Why it pays to buy a SafetyQuip franchise
SafetyQuip targets businesses with up to 200 employees, selling personal safety equipment, fire protection gear and respiratory clothing.
“We’re helping protect workers and avoid injuries and death,” says CEO Gary Shearer.
He believes small and medium enterprises are aware of the legislation with which they need to comply, but the issues can be so complex they do not have resources to properly deal with it. Advice is just part of the SafetyQuip service.
“Having been able to provide advice on the right equipment is one of our strengths. We’re not box providers, we’re about solutions,” says Shearer.
“Retailing is not our core business, although we have a presence. We’re about industrial distribution. In the time it takes for one person in a store to try on and fit a pair of boots for $99, we can ship product worth $10,000.”
Online sales comprise less than 2 per cent of the business, he says.
Franchisees out and about with clients can offer advice as well as product choice. So while franchisees often have sales experience, above all they need to have a personable nature and an affinity with the industry. Experience in the safety field is not needed to become a franchisee.
The businesses are territory based, and Shearer says satellite sites can be added at no extra cost to franchisees looking to expand.
Starting out with a small warehouse and van, the business can be built up to become a store and distribution hub.
The franchisor is fully focused on supporting the franchisee network. “We don’t run our own stores,” says Shearer.
That means that every two weeks the franchisor sends a data file updating the 15,000 stock keeping units (SKU), updating the database and website, which are all linked to the product catalogue, referencing the page number relevant to each product.
It is important for stores to have at least one other employee helping the franchisee, and often that starts out as a spouse or partner. Franchisees who develop their businesses can take on up to 10 staff members.
SafetyQuip has a three-tier marketing policy - local-area marketing managed by the franchisee using material provided by the franchisor; regional marketing managed by groups of franchisees; and national marketing.
“There are a lot of players in the market, but our business model is working for us,” says Shearer.
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