Franchising in 2015

How to ensure that your franchise remains successful

Morne Cronje
The global franchise environment is growing at a fast pace. Looking into 2015, South African franchises are confident about their growth prospects and better yet, looking at ways of improving the current business conditions.  

A rejuvenated business environment is key to ensuring the survival and growth of many franchises. Currently franchise businesses, big and small face many challenges. “We are seeing slower economic growth, increased unemployment, new regulations, further load shedding and labour unrest, which increases the cost of doing business and makes it difficult to justify new investment opportunities,” explains Morne Cronje, Head of FNB Franchise. 

Businesses have become more risk averse and are willing to take calculated risks to grow and develop their businesses. He adds that  companies need to be cautious in the current economic landscape given the challenges that South Africa faces. Franchises need to continue to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions to ensure that they stay abreast of changing times.

“The consumer dynamic is changing. We find that with the ongoing changes in the economic infrastructure; consumers will have less expendable income and will do more homework and research before they spend money. Customers will look for value for money so make sure your products are fairly priced,” explains Cronje.

An aggressive strategy that focuses on the franchises value adds, the customers’ needs and wants, innovative products and solutions needs to be looked at. Cronje notes that “In order to capitalise on new investment opportunities, we must continually invest in developing and assisting new talent in the market. Skills development and training from a franchisor point of view is crucial as it will only contribute to a successful franchise. Women and youth are key to this as they form an integral part of the business environment.” 

Franchising is seen as a dynamic machine of economic expansion. With the influence of global trade and business opportunities, South Africa is fast becoming a growing and diverse business hub. The calibre of franchise brands touching our shores is simple yet innovative enough to make competitors revaluate their current business models and strategies. “Innovation creates growth, disrupts and adds value to the innovation process. Together, ongoing collaboration and new technologies can help build an infrastructure that will assist business on many levels. ” concludes Cronje.