If you think there’s a ceiling to how much money you can make in franchising, you’re wrong. Kobus du Plessis owns six Huizemark franchises, oversees 48 staff, and turns over millions a month. How he does it boils down to two things and neither of them is ‘luck’:
- “All value is created through process, enabled by people with skill and judgement, where it is rule-based and sequential by nature.”
- “Give your sales team the tools they need to make their job as easy as possible and the administrative burden as small as possible.”
On point one
From a macro perspective, franchising by its very nature creates value through processes that are replicable.
A good franchise will spend a lot of time and effort tweaking processes, assessing prospective franchisees to determine whether they have the right skills and character to execute those processes, and training franchisees to operate most efficiently. And the crux of successful franchising is the ability of franchisees to understand and follow the rule-based, step-by-step nature of the business model.
Zoom in to the individual franchisee, and the same mantra applies. Have you implemented systems within your franchise to streamline daily, weekly and monthly processes? Have you hired the right people in the right positions? Do you regularly and thoroughly train your staff to execute their roles with skill and judgement?
And is your business engineered in such a way that it can run without you being physically present 24/7?
On point two
Before du Plessis got involved with Huizemark in 2006 he owned a successful corporate identity furniture business that was engineered to be virtually based. “This model proved to be very successful, so when I chose to get involved with Huizemark it was my intention to run it virtually too,” says du Plessis.
With the blessing of the franchisor, du Plessis created an online platform that would firstly allow him and his sales team to conduct their business via iPad — negating the need for an office — digitise all elements of the sales process, and create a database of past, current and prospective clients.
“The benefit of running a mobile business means that fixed overheads can be curbed and controlled better, and greater brand visibility is achieved because you’re not restricted to a static location,” du Plessis explains.
“The database also helps match buyers and sellers, dramatically shortening the marketing time and expense.”
On having the right tools
“I found the traditional real estate model inefficient: An agent typically arrives at an office, has coffee and leaves for appointments. They fill in paperwork which then needs to be returned to the office to be processed, pictures need to be taken and uploaded, and overall there’s a delay in the listing going live. By creating step-by-step digital systems, everything can be done on site via an iPad, the administrative burden on the agents is much lower, and consequently much more can be achieved in a day,” explains du Plessis. What this comes down to is greater productivity and higher turnover.
Du Plessis offers franchisees across all sectors this advice for maximising efficiency and productivity:
- Make sure you have happy staff. Incentivise them with commission and other rewards. “My agents get competitive commission and then personalised stationery, an iPad with 2GB data, and vehicle branding as they reach listings targets.”
- Look at where you’re spending your capital. Can this be diverted into tech and systems that will generate higher sales? Du Plessis has a small office for admin staff only. He and his agents are entirely mobile because of the tech and systems.
- Look at creative ways of marketing. “We have rotating area expos once a week where we park branded cars, banners and gazebos alongside busy commuter routes for the purpose of brand visibility. It’s free and highly effective.”