Here’s Where To Find Your Master Franchisee

March 7th, 2018

The 7th Annual Franchise Pool International Global Franchise Forum in Naples this April is the place to find your master franchisee, says Brian Duckett of The Franchising Centre

Master franchisees come in all shapes and sizes; they have a range of knowledge, skills and attitudes; they need varying levels of finance available to them; and they will be wherever in the world a franchisor has decided to take their business.

The process therefore starts with building a very clear master franchisee profile, which may need to be adapted on a market-by-market basis as the method of market entry often also changes. Once the profile has been created it becomes much easier to visualise the right person or organisation and therefore much easier to work out how to find them and how to put your offer in front of them. The better-qualified the prospect, the better are the franchisor’s chances of concluding a successful deal with them.
Many franchisors will start with the premise that the master needs to know something about franchising. At least they will be interested in it; ideally they will have some experience of it. Therefore the obvious place to start looking is within the readership of the various franchise magazines and the attendees at the many franchise exhibitions around the world.

These media will reach potential investors ranging from franchisors looking to add another network to their stable; experienced franchise executives seeking to strike out on their own; and potential franchisees who might want to run something bigger than a single unit franchise. The possible downside is that every other international franchisor is fishing in the same pond so it becomes a very competitive market.

If the methods above do not bear fruit, it’s worth considering alternatives, one of which is to use a network of experienced franchise consultants and brokers who have access to a wider range of known, qualified investors in their respective markets. To illustrate this I’ll take as my example Franchise Pool International which operates mainly in Europe. There will be similar groups in, for example, South America or South-East Asia.

Franchisors who want to appoint master franchisees or area developers in European markets will find Naples in April 2018 the place to be.

That’s the venue for the 7th Annual Franchise Pool International Global Franchise Forum where brands meet brokers representing 28 countries. The first such event was held in Venice and it has since travelled to Salzburg, Malta, Sitges, Rotterdam and Hamburg.

Brand presentations are interspersed with educational sessions from the brokers, introducing the economies and franchising environments of their respective markets as well as providing master class sessions on all aspects of international franchising. Brands who are not yet ready to present their international offer can attend as observers so they can learn good practice from both franchisors and brokers, perhaps then being ready to present themselves at the following year’s event.

Attendance is by invitation only to well-prepared brands who have a clearly thought-through international development plan with all the necessary marketing and operational materials and associated budgets. Receptive brokers and the brands devote time to learning about each other and have the opportunity to decide whether they want to work together. Would the brand work in a particular market and do the brand’s owners want to be there?

Franchise brokers

The best way to facilitate serious discussions has proved to be getting everyone out of their offices to an attractive city and a top class hotel where they can spend two days hearing about each other, socialising in special places and having one-to-one meetings where appropriate.

Franchise Pool International (FPI) was founded in 2007 and I’m proud that my firm was a founder member. My colleague Farrah Rose serves on its board, co-ordinating the activities and maintaining the standards of its member franchise brokers and consultants. The group has another annual meeting every Autumn at which good practice and new ideas are disseminated amongst the group of, now, eighteen member firms.

The brainchild of Rolf Kirst, founder of the original Franchise Pool business in Germany, the idea was to foster co-operation, share best practice and facilitate the transfer of brands between European countries. Since then brands from as far afield as Australia and the USA have also used FPI members to introduce their franchises to the European market, often starting in the UK because of the common language, then moving onwards onto the mainland.

Franchise executives

The FPI process requires that a brand’s international franchising offer is either checked or prepared by an FPI-member company before being referred on to other countries. As Farrah Rose explains “We and our broker partners have often been retained by serious investors in our respective countries to help them find well-prepared businesses from overseas. These people may be existing franchisors looking to acquire another system; they may be franchise executives who are ready to create their own networks; they may simply be business people looking to invest in a system and employ an experienced franchising team to run it for them.

Whoever they are, they know what a good franchise looks like and they want to be introduced to opportunities that are proven in their home markets; that have researched the markets they want to go to;  and that have prepared appropriate marketing, legal and operational documentation. We cannot risk showing them under-prepared businesses as our reputation will be shot and they won’t take our calls when we want to show them another one!”

International franchising has come of age and its growth continues apace as more and more established franchisors seek to export their systems. Linking up with experienced franchise operators who can be found, recruited and subsequently supported by local expert consultants may be a better way to achieve a franchisor’s ambitions that simply going down the do-it-yourself route.

Source: Global Franchise 

Why Should I Franchise in South Africa?

February 20th, 2018
Think of franchising in Africa and you should be wonderstruck by the wealth of possibilities! Africa offers untapped franchise expansion potential and like all other emerging markets, expansion brings challenges and huge opportunities. Currently, only a handful of countries in this vast continent have a developed franchise industry, except for the one you would expect, which is the forward-thinking country which embraces developing markets, South Africa.

Franchising is the ideal mechanism for establishing and expanding an overseas brand in South Africa. The primary role of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) is to define the business of franchising and to ensure that all parties adhere to the franchise business principals which are adopted and accepted internationally. With franchising universally regarded as one of the most successful business formats, FASA’s role is to continuously promote the advantages of franchising to business entrepreneurs, investors and consumers, therefore affording greater credibility to franchising as an industry in South Africa.

According to findings from Ernst & Young Attractiveness Programme Africa 2017, South Africa continues to be the largest recipient of foreign direct investment on the African continent, and is the largest source of intra-regional investment – this is in addition to having recently made a comeback in the top 25 most attractive global investment destinations.

The future growth potential for franchising in South Africa is enormous, given that franchising in South Africa is only represented in seventeen business sectors compared to between 25 to up to 75 business sectors in developed countries.

Some of the key reasons why South Africa offers such great opportunities for Franchising are:

It has a First World banking system. South Africa has a highly developed and well-regulated banking system. The South African banking sector was ranked 3rd out of 148 countries in the 2013/14 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Survey. This sector is mature from an infrastructure standpoint and healthy from a financial standpoint.

Low inflation rate. The country’s current inflation rate is 4.6% and has been consistently low since its democratisation in 1994. The cost of doing business in South Africa compares favourably to other emerging world markets. The country still has relatively low employment costs and utility prices, and has a favourable corporate tax rate compared to other emerging markets.

Competitive Labour Costs. South Africa possesses a large skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour force. The passing on of sophisticated operational know-how to the unskilled labour force is one of the key attractive features of business format franchising in South Africa. Labour costs are significantly less than in European countries, with the cost of both professional and manufacturing work less than 50% of those in Europe.

There is an emerging middle class. The consumer industry represents an important aspect of the South African economy, and consumer companies are at the core of a successful pan-African investment strategy. Economic opportunities led to the emergence of an African middle class, specifically in South Africa.

Modern and extensive infrastructure. South Africa boasts the most modern and extensive transport infrastructure in Africa; this means the country’s financial infrastructure makes investment opportunities, attractive.

Wealth of natural resources and beautiful country. South Africa is still a major producer of gold and is the largest producer of platinum, as well as being a major producer of diamonds and other minerals. The agricultural system is well-developed, and many locally-produced food items are easily found in retail outlets. The country’s natural beauty also makes it a sought-after tourist destination – tourism is an industry which is continuously and rapidly expanding and would support franchising as a growth industry.

Positive political prospects. The election and appointment of a new ANC President and future President of the country have had an immediate impact on key economic indicators and it is anticipated that the long-term effect on the South African economy will be positive as it continues to grow and develop.

How to franchise effectively in South Africa
Discussing the expansion of franchising into South Africa with Vera Valasis, the Executive Director of the Franchise Association of South Africa, she offered the following pointers which can make for an accelerated and smoother journey when choosing franchise growth strategy in South Africa.

1) Do your homework – research local markets applicable to your brand or industry to maximise the opportunity. As in any destination around the world, tastes, cultures, habits and trends differ not only from country to country but also from region to region within a country. Slight changes and tweaks to taste profiles, systems, product and services can make an enormous difference to the success of the franchise. One example of a change that has been successful in South Africa was a change in the cooking method from deep frying to roasting to suit local preference.

2) Send senior partners and owners for initial discussions. Potential master licensees prefer to meet and have discussions with the owners or senior decision-makers involved with international or global brands when discussions have progressed. Local investors prefer to meet and build a relationship with the brand owners based on trust.

3) Be aware of local franchise laws and labour law requirements. SA has franchise disclosure requirement; this is set to ensure only the most serious and professional franchisors can enter South Africa, resulting in greater success for investors and all parties involved in franchising.

4) Location location location! South Africa has some very elegant and modern shopping malls, on a par with top London and British regional ones. These house premium brands. Lease negotiation can be onerous, so be prepared. In order to target and maximise exposure to the ideal client profile of the brand; there are many specialist service providers who can map potential consumers geographically and therefore suggest franchise territories more strategically, resulting in greater success.

5) Funding. There are several well-established traditional banks in South Africa and each of these banks has a national franchise desk, which is a testament to the country’s belief and faith in franchising as a growth strategy. As is customary in Europe, most banks will be looking to a 50% equity investment in a franchise.

6) Master franchise fee. Due to a weak currency, it is important to have a realistic expectations of the level of upfront franchise fees

Farrah Rose – Director, International Development

The opportunities in Franchising in this beautiful continent are enormous; the above only scratches the surface of the opportunity. If you are up for a challenge that could yield you a fantastic return, look no further than exploring investing in franchising in South Africa! But be prepared to take advice from experts within FASA and some of their affiliated local consultancy firms. The Franchising Centre now has a strong alliance with a top broker and a franchise consultancy firm in South Africa to offer support to international brands looking to take advantage of the opportunities in this emerging market. More information from Farrah Rose ( or Vera Velasis (

Read the article in Global Franchise here…

Expand into South Africa

October 18th, 2017

Farrah Rose – Director, International Development



Are You Seeking a Master Franchisee in South Africa

If South Africa is on your list of possible target markets to expand into, here is an opportunity for you. In November I am visiting South Africa to meet with the Franchise Association and a number of franchise consultants and brokers. These are the people in South Africa with access to investors seeking incoming master franchise opportunities and I am going to be introducing a select number of UK franchises to them.

If you would like to have a chat about the South African market and the possibility of being one of the brands I present during my visit, please contact me by calling me on 01904 561598 or email here.

Best regards,

Farrah Rose
01904 561598

Which Are Yours

October 10th, 2017


Franchisee Field Visits – Which Are Yours?

Franchisee field visits can roughly fall into one of two categories:

Drinking coffee, discussing what was on TV last night and providing comfort.


Reviewing progress against a plan, setting goals for the next period and coaching your franchisees towards higher performance.

Field visits are the single most important opportunity you have to impact your franchisees’ performance. This training workshop will give you loads of practical techniques and tips to help you make more of your franchisee field visits. Read overview. Watch short introductory video.

Tuesday 17th October, Warwick University and just £345 plus VAT. Book now by emailing us here or call us on 01904 561598.

Best regards,

Paul Monaghan
The Franchise Training Centre
Tel: 01904 561598


Of Course I Trust You

October 5th, 2017

You Trust Your Franchisees, Right? – Last Chance to Book!    

Are these important to your business? How your brand is represented, customer service standards, customer experience, customer complaint resolution, brand reputation and so on…  You one hundred per cent trust all of your franchisees to deliver all of these critical aspects of your business for you, don’t you?

Just in case you didn’t answer that question with a resounding “YES!”, do you fancy learning some new ways to keep an eye on things without making your franchisees feel like Big Brother is watching them? Then you need to be at this training workshop:

October 10th – How to Monitor Franchisees’ Performance.
overview. Watch short introductory video.

This training workshop is being at Warwick University and costs just £345 plus VAT. Book now by emailing us here or call us on 01904 561598.


Best regards,

Paul Monaghan
The Franchise Training Centre
Tel: 01904 561598

P.S. Full Autumn training workshop calendar here.

Could GDPR Kill Your Business

September 28th, 2017

Brian Duckett
Chairman, The Franchising Centre

A Beginners Guide to Coping with GDPR

Fact: General Data Protection Regulation will apply in the UK from May 2018
Fact: It will change the way you can use data
Fact: You will have to comply

Apart from the facts above, I am no expert on GDPR – but I know someone who is! Kellie Peters is one of our great line up of guest speakers at the 2017 Franchise Conference and Supplier Showcase in October. As the scare story builds about what GDPR means for us all, Kellie brings a cool head, deep knowledge of her subject and practical advice on how you should prepare for it.

Come and see Kellie and much, much more for just £69 plus VAT at this great annual franchising event being held at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham on Tuesday 3rd October. Book your places now by calling us on 01904 561598 or email us here.

Best regards,

Brian Duckett
The Franchising Centre

01904 561598

P.S. This event qualifies for 150 QFP points.


Last Chance to Book

September 27th, 2017

Brian Duckett
Chairman, The Franchising Centre

Last Chance to Book

Come up for air. Take a day out of the office. Go back with some fresh ideas. How? By attending the inspirational 2017 Franchise Conference and Supplier Showcase next Tuesday.

See the full Conference guide here.

See a video of last year’s event here.

It all takes place next Tuesday, October 3rd, at the National Motorcycle Museum near the NEC, Birmingham and costs just £69 plus VAT. To book your places call us now on 01904 561598 or email us here.

Best regards,

Brian Duckett
The Franchising Centre
01904 561598

P.S. This event qualifies for 150 QFP points.