Monday, 9 June 2014

To Franchise or not to Franchise, that is the question

The introduction of franchising over the last 50 years has provided many businesses owners with a fast and effective means of leveraging their business.  The idea of using other people’s time and money to expand your own business in today’s economic climate is still a very attractive proposition to a business owner. 

One thing we’ve learned at The Infinite Group over the years is that a step-by-step approach is vital. We’ve devised a simple and yet extremely effective method of taking a business to franchise. Although your business is unique the foundations for success are rooted in a common process. Whether you have an existing system or are just starting franchising, there are certain areas that need to be covered.

The Infinite Group step by step franchise process includes:

·         Identifying the opportunity
·         Writing the operations manual “your way of doing business”
·         Franchisee recruitment
·         Franchisee induction and training
·         Controlled growth and support

Statistics show that where roughly 50% of new businesses fail in the first year 95% of franchise businesses succeed. Indeed these figures are reflected in the longer term 5 year figures too. The upfront cost of the know-how or the ‘system’ fades into oblivion in light of this statistic alone.
1.       £13.4 billion- UK Franchise contribution to the UK economy 2011-12
2.       594,000- The number of people working in the UK franchise industry
3.       14% Growth and job creation by new franchise start ups 2011-12
Source NatWest and BFA
In economically challenged times, franchisee sales tend to increase. The common denominator for a prospect looking to buy a franchise is always life-change. This is often coupled with a general dissatisfaction at their employers and of course, severance payments can lead to rich opportunities for the franchisor.
The key element for any business looking to franchise is: can everyone make some money? If the answer is no, then it is doomed before the outset. Additionally and often omitted is the importance of the franchisor being properly rewarded!
So, to answer the question: It’s a fantastic way to build a business leveraging other people’s time and money to build your company and brand but tread lightly and don’t take your eye off the cash ball. And ensure you have someone who understands the pitfalls to ensure you get off to the best possible start and not only a business owner but as a franchisor! Good luck.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Ian Johnson, The Infinite Group, Bio

Bio – Ian Johnson B.Bus (Acctg) FCPA:
Chairman & Founder - The Infinite Group

A fully qualified Certified Practising Accountant, Ian has seen his many and varied business interests take him literally around the globe.

Hailing from Brisbane in sunny Queensland, Australia, Ian started his own tax practise in his home town at the tender age of 24. He quickly built a successful practise, employing dozens of people through 2 offices - servicing thousands of business clients. This experience gave him an enormous “hands on” exposure to the world of business at a very young age. After retiring from practise ten years later, his interests quickly turned to franchising. He invested in a business consulting franchise as a franchisee and, 14 months later, was awarded “Global Franchisee of the Year” for that system in 2001.

As a result of his stunning success, the Franchisor offered Ian the rights to Western Europe. This lead to a move to the UK in 2001. Now a Franchisor, he quickly set about setting up the UK & European markets. Within 12 months Ian had spearheaded the initial set up of the territory and sale of franchises and master territories – the most successful start up the franchise had ever seen. In 2002, he was appointed “Chief Operating Officer – Global” for the franchise and moved to corporate head offices in Las Vegas in 2002. For the next year, Ian headed up the global development of the system before moving back to the UK in 2003.

After disposing of his franchise rights for Europe in 2003, Ian then devoted his time to develop and market his own franchise systems and other business opportunities – something he has done ever since. Now based in the UK, Ian divides his time travelling the world developing his own businesses and consulting to other franchisors and businesses.

He has worked with franchisors and business owners in such diverse markets as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Mexico, South Africa, India, Ireland, United Kingdom and Western Europe.

Ian’s background of having advised thousands of businesses, as well as having been a Franchisor AND a Franchisee, allows Ian a unique perspective that he can bring to the development of any type of business. He has developed for himself a reputation as a “no-nonsense” bottom line organiser who, because of has vast business experience, can add value to any business.

Ian founded The Infinite Group in 2006 and it is the culmination of all of the business experience gained over his 23 years in business. Over the years the business has evolved into a group of high quality, experienced business advisors, all of whom have exceptional corporate, commercial and business backgrounds. The business is firmly and enthusiastically aimed at the SME market. As Ian himself says, “We offer a high quality service to high quality clients”.

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