Opinion Piece: To Succeed, You Need To Want To
Capital, speed of growth, motivated management and risk reduction are some of the key advantages of joining a franchise network.
But what does this mean in a post-pandemic, South African context?
“Much the same as it meant prior to the pandemic,” says Sean Stegmann, CEO of Cash Crusaders.
Sean says that regardless of whether you were operating a business before or are looking to open one now, based on current circumstances, the idea and business benefits of franchising dates back a few centuries and is not a new concept. And franchising continues to survive pandemics, pre- and post-war disasters, as well as political and economic uncertainty.
“Because much like an expert suggests, a good franchising business succeeds by an invested individual who is passionate about growth and meeting the needs of a community or market,” says Sean. Sean cites a 3D approach as characteristics he and his team look for in a successful store owner:
A franchisee needs to control all areas of their business; including staff, stock, customer-centricity and cash, based on the three profit centres (buying, selling & secured loans). To do this requires discipline – discipline to manage an output-based team of individuals that are as committed to meeting the community’s needs as the owner is, and discipline to apply the tried-and-tested systems and processes that help control stock and cash. You don’t have to be a retail expert to understand these systems, you just need the passion to want to learn them.
Any business can succeed with a determined individual at the helm. In our business, you do not even need to be a qualified or experienced industry expert, you just need to want it to work.
The crux of the Cash Crusaders model is that being a retail business, you must be customer-centric. As the owner of the outlet, you need to dedicate your efforts in delighting your customers. Through your leadership, your team will understand how delivering a unique customer experience and service, as it will encourage growth within their communities.
The combination of an owner/manager ensures long-term commitment, better quality and steadfast management, can improve operational quality and innovation – from the perspective of both a budget/stock control and revenue generation.
“In South Africa, we are unique in the way our communities work and have built a business that penetrates the hyper-local needs of a community,” says Sean. “We are quick to react to these needs and our franchisees know their market well. Entrepreneurs understanding their customer’s point of view will capture a market quickly.”
By owners being involved at store level, and by using the system data from each store, they understand what the community is looking for, and when they’re looking for specific items.
As a group, we can quickly adjust marketing and communication efforts to meet specific demands.
The agility of a franchising business that can adapt to global climates is a game-changer. Take the idea of moving an entire business into a digital space in a few months, using WhatsApp and e-commerce, as an impressive example.
“What we do in our business is an extension of who we are,” says Sean. “The fact that our business continues to thrive despite the pressure it faces is testament to that. Because we developed our own Point of Sale and Inventory Control Systems, we engineered our business to be a technology company doing retail as opposed to a retail company using technology,” concludes Sean.