30 May Being a Franchisee for Life
Most people enter into the franchise world with the intention to start their own business down the line. They don’t want to stick with franchising, rather just build up skill and get some experience trying their own venture.
Many simply outgrow franchises because they feel stifled by them. However, there are some entrepreneurs that become lifelong members of a franchise family, staying with the parent company for decades. Todd Agius from Ferguson Plarre is a good example of this.
Agius started out at Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse very young before he knew much about franchising. He didn’t even work on the business full time for the first year, just leasing it through another company and paying a fee to run the establishment. During this time, Aguis and his wife accumulated experience in hospitality, communication, and customer service, which only helped them later down the line.
When Aguis was 23 years old, the couple negotiated a franchise deal with Ferguson Plarre and established their venture in Melbourne. They become part of a community with young families who liked the familiarity of small, family-owned businesses. Aguis relied heavily on his communication skills but quickly learned everything they needed to know about running a franchise. The local community in Melbourne wanted a familiar face, and they were willing to spend money on it. This helped the franchise remain afloat.
Both Todd and his wife committed 100% to their venture, investing 60 to 65 hours every week to keep it afloat. They only had one staff member who helped them out at lunchtime for more than 4 years, which was another reason why this business was successful. Both of the Aguis were hands-on, creating a personal environment in the bakery.
Around this time, his wife stepped away from the business after having their child. Todd decided to expand by establishing a new franchise at a newly opened shopping mall in Craigieburn, which distracted him from the original store for a bit. Eventually, he shut the original store while focusing on a more lucrative location.
Todd is a natural at hospitality but learning the nitty-gritty of a franchise business took some effort. He gained an understanding of concepts like expenses, profit/loss, bookkeeping, etc., which helped the business grow stronger. Once he started seeing a steady, comfortable income from this franchise venture, there was no reason to quit.
A long-standing relationship with Ferguson Plarre also proved to be beneficial. The company is still a family-owned business with around 72 franchise branches. As a long-term franchisee, Agius has a great rapport with the company’s management. They use him as a sounding board of sorts, introducing him to new ideas or products before launch.
His input is always taken seriously, so he has some influence on the brand. He is also called in to share his perspective with other franchisees. Todd has no plans to leave the franchise and develop his own business. He considers himself a lifetime franchisee.
There are many stories of long-term establishments where most of them are content with their current establishment. If there’s a mutually beneficial relationship between franchisor and franchisee, you have more control and independence. In fact, you can help a parent company grow further by recommending improvements.
Better communication, more support, and consistent performance have a positive impact on both parties. Why start a new business venture when you have all the independence you need with a supportive parent company?
If you want to know anything more about setting up a franchise business or want some sound and professional advice, call The Franchise Institute on 1300 855 435 or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as we can.
Thanks for reading,
The Franchise Institute Team
1300 855 435