Can I Franchise This?
Carolyn Diaz, managing director at Express Employment Professionals, says a proven ability to scale is an important element of the franchise equation. For Express, being both an international company large enough to serve franchisees completely and a local office small enough to move quickly and act independently has been a massive advantage. The group has grown to a network of over 800 employment agencies in three countries. Express South Africa currently has offices in Bedfordview, Centurion (HQ), Cape Town, Durban North, Durban South, Midrand, Parktown, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria East, Pretoria North, Randburg, Richards Bay, Sandton, Newcastle and Middelburg. Each Express office is locally owned and internationally supported.
Throughout this expansion, systems have proven to be essential. Diaz says: “Our ISO 9001:2015- registered employee selection process is behind our success in finding our clients the exact person they need for their team. We apply for this accreditation every year in an effort to improve the way we operate, whether that means driving down costs, managing risk more effectively, or improving customer satisfaction.” These standards give the company the framework it needs to monitor and improve performance.
Successful franchise arrangements rely on quality relationships and setting franchisees up to win. “Express provides our franchisees with payroll processing, client invoicing, financial administration, risk management, worker compensation administration, IT support, and sales and marketing tools and resources,” Diaz explains. “Franchisees are comprehensively trained at Express Employment Professionals, Oklahoma City, USA for a full two weeks. This opportunity allows them, as the new franchise owner, the opportunity to learn and practise the key functions they will be performing within their office.”
The ability to evolve
Being responsive to the business environment is important for long-term sustainability and, on the back of its 51 per cent black female-owned status and commitment to Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-bBEE), Express South Africa has been recognised with a “AA” Rating, Level 3 B-bBEE Contributor. “This accomplishment will increase the company’s leadership status within the staffing industry as well as its involvement in the development of emerging black entrepreneurs,” says Diaz.
A strong brand promise
For franchise executive Guy Le Ray-Cook of healthy food chain Kauai, having a desirable product is the most basic requirement when it comes to franchising. He says: “For Kauai, that is serving the most tasty, unique and high-quality healthy food items to be found anywhere in the world.”
Ensuring that the operating model is a durable one is another of the secrets to any franchise’s success; the company is operating from a blueprint that has been tried and tested over 23 years. Integrity of operations is something the company has invested in as well, putting in measures to ensure their systems and marketing activities work. “This gives franchisees the peace of mind that they put their money into the same model where they have invested their capital and where they will continue to invest their daily time and energy,” explains Le Ray-Cook.
A unique offering
Kauai has heavily leaned on its distinctive offer of a healthy alternative to set it apart from others in the industry. Le Ray-Cook shares that as a franchisor, “we have been deliberate in creating a company culture that is passionate about providing healthy and real food to as many people as we can, ensuring the franchisees feel part of this as well as their teams, along with the best in industry franchise support”.
Kauai is the current holder of the Best Franchise in South Africa Award, as nominated by the Franchise Association of South Africa.
The group is currently sitting with 82 franchise stores throughout South Africa, with plans for further expansion.
If your business has these elements, franchising may be a great next step.