SA Franchise Brands welcomes Greg and Claire King, Franchisee for LINK South Africa for East London to share some aspects on being a Franchisee.
What questions should prospective franchisees ask themselves before buying a franchise?
We feel that the most important question to ask is if the franchise meets with the individuals long terms goals. When we looked at LINK and what it could provide we saw it as the right vehicle to achieve our long term goals. It is important to associate yourself with a reputable franchisor that will provide excellent training, head office support, documentation, procedures, products and services.
What made you decide to buy a franchise?
We had run our own small business for many years. As an international business, LINK has allowed us to instantly plug into a system of international quality and fast track our business goals. LINK has improved our credibility, given us international exposure and given us access to brilliant marketing tools. LINK also provides excellent operational manuals for managing all aspects of the business. It would have cost us huge amounts of money to get access to the quality of documentation and website that LINK offers. Access to head office support is also invaluable which you do not get as an independent business owner.
How important is it to investigate a franchise and what criteria did you use?
We investigated marketing material, websites, operational manuals, reputation of the brand, head office vision and also spoke to a few existing LINK brokers who all had rave reviews to offer. Of course it also came down to what financial return we felt we could generate compared to the franchise fee. We also did extensive comparisons with other franchises available and evaluated the general market demand for the service we would be offering.
What made you buy a LINK South Africa franchise?
The first thing that got our attention was how LINK presented themselves. They are an ever adapting and ever evolving Franchise, which in today’s business climate is essential. LINK markets themselves as world class and we wanted to be part of a world class organization. LINK has lived up to our every expectation.
It is imperative to investigate the quality of the franchise being presented. We were fortunate in that we were originally LINK clients as they had assisted us in buying a business previously. We had experienced many business brokerages and found LINK to be far superior to any other broker we encountered. This knowledge of how they worked gave us confidence that they were the right fit.
What early challenges did you face?
I think our challenges were not unique and any new start up business has to get through them. LINK was a new brand for our area and we needed to create brand awareness which is continuous process but so far we have made good progress.
What training and support does the Franchisor provide you with?
The training and support provided is truly comprehensive. They have an in depth training programme. This gives you a very clear platform as to who LINK is and what you need to do to be successful in the business. The support provided by LINK is also top class. There is always someone available to lean on and ask advice from. There is a document for every imaginable instance that you may encounter for a sale or within the operations of the business.
How important is the Franchisee’s relationship with the Franchisor?
We cannot stress enough how important this is! We believe that in order to be successful the Franchisee and Franchisor must be aiming for the same goals. Either party cannot operate successfully without the full support of each other.
What advice would you give to prospective franchisees?
Stick to the core basics and if it ticks all the right boxes go for it. Also make sure you will feel 100% comfortable wearing and representing the brands badge. If you don’t, then that franchise is not for you.