Other initiatives I consider essential to fair franchising in Australia and were considered by the Bernie Ripoll Committee in 2008/9 but then dropped were the establishment of a Tribunal or an Ombudsman, the creation of an ACCC registry for those in breach of the Code and to call upon the Australian Bureau of Statistics to finally begin gathering some meaningful data on franchising.
Personally I would prefer a Tribunal to counter the abuse of financial power and the Australian Court system utilized so often as to turn legitimatley complaining franchisees into passive sheep.
I might question how effective a publicly accessible registry would be for prospective investors in the short term but I won’t question the deterrent value of the existence of such a registry. I would suggest a register would have far greater deterrent value than the financial penalties that seem likely to be introduced. The cost of regulating franchising might just drop dramatically. Who would want to be the first on such a register and how might that influence franchise sales?
How difficult would it be to add two questions to an ABS census? I’m sure there would be better questions than; “Do you or have you ever been a franchisee?” and “If you are or have been a franchisee would you consider another franchise?” The Australian market continues to get no reliable data on franchising.
The Committee seemingly decided that the Franchise Council of Australia would call on all favors to stop these initiatives so they would go for something less than what was needed.
Note some positive changes to required disclosure but franchisors continue to avoid having to provide franchisee performance data. Overall result - well played FCA.
You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.
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I have couple of properties apartment and residential land. I want to sell it to fund a new house in USA. Can I avail the capital gain exemption.
Example; property in India is $350000 ( principal + capital gain) and the new house in USA is $60000.
Great review Simon - thanks!
I suppose my cynical side asks the question as to whether there would be anything different to the past in that the Minister will consult his/her (who knows who will be the Minister given the recent turnover) 'Expert Panel' and totally water it down and even remove anything that the FCA does not 'like' (anything that involves franchisors being held accountable to law by anyone other than an under-funded franchisee).
Perhaps we should be asking where do we need to 'donate' money to deemed an expert so we can get a seat on the 'Expert Panel'. What constitutes an 'expert'?
The fundamental question that still needs answering is how do we get change and expose the FCA for what they truly are?
The recommendations in this review, State inquiries/laws and the last Federal inquiry all present some of the major issues, but they just disappear in a puff of smoke under howls of protest from the FCA. How do we as franchisees get a say?
Following the release of the federal franchising inquiry's 'Opportunity not Opportunism' report I called Bernie Ripoll to thank him for the overall accuracy of the report however I raised concerns as to whether his recommendations would make much difference even if they were taken up given that good faith and a forum for affordable dispute resolution were not included and therefore continuing to leave franchisees at the mercy of the strategies and financial resourses used by franchisors in the Australian Court system..
His response was to the effect of explaining that the Committee had to find a balance between how far they should go against what would likely to be agressively opposed. The concern was that making stronger recommendations might lead to few recommendations being taken up.
I often wonder how disappointed he was when his Small Business Minister, Craig Emerson, chose to bend over for the Franchise Council of Australia and reject all but a few recommendations that would make no difference at all to the plight of abused Australian franchisees.
Essentially, even if these new recommendations are taken up, those franchisors who strategically abuse their position of financial power within the expensive walls of our Courts to steal the investments of franchisees; they won’t notice this little bump in the road.
I've posted the full list of recommendations and Simon Young has posted the recommendations that may draw the most attention. They are both avalable HERE.
The linked article is (IMHO) a puff piece. If only it were that easy. The newbie never owned a business before wants a franchise for its proven system and because it has a lower chance of failure (in other words, potential sucker) has a very low chance of being able to self-teach him/herself how to be a successful research analyst. PARTICULARLY if trying to research across any and all industries to find the "best" franchise.
Professional analysts tend to focus on particular industries where they can get to know, through long experience, what factors really matter. Also, the information available to "analysts" will likely have more to do with the franchisor than with individual franchisee stores.
Speaking with existing franchisees is fine but it has often been claimed on this forum that existing owners don't give informative answers. That they fear corporate spies masquerading as potential buyers, that they fear non-disparagement clauses, that they don't want to undercut the value of their own store that they'd really like to get out from under. Also, the chances that the newbie is going to know the right questions to ask, AND that the existing owner is going to take it upon themselves to educate the new prospect, are slim to none.
As for trusting your gut, not if your gut doesn't know its butt from a hole in the ground, having never worked in that industry. Going with their gut (alone) has been the cause of a multitude of franchise failures. Which are followed by almost tearful posts on this forum about how they didn't know, how the franchisor's sales rep lied, etc. etc.
IMHO people ought to first analyze THEMSELVES to figure out what kind of business they are suited for, BEFORE searching any and all franchise opportunities to try and find the "best" franchise. (Best at WHAT???) It is a very risky thing to sink your life's savings and personal guarantee into owning a business in an industry they have no experience in, but people apparently do it every day. Unless you have knowledge in that industry, how can you know what questions to ask to try and figure out what the "best" opportunity is in that field?
Don't think it is okay to buy a business in an industry you are not already knowledgeable about, because it is a franchise. The franchisor is an adverse party trying to sell something to you, acting for their benefit not yours.
'The review report is due to be presented to Government on 30 April 2013. The report is on track for delivery by this date. Once submitted, the Government will consider its response, which may include publication of the report.'
Does anyone truly believe that this government will even look at the report given the scant regard for small business the long list of Small Business Ministers have clearly demonstrated.
With an election poleaxing looming large and finances in a shambles as revealed in the budget, this report will sit gathering dust for Indiana Jones to one day discover, and find nothing at all has changed.
The FCA and franchsiors have nothing to fear...why is Mr Giles even concerned? He's seen and dealt with worse by simply seeing that it is swept under the carpet! (e.g. Ketchell, Ripoll Report)
How many more mothers went out this Mother's Day, according to your research? That could give a sense of the pulse of the economy and retail. In food service, breakfast sandwiches went up 8.1 percent, according to Technomic.