by Simon Lord
last updated 09/12/2021
by Simon Lord
last updated 09/12/2021
Changing times have created more opportunities for franchises and franchise buyers
The past two years have thrown up a lot of challenges. Lockdowns, alert levels, traffic lights, mandates and MIQ have all been changing constantly as the coronavirus has itself mutated – and businesses have had to change, too.
‘The important thing to remember is that change creates opportunity,’ says Daniel Cloete, National Franchise Manager for Westpac. ‘Many franchises have adapted and improved their business models, and some sectors have forged ahead. Even sectors which were badly hit, like hospitality, demonstrated after the 2020 lockdown how fast they could bounce back. While there were some inevitable closures, these have created gaps in the market – and new opportunities.’
Pankaj (Phil) Mannan is just one of the new franchisees who have seized the opportunity. He took up a Cleantastic franchise in Hawkes Bay in May 2021 on a part-time basis, but it went so well that he soon gave up his regular job to concentrate full-time on his new commercial cleaning business, along with his partner Ashpreet.
‘He’s doing a fantastic job,’ says Greg Paget, the franchisor for Cleantastic NZ. ‘He saw an opportunity and went for it, and now he’s getting the benefit.’
Commercial cleaning is one of the sectors which, not surprisingly, has exploded during the pandemic, and it provides a good example of the level of support that franchisees can draw upon compared to independent small business owners.
Compliance levels are increasing across all industries – not just Covid mandates, but health & safety regulations, employment law, immigration, tax … ‘That impacts upon every industry from cleaning to food, from retail to education,’ says Greg. ‘If you run a small business, making sure you’re abiding by all the rules can be very time-consuming and very difficult. A lot of our franchisees are relatively new to the country, and being able to navigate the various ministry websites almost requires a degree – then you have to interpret what they mean!
‘For an independent small business, that can be a job in itself, but franchisees have the advantage of a franchisor who can do a lot of that work and then share precisely what they need to know for their business.
‘Franchises bring together a lot of expertise and franchisee experience to develop systems that work. When we went back into Level 4 in August 2021, we were able to pull out what we’d developed with franchisees the previous year, review what had worked, what changes we needed to make and then tell everyone. That gives clarity and takes away a lot of stress for franchisees so they can focus on their businesses. And, of course, that’s not just true for Covid – it also applies to other areas such as marketing, training, buying, maintenance. Sharing the power of the group is what franchising is all about.’
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