Now that summer’s almost over here in Canada, I’ve started thinking again about the upcoming summer in Australia and New Zealand. Which also starts me thinking about the differences in franchisees in North America, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It’s also something that I was very curious about when we first put our FranchiZe Profile on the market. Since all the sub-cultures in each of the regions are very different, it would stand to reason that the “ideal” franchisee profile would be different as well.
(Authored by Fred Berni, President of Dynamic Performance Systems Inc.)
Now that summer’s almost over here in Canada, I’ve started thinking again about the upcoming summer in Australia and New Zealand.
Which also starts me thinking about the differences in franchisees in North America, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
It’s also something that I was very curious about when we first put our FranchiZe Profile on the market.
Since all the sub-cultures in each of the regions are very different, it would stand to reason that the “ideal” franchisee profile would be different as well.
Cultures in our client countries
But then, at the time the FranchiZe Profile was developed, I also wondered about cultural differences in North America. For instance, in Central Canada, Citizen & Immigration Canada reports that the top source country for immigration was India (16.39%) in 2002.
Western Canada’s top source of immigrants was the People’s Republic of China. Immigrants from the PROC made up 25.55% of immigrants in 2002.
The Southwest and parts of the Southeast U.S. have large Hispanic populations (12.5% of the entire U.S. population).
In Australia 7% of the population are Asian with many more immigrating from Southeast Asia.
In New Zealand, 9.7% of the population is Maori with a large number of Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asians immigrating.
It would be natural to believe that with so many cultures interacting, there would be major differences in what it takes to be a successful franchisee in each region.
It turns out however, that franchisees in these different regions are actually extremely similar.
Differences in Australasian franchise candidates
We have noticed that Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) led the way with lower independence scores in the franchise candidate pool.
Several years ago, some clients mentioned this and asked if I had seen signs of this in other regions as well. At the time, candidates from North America and the U.K still tended to be somewhat more independent.
Over the years, though, things have changed. Now we’re seeing a marked difference in candidate’s independence scores. Currently, the average candidate is scoring at the low end of our identified “ideal” range. Could this be the result of economic changes? We’re not certain. But we are exploring the issue.
In a future newsletter I’ll be looking at a meta study (a study of all the studies we’ve done) completed this past summer which compares our original profile “ideal” ranges with current success ratings.
The “ideal” profile doesn’t change
I do find it interesting and very gratifying that the “ideal” franchisee profile doesn’t change because of cultural influences.
But if you think about, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. Consider: franchisees that treat employees poorly have higher staff turnover rates. This directly affects profitability because of the increased costs of hiring and training staff. Plus, dissatisfied staff tend to treat customers poorly which doesn’t do a lot for bringing in repeat business.
No matter what culture you come from, the vast majority of the time, successful businesses are started up by people that believe they’ll be successful. After all, why start a business if you believe it’s going to fail?
With franchising being the type of business it is, successful people are those that follow the system that’s been developed through a lot of hard work and trial and error.
Business people that don’t listen to customers and respond to their needs generally aren’t in business for long periods.
We all know the tremendous levels of drive and strong work ethic that’s needed to run a successful business. It’s far from simply being a 9-5 job.
Generally, truly successful business people are those that get involved in local store marketing initiatives. Whether it’s charity drives, supporting youth organizations, or something as simple as being truly enthusiastic about the business and talking to as many people as possible about how great the products and/or services are.
A great way to attract franchise candidates
By the way, this enthusiasm also helps drive new franchise candidates to your business. Because the best advertising is the enthusiasm of your existing franchisees.
And of course, it helps quite a bit if the business owner is not painfully shy.
Why would we expect these beliefs and characteristics to be any different just because of where the franchise is located.
English vs. Non-English speaking countries
I’ll grant you, that the FranchiZe Profile is used predominantly in English speaking countries. But we do have studies in which the franchisees were located in various non-English speaking countries.
In these studies, there were no differences between successful franchisees in English speaking and non-English speaking countries. All had the same traits and beliefs our original research identified. No matter what country they operated in.
However, we haven’t as yet conducted a study where all franchisees were located in a non-English speaking country. Because we haven’t been able to get a large sample in a particular country, we can’t say definitively that there are no differences in that one particular country.
So if you’re thinking of expanding overseas, one thing you can count on is that even with the cultural differences, a candidate that would perform great in your home country would also tend to perform great in the new market.