Friday, December 19, 2008

What are your business goals for 2009?

The holidays are here baby!!! Use this time to relax, rejuvenate and to think of your new years resolutions and when you have a few moments to yourself, also think of what your business goals will be in 2009. It is of paramount importance that you define some kind of structure for the growth of your business and setting goals is the perfect way to do this. Be specific and issue timelines for your goals too. ie Increase turnover by 20% by the 30th June 2009.

We at Limelight Websites go on leave today and will be back in the office on the 12th January 2008. If you would like to advertise your franchise on Franchise Finder or write us an article please email us at and we will attend to your query on our return.

Until the 12th January, take care and have a wonderful festive season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Should I Franchise My Business?

In today’s world of fierce competition and fast-paced business, franchising is proving to be an increasingly popular method of business expansion. Companies can sprout from local brands to household names in a relatively short period of time whilst still being rewarded financially and being free of massive liabilities that usually accompany traditional growth. Leaving a unique business concept to grow organically can often take too long and this may leave an opportunity for another emerging company to leap frog the market share and nullify all growth plans. Expanding too fast however can also have devastating implications and there should be a solid franchise development plan in place before a company embarks on such a project.

Although many entrepreneurs are aware of the successes that franchising can bring, most business owners are not familiar with the actual process of transforming a concept into a successful franchise chain.

It is without doubt that a successful franchise concept starts with solid foundations, a sound track record and an established business model. However, time and time again we see franchises starting out with titanic-like enthusiasm only to find that these franchises don’t even make it through their first year! Those considering franchising their business need to be enthusiastic yet they also need vision as well as a strong focus on delivering a good quality product/service and looking after franchisees well.

Here is a checklist to help entrepreneurs decide whether they should franchise their business.

1. Do you have one successful business model running already?

• This is one of the most important factors in franchising your business. This is the model on which all your future franchises should be based. Don’t even think of franchising a brand new business – rather let it establish itself, iron out business flaws, create a solid business model and make a profit!! Once the business is running like a well oiled machine, then start considering franchising as a means of growing the business.

2. What are the unique factors that make your company perfect for franchising?

• Ask yourself whether your franchise concept is original and write down 3 unique factors that set it apart from your competition. Potential franchisees want a business that not only works well but something that is different and difficult for competitors to copy.

3. Have you consulted a franchise expert, FASA or a lawyer to discuss a franchise disclosure document and franchise structure?

• A well-written franchise agreement is an absolute must and is worth the expense. Try use legal experts that are familiar with franchising and can give practical advice and guidance. You may even want to consult with a firm that specialises in converting successful businesses into franchises such as Indus Consulting

4. Are there sufficient profit margins for franchisees?

• The success and growth of your franchise is largely dependent on the success and profitability of the franchisees themselves. If a franchisee makes a decent profit for their hard work and investment, they are more likely to stay motivated and run the franchise properly. If the royalty fees are too high and the franchisee does not make a sufficient profit margin, they will soon lose interest and the franchise may very well fail. As the franchisor, you need to ensure that the profit distribution is fair. This is key - try aim for a win-win situation!

5. Can you afford to become a member of FASA (Franchise Association of South Africa)
• Consider franchising your business when you can afford to be a member of the Franchise Association of South Africa! Currently it costs over R12 000 per year to be a member. This adds a significant amount of credibility to your business and if you are serious about franchising this is an absolute must.

Once you have decided that your business concept is suitable for franchising ie. It can be built on solid foundations, then start putting the steps into motion to franchise your business. The franchising process is not an overnight procedure and rushing into it can result in costly mistakes. Plan well and execute plans professionally.

By Louise Sanders

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keep Up to Date with Consumer Trends Using these Cool Websites!

Why are trends important to follow in this day and age? Well, fundamentally, they represent want consumers want, value, appreciate, need and love. They can help guide businesses to move in the right direction, ensuring that they are “talking” to their customers, understanding their needs and wants. Trends can also help businesses evolve by stimulating or inspiring totally new business ideas or concepts.

So with that here are some useful websites to help you keep track of consumer trends throughout the world.

The Cool Hunter

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Promote your Franchise at Franchise Expos in 2009

Don't forget to book your space at a Franchise Expo in 2009! Here are two to think about for the new year!

South African International Franchise Show

Franchising is considered the cradle of innovative entrepreneurship and visitors to IFE 2009 expect to see the full spectrum of franchise business opportunities. Whether you are an established franchise or a new concept, you need to be on IFE 2009! IFE attracts the most concentrated pool of quality visitors who are looking to invest in a franchise opportunity. If recruitment is your goal, then IFE is the place to be!

Dates: 2 – 4th April 2009
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Exhibition 1
Hours: 10h00 to 18h00

Should be interested in exhibiting, please contact Nishi Naicker at FASA
Tel: (011) 615 0359
Fax: (011) 615 3679

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo

The Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo now in it’s15th year, is firmly positioned as the ultimate platform for the franchise, investment and business opportunities market. The showcase which is more that just an Expo, assists aspiring entrepreneurs & small to medium business owners, to change their lifestyle or career paths by owning their own businesses and gives Franchisors and companies offering Business Opportunities the invaluable opportunity to meet face to face with potential new investors.

When: Dates to be confirmed (Friday, 21 August 2009 to Sunday, 23 August 2009)
Where: Cape Town Central
Categories: Exhibitions & Conferences
Venue: CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre)
Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Daily
Entrance fee: Free Entry

Should be interested in exhibiting, please contact:
Thebe Exhibitions (Pty) LTD
Tel: +27 11 549 8300

Monday, December 1, 2008

Does your franchise need a makeover?

If you have ever watched the TV program Peter Perfect (on DSTV’s Style Network), presented by Peter Ishkahns, you will know that image is everything!! Peter visits businesses in serious need of a makeover and transforms not only the business but in many cases the lives of the owners too. He gives businesses strategies to increase sales, does a full re-design of the client’s shop including a new logo AND gives the employees and owner a complete image makeover. The before and after shots are jaw-dropping and Peter literally exposes how much potential these businesses have. By creating a new image for the business he essentially creates a brand, a visual image of the business for the customers to remember which is key. I am a great fan of this program and Peter, well, he is just hysterical and he is brutally honest too but no Simon Cowell stuff here (Thank God!). The program has made me notice so many businesses in need of “Peter Perfect” and my husband and I will often see shops and say “that shop needs Peter!”. We have said that so many times which has made me beg the question, is your business or franchise in need of a makeover? So often, businesses forget about their image or don’t pay much attention to it and it can be detrimental in the long run when customers are drawn to a more image conscious shop down the road!

I was at a shopping centre yesterday and my eyes nearly dislodged themselves from my head when I saw that a coffee shop, which hasn’t changed its image in a decade, transformed itself! Eureka! Instead of being a dark and somewhat dingy place to go and drink coffee, it was now a warm yet light, fresh and inviting place to go and meet with friends and have a cappuccino. Not to mention that this place was swarming with people - clearly this image makeover was a smart business decision and will have a huge impact on their bottom line.