Spy kit retailer slashes franchise cost and boosts profits

By Sarah Stowe | 20 Sep 2017 View comments

Inside Franchise Business: Surveillance kit retailer OzSpy has a new franchise offerOzSpy is back with a brand new offer for potential franchisees.

The retail chain with all the cool spy toys has refined its product line up to suit customer demand.

“We used to be a spy retailer with CCTV now we’re a CCTV retailer that sells spy equipment,” explains Craig Mitchell.

So while night vision equipment and bug detectors might whet your appetite, it’s the simple surveillance camera that is paying franchisees’ bills.

It’s all part of a shake-up at the business which took time out from franchising a couple of years ago. Now it’s back – not bigger but definitely better, says Mitchell.

As the spy equipment has now been rationalised, a typical store size is 40sqm, down from 100sqm. That’s helped reduce costs and Mitchell has further shrunk the turnkey price by incorporating $40,000 into a five year interest free loan.

It used to cost $200,000 to invest in an OzSpy outlet, now the cost has been halved.

“People can access $100,000 but not $200,000,” Mitchell says. “Most have savings of $20,000 or $30,000 and it’s easier for franchisees to gain finance.”

There’s been a change of culture too, from the sales-driven ethos that the business started with more than a decade ago to a store profitability focus.

“One third of stores have dropped their revenue but increased their profitability,” Mitchell reveals.

In addition to sales, OzSpy franchisees need to provide ongoing support for purchased products.

“We’re not a one size fits all store. We establish the customer’s budget and don’t sell them the covert system if they just need something simple.

“People struggle with the technical age and get left behind. They go online and don’t know what they want. There’s a bit of paranoia. A lot of our time is spent giving advice.”

Mitchell is seeking franchisees who are comfortable with technology and love talking to people.