SA Franchise Brands welcomes Will Choene, Franchisee for Caramello’s Pretty Gardens, Bloemfontein to share some aspects on being a Franchisee.
What made you decide to buy a franchise?
I wanted to buy a proven business model with established systems and procedures, for which I was willing to pay a monthly premium. After carefully conducting my due diligence processes, finding the right franchise that matched my skills set and capital capacity, the return on investment and overall probability of success were automatically elevated and realised.
How important is it to investigate a franchise and what criteria did you use?
LESS IS NOT MORE in this process and it is important to investigate every aspect and question everything upfront. Ensure that you visit and interview other Franchisees in the group which is an important part of this due diligence process. Once you have concluded the necessary agreements there is no more room for negotiation or unrealistic expectations.
What made you buy a Caramello’s franchise?
Caramello’s is a relatively young franchise but a well-established business. They were very transparent from the beginning and presented a great opportunity. Their systems, procedures, current brand loyalty and track record attracted me even more. To date, I can say that I have not been disappointed and my expectations have been surpassed.
What early challenges did you face?
Initially Human Resources was a challenge for me with a larger staff turnover than I had anticipated. Once I had found my feet, it was mere “run of the mill” challenges that were overcome relatively easily with the training and ongoing support received from the Franchisor.
What training and support does the Franchisor provide you with?
The Franchisor required me to do a two month in-store training programme prior to opening my franchise. Thereafter they have been very involved and supportive.
How important is the Franchisee’s relationship with the Franchisor?
Extremely, there can be no success if there is a breakdown or lack of relationship between Franchisor and Franchisee. I must admit that Caramello’s has welcomed and pursued a relationship with me from the onset, something I am very thankful for and did not easily find when investigating other franchise opportunities.
What advice would you give to prospective franchisees?
Do your homework thoroughly before entering into agreements. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and match them to a franchise opportunity. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Be very wary of any Franchisor promising you a fast or easy return on your money not accompanied with hard work. Be very clear and understand WHY you want to purchase a specific franchise opportunity.