What you need to get right to make franchising work
Was it folly or foresight that brought Sarah Allen into the world of franchising? The joint franchisor and general manager of electrical safety services business Appliance Tagging Services spills the beans, and shares her top tip for franchise success.
How did you get into franchising?
"ATS started in 1989 as an electrical contracting business. Our business really started to expand rapidly in the early 2000s when we branched out from traditional electrical contracting to include electrical safety services and found our niche in the market.
"By 2004 we had clients all over the country requesting our services and we desperately needed to refine our service delivery model. A staff member at the time suggested we look in to franchising.
"I remember at the time feeling incredibly daunted by the prospect – we had two kids under the age of two, converting to a franchise would be a massive investment, and for some reason I thought franchising was only for retail businesses!
"We worked closely with franchise consultants, spending 18 months validating and refining the model and finally granting our first franchise mid-2006.
"I guess you could say our franchise network was my third child!"
How do you stay relevant?
"We have been franchising now for 11 years. We have continually refined our model as the business has expanded and technology has changed. The model we have now is a far cry from what we started with in 2006 and it continues to develop as the needs of our franchisees change."
What is your secret to being a successful entrepreneur?
"My number one tip – it’s ALL about people. Someone once told me to select the best possible people you can afford to have around you and it is so true.
"Our support office team is what sets ATS apart and the support we provide our franchisees is second to none.
"That daily support doesn’t come from management – it comes from everyone in our support office who interacts with our franchisees each day, and it’s vital we have that right.
"We have had it wrong in the past, and the ramifications were felt for a long time."