent for talking clients to sign on the dotted line. It is keeping tabs on the figures that summarise the strength of your business – your monthly management accounts.

Related: 6 Things You Need To Know About Profit And Cashflow

Many entrepreneurs are usually more interested in operations and find product development or sales much more enjoyable than catching up on accounts. I sympathise – I’m one of them! So if you feel the same way, my top tip is always to make sure that you partner with or employ someone who can oversee the finances for you.

But that does not mean you can let the figure boffins and the finances take care of themselves. To function properly in your business, you need to know the outcome of your sales and development strategies – and the story of that is told in your management accounts.

 If you never look at your management accounts, it is like blinding yourself in one eye. It means you risk being literally blindsided by a big surprise, whether it is heading for a significant loss or being confronted by an unexpected provisional tax payment.

Here is how Engela van Loggerenberg, our Group Financial Manager, puts management accounts in perspective for our new franchisees. She urges them to focus on six key areas:

  1. Priorities: Management accounts can help you pinpoint areas that you need to prioritise, whether to capitalise on growth or because they are not performing as well as you hoped.
  2. Strength: All businesses aim to grow their assets over time and the balance sheet in your management accounts will reflect whether and how you are achieving that.
  3. Control: A strong balance sheet is one that shows you have your business liabilities well controlled. The key marker here is your current liquidity ratio, which results from dividing your current assets by your current liabilities. To keep your business healthy, always aim to keep this ratio at least 2:1.
  4. Revenue: Ideally, you want to see your revenue grow month by month. Check your income statement both for the trend in actual revenue and also for actual against budgeted revenue to check how well your strategies are delivering results.
  5. Profitability: Of course, revenue is not the same as profitability. You need to know your gross profit – the basic figure of your sales less the cost of those goods – and net profit, which also deducts a range of other expenses including taxes. Track the percentage of these two profit figures as well as the actual cash amount they represent to keep a check on whether your costs are creeping up too high.
  6. Finance: Most businesses at some point want to finance their growth by borrowing from a bank. A set of well-regulated management accounts is a prerequisite to obtaining finance.

Your management accounts do not have to be particularly complicated to give you these vital pointers – and if you are figure-shy, the more straightforward the better.

The important thing, though, is that you do not allow yourself to be too scared to ask if there is something which is not clear to you. That is the way to keep control of this key to your business fortunes and to keep building your business from strength to strength.

Related: 7 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Managing Cash In The Business

Continue Reading

Company Posts

A Three-Pronged Approach To Franchise Success

Danie Nel, head of business development for Cash Crusaders franchising, says the brand’s success over the past 22 years 
is attributed to the sentiment that “a profitable franchisee 
is a happy franchisee.”

Nedbank Franchising

Published

on

danie-nel-cash-crusaders

What is your current footprint?

220 Stores. We’re looking to increase that number by another 20 stores for the 2018 financial year, which will then bring us to a total of 240 stores. Depending on the economy, we’re looking to grow our footprint even more to around 300 to 350 stores nationwide in the near future.

What are some of your brand’s biggest achievements that other franchises can learn from?

Our ability to read the retail market and innovate to stay ahead of times. We have recently launched an online platform where customers can sell their goods or borrow money — all online. This was a first for online retailing. One other achievement that I would wish to highlight is the launch of our mobile phone range, Doogee, exclusive to Cash Crusaders. Personally, having the honour of opening our 200th store was a tremendous achievement.

Franchisor involvement has also played a big role in the success of the organisation. Our CEO Sean Stegmann and other senior managers are as much involved in the business as any other operations manager or operator.

There is simply no ‘ivory tower’ management in our business and it makes a huge difference.

Related: How Sorbet Franchisee Kate Holahan Is Nailing Success By Following Her Dream

What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered and how have you overcome these?

Some of our daily challenges include securing a premises at a favourable rental and securing a franchisee with sufficient unencumbered capital, who is credit- worthy. Once the store is open, cash flow management and stock procurement is key.

In addition to this, it’s a challenge to achieve profitability immediately and to meet franchisee expectations. It’s also vital to ensure superb customer service and to retain those customers in the current retail and economic climate. I would say that our single biggest challenge is to retain and to build our customer base.

What attracts franchisees to Cash Crusaders?

Our unique retail model that allows for multiple streams of income through one business. These three profit centres include: New goods (variety of imported quality goods), second-hand goods (which we buy directly from the public, either through customers coming directly to our stores, or via our house-buy system offered by some of our stores) and secured lending (a financial service where customers can borrow money against valuables, determined at store level, and the loan is repaid within 30 days — or the contract is renewed for another 30 days with interest and service fees charged).

Why is it important for successful franchises such as yours to have a strong banking partner and how does it benefit both the franchisor and the franchisee?

Gone are the days where you just got a deposit book or cheque book and a little business loan from your bank. Banking has become more sophisticated and the technology that the bank offers is as important as its service, making life for both the franchisee and the franchisor easier on a day-to-day basis.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending