Franchising & You

by Simon Lord

last updated 15/09/2021

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years.

Breathe - Start A New Life in The Regions

by Simon Lord

last updated 15/09/2021

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years.

Looking to escape the city and enjoy life in the country? Buying a franchise might offer you the way to freedom

New Zealanders used to be called ‘The world’s greatest travellers’, but we haven’t seen much of the rest of the world in the last year. The closed borders have had one benefit, though – between lockdowns, we’ve all seen a lot more of our own country, and it turns out we like it. 

The pandemic has also encouraged many people to re-evaluate their lives, spend more time with their families and talk about what’s important to them. With lockdown-prone Aucklanders in particular struck by a combination of constant roadworks, impossible traffic and high property prices, the appeal of spending time in another part of our beautiful country is obvious. And, after getting out and experiencing New Zealand outside the cities, a lot of people have been looking at making the move permanent.

They’ve also been realising that moving to the regions can fulfil more than the dream of a better lifestyle – it can also be the start of changing your life in another way, by owning your own business. Leaving the city doesn’t mean ending your career – it means starting a new one.

‘We have definitely seen an increase in Auckland purchasers looking for regional businesses in the last year,’ says Chris Small, managing director of ABC Business Sales. ‘At least 10 percent of current sales are being acquired by people living in a different region.’ And ABC’s Market Intelligence Report shows high percentage growth especially in Waikato/Bay of Plenty and the South Island. 

A growing trend

According to Philip Morrison of Franchise Accountants, ‘For a number of years now we have been seeing more and more clients looking to sell up property in Auckland and move further afield to start businesses. They see it as an opportunity to improve their financial position overnight, reduce debt and improve their quality of life, and if they want to have their own business then cashing in on their property can make it very affordable.

‘If they are concerned about leaving the Auckland property market altogether, then keeping their property and renting it out can be a good option. They can almost certainly rent something in the regional centres much more cheaply, so they are reducing the burden of debt that the new business needs to support. In turn, that enables them to pay off any borrowings and improve profitability more quickly.’

Big bucks or bright lights?

Regional locations can hold another surprise for business buyers, too – they may not attract the bright lights, but they can bring in the big bucks. ‘In fact, some of the most profitable outlets in many franchise systems are located in the regions rather than the major centres,’ says Daniel Cloete, National Franchise Manager for Westpac.

The key word here is ‘profitable’ rather than ‘highest sales’. Regional centres might have a smaller economy but they can produce better results. There are four main reasons for this...

This article appears in full in Franchise New Zealand magazine (Year 30 Issue 3). You can read it in the digital magazine here or request a free print copy here.

Simon Lord is Editor of Franchise New Zealand and has worked in franchising for over 35 years.

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