WINNING THE BATTLE
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MYOB helps franchisees improve profitability and reduce workload
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Lauren Taylor demonstrates how easy it is to use MYOB online accounting in the field to Doug Kerr and Gary Turton
Lauren is keen to hear from franchisors and franchisees who are looking to improve franchisees sales, payment times and profitability.
'Running a small business is like fighting a battle – sometimes you can be so engrossed in the here and now that you can’t see the bigger picture. If you’re fighting the battle with swords and someone offers you a machine gun, you say, “Hey, don’t interrupt, I’m too busy fighting right now!” But that’s what a franchise is for – to help franchisees get the best equipment they can to make their lives easier and stay ahead of the competition.’
As a regional franchisor for Jim’s Mowing in Auckland, Gary Turton knows what he’s talking about. He’s always looking for ways to help his 22 franchisees build better businesses, and when the Jim’s Group formed a relationship with MYOB a couple of years ago, he was quick to see the advantages.
‘People join Jim’s to be their own boss, earn more, or enjoy a better lifestyle – sometimes all three,’ Gary says. ‘They don’t join to do admin, but doing the accounts is an essential part of running your own business. Using MYOB online accounting can make that much easier, so I got a group of franchisees together and MYOB organised specific training and individual support to help them make the change.
‘Two years on, the benefits are obvious. First, customers actually pay faster – when they get their invoices electronically, it’s easy to click and pay straight away, Second, MYOB is easier for the guys to use, because once it’s set up it combines everything in one system. Third, it provides accurate, on-time information about how their business is actually performing, which makes it easier for me to help them. And fourth, if there’s a disaster, all your information is safe, which can save major disruption in your business.
‘One franchisee had a power surge fry his computer. The only thing that survived was his MYOB info, because it was in the cloud. Since it contained all his contact records and accounts, his business was able to rebuild so much faster.
‘Of course, not all our franchisees have moved over yet – but the ones who have keep commenting how good it is at our regional meetings. They’re advocates.’
Doug Kerr, a Jim’s franchisee on the North Shore, is certainly a fan. Having managed a building supplies centre, he joined Jim’s to enjoy a less stressful life – and using MYOB was part of that. ‘My accountant initially suggested another system, but MYOB have taken the trouble to learn the Jim’s franchise and they made it easy for me to set up the invoicing, the formatting and things like bank transfers and contacts so that when a bill is paid it is automatically attributed to the right invoice.
‘I also use it for Profit & Loss accounts, customer histories and GST. I’ve started investigating its budget setting capabilities, too, and whenever I need help there’s always someone on the end of the phone. I can’t understand why some franchisees are still putting it in the “too hard” basket – it’s so easy!’
Peter Mahon started as a Jim’s Test & Tag franchisee just three years ago, and is now the divisional franchisor supporting 38 franchisees around the country.
‘One of the things I love about MYOB is how visual it is. The dashboard shows me things like costs, billings for the month, what’s outstanding and lots of other really practical information. I’m dyslexic so to deal with columns of figures is quite a challenge, but I can look at my little pie chart and see it fill up every time I do an invoice... it’s all so clear.
‘I strongly recommend MYOB to all our franchisees. Not only do they offer group pricing but their training and support are superb. All new franchisees go straight on the MYOB training ladder which has been set up specifically for Jim’s and includes meetings, training videos they can watch at a time that suits and phone support whenever they need it. That really works: I had to ask for help recently and had a call with a local support person who ran me through everything click-by-click, very patiently. Then the same person rang me back afterwards to check everything was working. That blew me away! If franchisees can get that level of support, they run better businesses – and it makes my life easier, too.’
Lauren Taylor, MYOB’s Franchise Business Development Manager, is responsible for helping new franchise clients get the help they need, from installation to personalisation, add-ons to training. ‘Lauren understands how franchising works, the nature of the relationships and the needs of everyone involved,’ Peter says. ‘She has learned about Jim’s, too, so if we have a new franchisee coming on board or any little problem, we just have to call her and she sorts it out.’
Lauren is keen to hear from other franchisors and franchisees who are looking to improve franchisee sales, payment times and profitability. ‘We have a wide range of add-on products, too, which can handle everything from stock control to benchmarking and forecasting,’ she says. ‘Give me a call to find out about creating a tailored solution for your business.'
See this advertorial on page 29 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 1
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