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Five lessons from The Athlete’s Foot

The Athlete's Foot in Australia has reportedly gone against the trend in small business recording like-for-like sales growth of 8.3% with total sales growth at 11.6%.

It is suggested the health of TAF comes down to a focus on 5 ingredients:

  1. Customer service
  2. Community involvement
  3. Expand your footprint
  4. Franchising
  5. Chasing the demographics

TAF is simply expanding its existing stores to make room for new brands and products, largely banking on their existing customers to drive sales.   RCG chairman Ivan Hammerschlag

But not so for brands who have pushed aggressive franchising to maintain the franchisor’s bottom line growth through tight economic period. Such strategies have ignored the calls for consolidation of franchise brands having grown through boom times where now infrastructure has lagged producing a diminished level of franchisee satisfaction.  Consolidation should not be confused with encroachment.

Dissatisfaction costs future growth while increasing other internal costs associated with the lowering of standards and heightened conflict. When consumer confidence is down you would think the last thing a franchisor would want would be customer confidence in a brand to drop or stop.

Our average franchisee is highly entrepreneurial. The franchise system is extremely profitable, and all of our franchisees are businessmen in their own right. They have worked in business in their own right before, and we put a large amount of trust in them.

None of this is complicated at the frontline. It is surprising just how many franchisors can make it really complicated.

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