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For the past few years independent business growth has lagged behind chains but now we hear suggestions that at least some consumer spending has taken a change in direction. And a question arises as to how franchising can best benefit from a reduction in government red tape?
The ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics]numbers suggests that independent sector as a whole is no longer falling behind the chains and is now growing at roughly the same rate of between 5 and 6 per cent year on year. SMH
It would be unfair to suggest that the Franchise Council of Australia might have spent at least some time reminding consumers that franchisees are ‘little guys’ and a little less time on spin. Perhaps franchisors could consider refreshing their training agendas with up skilling franchisee people and people management skills rather than some of the outlandish refurbishment programs we have seen of late.
This is not just a sentimental identification with the "little guy", which by itself will ultimately do little to stop the rot in small Australian retail business. Rather, it is a belief that independent retail provides a something fresh, different, creative and personable - which people crave.
While dealing with franchise image and business efficiency is mostly at the forefront of best case franchising there is also a battle on to reduce government red tape and one which the government at least appears to be now taking seriously.
A study by Professor Chris Evans, of the University of New South Wales, and Dr Philip Lignier, of the University of Tasmania, shows businesses are now spending 493 hours a year on compliance, up from 313 hours in 1995. About half of this is driven by record-keeping and reporting under the goods and services tax regime introduced in 2000.
Franchising should be a winner but perhaps franchisors could go a step further and review franchisee operational requirements to ensure they only create mutual benefit, business efficiency and franchisee and consumer satisfaction.
Governments have used the power to introduce small business red tape without proper consideration of negative consequences. It seems that is to be streamlined. Perhaps franchisors should regularly review their power mentality and the consequences.