Finding the Perfect Franchising Fit
Jean-Pierre Seger, Cash Converters Franchise Sales Manager Southern Africa
A potential franchisee should show qualities
- integrity and the
- ability to collaborate
- should have previous business experience,
- the necessary finance,
- high energy levels and an
- understanding of the commitment required from retail.
This is the view of Jean-Pierre Seger, Cash Converters Franchise Sales Manager Southern Africa. “I want to sell a franchise to someone who is going to be so successful that I’d be able to sell them a second store two years later, where they can duplicate their success,” he continues.
However, Seger is quick to acknowledge that the franchisor/franchisee relationship has to be mutually beneficial and the fit goes both ways. “The greatest tool a franchisor can offer to assist a franchisee is to provide a strong business model that delivers significant returns and a viable product that the community will welcome.”
A key function of Seger’s role as Franchise Sales Manager is to match potential franchisees with the franchise
And this means:
- getting to know and understand the individuals,
- what motivates them,
- their business acumen,
- their access to finance, and
- their willingness to work within the model guidelines.
Of course, it’s never an exact science – Seger says he has met candidate franchisees who seemed like a good fit and were ready to take the leap into franchising, only to decline just 24-hours before signing. “Our lead generation strategy and sales pipeline needs constant attention to off-set such setbacks,” he says.
Seger has ample experience in sales planning and operational management, having worked in the financial services industry with a focus on new business development, channel partnerships and project management. He is also currently doing an MBA, specialising in entrepreneurship, a journey which he says has helped him gain vast knowledge on how to build a business.
“When it comes to leaving full time employment to take up franchising, people are motivated by different things – however, the majority of people want to be able to spend more time with their families,” he explains. “Many want better returns and they’re looking for a viable business model that will be sustainable and continue to give returns into the future.”
Another key draw card for potential franchisees is the opportunity to learn more about retail and the training that should come with opening a new franchise. “This is one of the most frequently asked questions I experience,” says Seger. “It is evidence that good candidate franchisees appreciate the industry and the regulatory frameworks provided by franchising. Cash Converters provides its franchisees with unlimited support. Training includes an eight-week full time programme prior to opening the outlet, with an addition four weeks of full time training and in-store assistance. This keeps our candidates encouraged and motivated. They know we will continue to walk this journey with them.”
With 600 franchises in the country and about 32000 individual franchisees, the sector employs approximately 300 000 people across South Africa. The Cash Converters franchise is a proven international brand and business model. “Franchising is a stable environment to invest in. The Cash Converters brand specifically is constantly looking for ways to evolve and improve upon its offering,” he says.
One such example is the new corporate identity and store rebrand which is currently being rolled out at stores across the country. The third generation store design gives the brand a new, contemporary look and feel and is already attracting new customers and business to the stores.
“The market is responding positively to the rebrand,” observes Seger. “It is particularly exciting that we are now showcasing our Cash Converters International corporate ID in South Africa and we are already seeing a 30% increase in revenue from our pilot store. Consumer perceptions about the brand and our professionalism are changing and we expect to see significant growth over the next few years.”
“With products that are extremely relevant to the current state of the market, such as PayDay Advance and our pawn broking business, a Cash Converters franchise is an investment that simply makes sense!”