Reasons Why Consumers Prefer Local, Small Franchised Businesses
A franchise and small business are both business models that you can own. As a franchise business owner, one would get all the benefits of a small business combined with a proven method of operation, which is one of the biggest advantages of owning a franchise. This would come along with established branding, support and training, a value-for-money investment and saved legwork from not having to establish your own business from scratch.
Consumers are increasingly finding that there are many upsides when they spend their money with small local franchises/businesses.
Small is the new big:
One reason customers love supporting your small franchise business is that you’re easier to do business with. Envision the difference between wandering the aisles of a huge warehouse-style market trying to find the ice cream aisle and tasting samples of craft ice creams directly from the shopkeeper. Customers prefer shopping with convenience at a business that is close by.
In South Africa, each geographical area is unique, and franchisors give each franchisee the chance to make a fair return on investment and add a touch of localisation to the product and/or service offering. People like the idea that purchasing at a small store puts money back into their community. In addition, this creates employment opportunities in the local community that may help to sustain the economic health of the area.
Better customer service:
In a highly competitive and fragmented economy such as South Africa’s, there are multiple choices for every purchase. In this case, customer service is king. Franchises and small businesses live or die by the quality of customer service they offer. This is the very model of which franchising is built: franchisees are small business owners, who are renowned for consistently providing better customer service than their big retail counterparts. This is because they are typically part of the community and become friends with their customers, who in turn become repeat customers. Larger stores survive on the volume of people they see and are prepared to lose some customers to poor customer service. Consumers would often rather receive personalised attention and customer service than lower prices, while many small, franchised shops offer hands-on experiences that larger stores and online retailers cannot.
Product diversity and unique products:
Some franchises, especially food franchises, have avenues whereby localised products can be added to the menu or product range. This is based on the market likes and trends in the location, it isn’t always possible. This ideology creates a more unique and broadly-based product line and reduces comparison shopping by customers.
Reduced environmental impact:
Everyone seems to be on the lookout for ways to be more ecologically conscious. Supporting local franchises is actually better for the environment than shopping at large retail stores some distance away. The extensive delivery service of large retailers, while convenient, adds massively to traffic congestion, pollution, and loss of natural habitats. Most franchises also don’t need to use larger modes of transportation such as large delivery trucks, trains, or airplanes that can cause harmful emissions to be expelled into the air.
Local franchise owners give back to the community:
Franchises are familiar with their communities and know how important they are to their survival, so they tend to give back to the community any way they can. Not only do franchise stores provide character to any town or city, but they also tend to lend a helping hand whenever they can. A bedrock of franchising is to build and strengthen their relationships with other businesses located in the community as well as the people who live there and civic leaders. Some local franchises will foster relationships with area schools in an effort to offer educational opportunities to local children or even jobs to local teens.
Local franchises are a vital component of a community and its economy. Their contributions are many and consumers consequently find they are deserving of their business. It’s up to the franchise owner to work constantly at those community relationships, thereby persuading consumers the next time they’re in the market for something new, to skip the mall and rather head to one of their local small franchise businesses instead.
By Eamonn Ryan