PoolWerx chairman positive about the economic downturn

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John O'Brien, chairman of pool and spa care franchise, PoolWerx, believes that with smart business decisions franchisees will be able to get through the current economic crisis and in some cases even capitalise from it. Having weathered the economic crashes of 1887 and 1992, the former co-chair of the World Franchise Council is confident that franchisees should remain positive.

“Franchising is a robust industry and due to the structure of the business model it has a greater chance of riding out the waves of this economic storm,” said O'Brien. “The systems and support unique to this industry offer more stability than most businesses, but it is not recession-proof and requires franchise owners to reassess their business development plans and adapt to new market pressures,” he continued.

“My greatest advice is to follow the system. This is the time for any franchisee, no matter what business they have to ensure the systems and practices they have been taught are followed closely." O'Brien added, “Franchising works because it is based on proven systems and those franchisees that want to ride out this downturn need to show extra diligence in following the business model that they have invested in.”

O’Brien advises monitoring cash flow and minimising debt by developing cashflow modules, which should be checked daily. He also advises all franchisees to review overall expenses and consolidate where possible. However, O’Brien is clear to point out the key is adjusting spending, not necessarily reducing it. Rather than cutting back on staffing costs and marketing, O’Brien suggests increasing presence within the local marketplace.

“Franchisees should aim to improve and increase their local area and relationship marketing activity to work towards securing their position and share of the market. When other businesses are floundering and reducing their presence in the market place a solid franchise can shine and pick up unsatisfied customers.”

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