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3 Ways to Fund Your Franchise (and 3 Ways You Should Not)

There are numerous options available to fund a franchise. Careful evaluation and management of these options should see you on the path to commercial success and wealth.

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Establishing a business requires the investment of a great amount of time, effort and money. Most potential franchise owners do not have the capital needed to launch and run an enterprise effectively, and therefore rely on borrowing.

“For many, the opportunity to launch a business is created by a pension or provident fund payment or, very commonly, from retrenchment cheques when leaving the corporate world,” says Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank. “There are, however, other, more conventional ways of finding finance.”

Related: Build your Business Legacy through Succession Planning

Below, Nyembe suggests and explains the more established methods of funding a commercial enterprise, and which approaches to avoid.

1. Friends and family

“Many potential franchise owners turn to family and friends for finance,” says Nyembe. “This is one of the most common forms of financing a business, but should be undertaken with caution. Family relationships can be tested and even destroyed if the undertaking does not thrive as planned. Even though franchises have a much higher success rate than start-up SMEs, there is no guarantee that they will prosper.”

Two factors should be considered when approaching family or friends for loans:

  • The unstructured nature of family loans can cause future problems. Often, money is lent on the understanding that it will be repaid – with or without interest – but no repayment date is set. This can lead to resentment on the part of the lender and disputes.
  • If loans are accepted from a number of family members, keeping track of the repayment terms for each could be challenging. It is therefore important that all agreements are put in writing.

2. A business partner

Finding a business partner to invest in the franchise and take a stake in its future is a viable financing alternative.

“A partner should share your values, passion and determination to make the franchise succeed,” says Nyembe. “All aspects of the partnership agreement, share allocation and profit sharing should be placed in contractual form, so that future misunderstandings do not occur.”

Ethel Nyembe

Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank

3. Loans

Financing a franchise through debt equity (a business loan) is often the best option, as there are a few valuable advantages:

  • The banker will probably know the franchisor, the brand and the history of the organisation.
  • The bank may already have an association with the franchisor and understand the fee structure required.
  • The advice you receive will ensure that there are no ‘unpleasant surprises’ waiting, regardless of whether the franchise is an established outlet or a proposed new outlet.

Although banks are in the business of lending money, the potential franchisee must understand that they are also concerned with minimising risk. When approaching a bank for funding, Nyembe says you must realise:

  • It is unlikely that any bank will agree to supply 100% of the funding required.
  • The more money you have committed to your venture, the more likely it is that you will get a loan. Banks are more comfortable to grant loans to people who are committed to their businesses.
  • Security is important. Providing a bank with security for the loan in the form of assets or sureties (people who agree to pay debt on your behalf) increases the likelihood that loans will be extended.

Says Nyembe, “The advantage of bank loans is that repayment terms and interest rates are agreed upon up front. This helps to regulate cash flow, as the repayments will be calculated on a monthly basis for the period of the loan.”

There are also several methods of financing that should be avoided when seeking funding, cautions Nyembe. These include:

1. Excessive borrowing

One of the most common mistakes made by franchisees is to borrow the funds to make up the unencumbered deposit required by franchisors. Franchisees should remember that their business is not going to be profitable immediately.

They are bound to experience slow months especially at the beginning of their business venture. In this instance, the higher their loaned percentage of capital, the more pressure there is on the business to repay the loan instead of being able to redirect any profits back into the business to build equity.

2. Double indebtedness

Although there are many forms of loans that the franchisee can have access to, they do come with their fair share of pitfalls.

Double indebtedness is the result of a franchisee using a loan to fund the unencumbered portion of their contribution as well as taking out a loan to finance the remaining portion of the capital needed to start the business.

Related: How to Build Skills, Loyalty and Profits With Staff Training

Utilising a personal credit card can prove to cause more harm than good as this will create a secondary, more costly debt for the franchisee. Servicing two loans at the initiation of the business can place the business and the franchisee under undue strain.

3. Raiding your home loan

Servicing the unencumbered portion with one’s home loan is risky as one could lose the equity in the house, extend the repayment term, and have to pay a higher amount on the mortgage.

This will result in a high personal debt as well as a high business debt if a business loan is utilised by the franchisee. With the rise of interest rates, a franchisee’s house and business could be at stake.

“Starting a franchise operation with massive debt hanging over you is not advisable,” says Nyembe. “If the franchise outlet is new, it could take several months before the business is established and the turnover is able to finance operations and costs. It is during this period that you and your business will be most vulnerable to financial failure.

“Avoiding this means doing your homework, knowing exactly how much money you will need and then financing it in a responsible manner.”

Standard Bank SA is the largest operating entity of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. Standard Bank SA provides the full spectrum of financial services, with more than 720 branches and over 7 100 ATMs. Independent surveys of customer satisfaction consistently place Standard Bank at or near the top of their rankings. The personal and business banking unit offers banking and other financial services to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. For further information, go to community.standardbank.co.za

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Investing In Value Creation Tools Can Help Your Business Grow

ACCA on attracting new clients, establishing and strengthening commercial partnerships and accessing external finance to help your business expand.

ACCA

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The business journey of many SMEs is often characterised by a gradual change in internal management practices which develop as the business operations grow. The subsequent recognition of the business’s value creation, across all its operations – tends to emerge slowly but surely alongside this process.

Gaining an understanding of ongoing value creation can be challenging. This is because smaller companies tend to not have access to simple and understandable data sets on everything, which is and isn’t contributing to value across the business.

For example, customer and supplier relationships, human capital and intellectual property are all common examples of activities where SMEs regularly experience difficulties in determining the real contribution to the businesses’ overall value. These are areas that are not picked up by financial reports that are a focal point of many growing businesses, hence the importance of these areas in business is not given the proper attention it deserves.

Related: Achieving Business Success: How Walter Muwandi Gained The Edge

However, by improving trust and relationships between customers and those along your supply chain, this information can be used to attract new clients, establish and strengthen commercial partnerships and access external finance to help your business expand.

Key actions to consider when capturing the value within your business include the following:

  1. Use cloud and data analytics technology to support growth;
  2. Create a business strategy which incorporates everything;
  3. Allow staff to use new technologies to innovate; and
  4. Appreciate the importance of technology in attracting external finance.

These actions will help you succeed in developing a successful business strategy.

Use cloud and data analytics technology to support growth

Purchasing relevant software packages could help you access the data you need to understand where and when value is being created. Cloud and data analytics technology can provide a real-time flow of information, offering detailed measures across workflows, whilst also complementing existing reporting processes.

More long term, this technology can provide you with greater flexibility when anticipating future periods of growth.

For example, when the time comes to up-scale your business operations, it could help your finance function adapt more easily to any additional demands being placed upon it and mitigate the risk of disruption towards ongoing operations.

At the same time investing in this technology doesn’t have to happen overnight. Software packages can be purchased in stages and tailored to meet the specific needs of your business.

Create a business strategy which incorporates everything

Business success will often be determined by how effectively you can combine the value of ongoing operations into the development of a single, overarching business strategy. Understanding of the key strategic themes by employees is critical in aiding future business expansion plans and growth. This integration can support planning processes.

By taking a short, medium and long-term view on how value creation might change across the business, you will be in a much better place to identify upcoming risks and opportunities related to your growth ambitions.

The practical delivery of this might involve regular integrated reporting across your business’s operations. The more data that is involved in this process, the more helpful it will be towards informing your management decisions.

Allow work teams to use new technologies to innovate

Companies might also want to consider supporting work teams in certain areas to come up with new ideas to enhance plans for business growth and learn from possible failures, without the personal risks that entrepreneurship entails.

Allowing employees to use new technologies could help to reduce costs and offer new revenue opportunities as your business expands. It could also help to stimulate a high growth business and to fully communicate business’s value to potential clients and commercial partners.

Related: The Rise Of Digital In Shaping Business Terrains

Appreciate the importance of technology in attracting external finance

Investing in technology at an early stage can help attract external investors, as well as reducing the cost of raising growth finance. Such investors need to be able to understand the broader strategy of your business.

Lenders are increasingly using data to build up a broad perspective on the growth potential of SMEs. If you can provide real-time information – rather than just historical data – of your business’s performance, this could greatly increase the chances of obtaining the finance you need to grow.

However, there remains a gap and potential to co-create new approaches of raising capital amongst growing businesses and in creating agreed terms of sharing risks. This could bolster the advancement of entrepreneurial houses toward creating real economic equity in long term.

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Accounting & Payroll

Save Your SME Money With A Good Payroll Management System

Not only does an efficient payroll system enhance staff morale and boosts your reputation, it can also save your business significant costs.

Sage

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Payroll solutions are designed to help hone the strategic focus of your business’ HR department, by shifting HR and payroll managers’ from paperwork to developing and motivating employees.

“The biggest potential saving comes from full compliance with tax and labour laws and regulations,” says Ania Strydom, Compliance Specialist at Sage. “Avoiding the massive costs of fines, interest and penalties that a company risks if it doesn’t comply.”

Here are her tips for conducting payroll, saving money on a good system, and pitfalls to avoid that most SMEs don’t see coming:

Choosing a viable payroll management solution

  • Look for a scalable product that can grow alongside the business
  • Find a solution with full local support that is kept up to date with relevant labour and tax laws for the markets where the business operates
  • Make sure the vendor has a proven track record and local reference sites
  • Ensure that the solution is built on flexible modern technology that accommodates today’s trends — mobility and the cloud, for example
  • Consider a solution with integrated employee self-service functionality.

Related: Brand And Marketing: Finding The Balance For SMEs

Vital considerations when conducting payroll

  • Ensure that the payroll department consists of people with a good knowledge of payroll and the required skills set to ensure success and compliance with payroll
  • Instil a payroll environment that does not need regular review
  • Conduct regular payroll compliance audits to ensure compliance minimises the risk of exposure.

How a good payroll management system actually save you money

  • Using automated payroll software with employee self-service functions can help organisations save time as it diminishes the need for manual data capture, calculations, reporting or returns
  • Rest easy knowing that automation reduces the possibility of human error, allowing businesses to focus on strategy, customers, and employee engagement rather than on red tape
  • Payroll can help businesses understand how employees are contributing to profitability, what resources are needed, the cost for major projects, and identifying gaps or surpluses in their human capacity
  • The risks of payroll fraud and incorrect payments are reduced by giving managers better visibility into transactions, providing an audit trail, and providing a set of controls, checks and balances
  • The biggest potential saving comes from full compliance with tax and labour laws and regulations – avoiding the massive costs of fines, interest and penalties that a company risks if it doesn’t comply.

Related: SME Leaders: How You Can Manage Growth

Avoid payroll errors SMEs typically make

  • The use of manual solutions due to tight budgets. They should instead, look at affordable, cloud-based solutions that are priced per payslip per month instead
  • Failing to enforce separation of duties. Different people should have responsibility for capturing payroll data and for managing access to the system as well as adding and removing employees from the payroll. Another person checking that the numbers add up could reduce risks of fraud and error
  • Not keeping abreast of changes to tax and labour laws such as the Employment Tax Incentive.

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Company Posts

Why Grit Is The True Determining Factor Of Success

How grit and determination helped Bertus Albertse take control of his destiny and build an award-winning franchise brand.

Body20 franchise

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Vital Stats

  • Player:Bertus Albertse
  • Company: Body20
  • Established:2014
  • Contact:+27 (0)872310359
  • Visit: body20.co.za

What does it take to open a successful business, franchise it, and then take it global? In many instances, the answer is grit, determination and the ability to get back up when life knocks you down.

In fact, Angela Lee Duckworth, an academic and psychologist based at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies concepts such as self-control and grit to determine how they might predict academic and professional success, believes that the single biggest predictor of success isn’t social intelligence, good looks, physical health or even IQ.

The single biggest predictor of success is grit.

According to Duckworth, grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It’s having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week or the month, but for

Years. It’s about working hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Related: The Wolf Within Bertus Albertse: Body20’s CEO

Finding self-worth

To find the epitome of grit, we need look no further than Bertus Albertse, the founder and CEO of Body20 Global, a local franchise that is now making international waves.

As a youngster, Bertus was used to living in the unpredictable. His parents divorced when he was just nine months old and his mother, walking with both him and his sister on her hips, moved from house to house whenever his alcoholic grandfather took to the rod.

He realised early in his life that material things come and go as his mother had to return worn clothes and used toys not long after they have been purchased.

In fact, it happened so often that at some point even Bertus and his sister had to return items at retail stores at a young age in order to have money for food or petrol.

“To this day I’ve never forgotten where I come from and how retailers looked at me and my sister with pity and shame in their eyes,” he recalls.

Going the distance

Instead of letting the experience bow him down, Bertus learnt to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, taking control and responsibility over his own life. As an excelling young sportsman, he soon realised how he could control his own destiny by consistently putting in huge effort.

One of his favourite quotes is “You are what you repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act but rather a habit.”

It’s a mantra he lives by. Through pure grit and determination, he went from a small, skinny kid from the ‘platteland’ in the West Coast to be the first Head Boy of both the school and boy’s residents at the prestigious high school, Jan van Riebeeck, situated in the heart of Cape Town.

Related: From Body20 Member To Franchisee Of The Year 2017

Stay hungry and make a real impact

Bertus also has numerous sports achievements, including national and international Body Building and Fitness titles. With his passionate and optimistic outlook on life, he soon realised that people are drawn to the ideas and things that inspire him and this has given him a flair for business, enabling him to share that passion with his community.

He started his first business in his second year of University in Stellenbosch with a R20 000 loan from his father, which he subsequently paid back three months later.

Today, Bertus is the founder and CEO of the award-winning global fitness franchise network, Body20. He strives to impact those around him by inspiring them to take control of their lives and encourages people to believe in the impossible, but to always remember to take consistent, daily actions to make it possible.

“A rabbit will always outrun the fox, because while the fox runs for its lunch the rabbit runs for its life.” He likes to be reminded of how hungry you have to be to truly make an impact in the world.

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