Discovering Your “Why” for Franchise Success
Franchise businesses demand considerable effort, time, and patience to thrive. Successful franchise owners possess specific leadership and communication skills. Learning from peers and avoiding costly mistakes are essential aspects of building these skills.
To foster knowledge sharing and idea generation within the franchise industry, Nedbank Commercial Banking, in collaboration with Franchise Coaches, has introduced the Franchise Executive Forum series. The objective of this forum is to connect franchisors, facilitate the exchange of best practices, practical advice, and innovative ideas, and provide inspiration and support to the franchise sector as a whole, according to Karen Keylock, National Head of Franchising at Nedbank.
Elana Koral, CEO of Franchise Coaches, emphasizes that being a franchisor involves more than just selling products or services. It requires assuming the responsibility of managing a network of owner-operators, necessitating a distinct set of skills. Sharing knowledge and experiences with other franchisors not only strengthens individual capabilities but also fosters a robust mindset.
Building Leadership and Sustainable Franchise Power in Challenging Times
At the recent Franchise Executive Forum held in Sandton, Richard Mukheibir, CEO of Cash Converters, shared insights on making franchise operations successful, particularly during periods of economic recession.
South Africa’s retail sector has been under significant strain due to the prevailing economic environment, with retail sales continuing to decline, as indicated by the latest statistics from Stats SA in April. Mukheibir believes that effective leadership based on meritocracy, pragmatism, and transparency is crucial for the country to overcome its challenges.
Drawing inspiration from Singapore’s successful model, which resulted in a pro-business, corruption-free economy, Mukheibir expresses optimism about South Africa’s electricity supply in the future. Despite the additional operating costs associated with alternative energy sources to combat power shortages, he compares the potential transformation of electricity generation to the revolution in the telecommunications industry. Private sector investment in generators, solar and wind power, and inverters could replace the existing monopoly and lead to an improved energy landscape.
Key Factors for Franchise Success
Mukheibir highlights the importance of a symbiotic relationship between franchisee and franchisor as the primary factor for successful franchising. Alignment of values and a shared purpose are crucial. The selection of franchisees should also consider specific profiles that align with the franchise’s requirements. Different franchises may demand distinct attributes from their owners. For instance, the qualities of a successful PostNet franchise owner may not necessarily be suitable for a Cash Converters franchisee.
Managing risk effectively is essential, particularly in challenging environments. Franchises should aim to reduce dependencies and explore alternative solutions. Mukheibir cites the example of KFC’s shortage of chicken during a past Christmas season, which resulted from insufficient supplier arrangements.
However, the most significant contributor to Mukheibir’s success is the advice from Simon Sinek, an influential American business author and speaker. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the “why” behind your business before determining the “how” and “what.” The “why” serves as the foundation for creating a demand for your product or service. Mukheibir applies this principle to the Cash Converters model, highlighting that beyond the company’s offerings of pawnbroking, micro-lending, and trading in second-hand goods, their core purpose is to help people improve their lives by providing them with access to cash.
Identifying and understanding your purpose is vital for navigating challenging business environments successfully. It provides the motivation and direction necessary for sustained growth and resilience.