Category Archives: Blog

Perth business brokers win back to back awards and recognition for community contribution

Stirling-based business brokers Ryan Willsher and Kate Longman have won industry awards for excellence for the second year in a row, as well as an award for their contribution to the local community.

The Finn Franchise Brokers who support businesses in Perth’s northern suburbs, from the CBD through to Yanchep, as well as regional Western Australia, received three awards between them at the recent WA Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Excellence in Franchising Regional Awards.

Ryan won the Multi Unit Franchisee of the Year award, after last year winning the Single Unit Franchisee or the Year, while Kate, who assists Ryan in managing his two territories, Perth North and regional WA, again won the Franchise Woman of the Year award.

The Finn Franchise Brokers also received the Franchise Community Responsibility and Contribution award, which recognised their commitment to their community by raising funds for local charities as well as hosting information sessions to educate and empower franchisees.

As well as supporting Perth’s northern suburbs, the team services regional WA including Geraldton, Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Albany, Busselton and Bunbury. Their community involvement included their participation in charity fundraisers. Last year Ryan took part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and raised $4500 and along with Kate raised more than $2000 from the Central Park Plunge. They also donate 1.2 per cent of their revenue to local charities including Lifeline WA, The MS Society and Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s an honour to be recognised again for all the hard work our whole team has put in to our business, The Finn brand, and the franchise community,” Ryan said.

Ryan, who joined Finn Franchise Brokers in 2012, said they were especially humbled to receive the community award.

“Our whole business is geared around giving back to the WA franchise community and the Perth local community. All the charities have a special connection to at least one of our staff and it give us a much higher purpose than just helping people enter and exit a business,” he said.

Finn Franchise Brokers was established in Perth in 2004 and has grown to become Australia’s largest network of business brokers. Servicing the franchise sector, Ryan, Kate and their team help franchisees to sell their business or helps franchisors to find franchisees for their new sites. Support includes assisting buyers and sellers with valuations, business profiling, due diligence, marketing, communications and contracts.

Over the past year, Finn Franchise Brokers have worked with more than 80 different brands across the northern suburbs including Coffee Club, Dome, Zambrero, Poolwerx, Salon Express, Anytime Fitness, Jetts, Red Rooster, Chicken Treat and Ian Diffen.

“We try and take the guessing game and time it takes out of the equation when looking for a good franchise business. Thirty per cent of the businesses we help people buy are bought before they even hit the market,” he said.

Ryan said while there was definitely a share of businesses struggling in WA’s current economic market there were also many who continue to thrive through a focus on “good old fashioned customer service and tight management”.

“We are still achieving very high sales rates for businesses that turn a good profit. I find many people are turning to small business as a good medium to long term investment where the property and stock market are failing to deliver. ”

“Strong brands such as The Coffee Club, Dome, Automasters, Salon Express and others across a range of industries continue to attract buyers.”

Kate said winning the coveted Franchise Woman of the Year award two years in a row was a huge honour.

“Being recognised for the hard work and contribution I make to our franchise group and the franchising community in Western Australia is very humbling and gives me a great sense of achievement and appreciation.”

The state awards were held on May 8 at the Parmelia Hilton Perth. Ryan and Kate are now finalists in the FCA’s national awards which will be held on the Gold Coast on October 10.


Sunshine Coast Finn business broker recognised for excellence in FCA awards

Queensland business broker Dione Mauric’s work supporting Sunshine Coast businesses has been recognised with a win at the 2017 Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) QLD/NT Excellence in Franchising Regional Awards.

The Finn Franchise Broker, who is based on the Sunshine Coast, received the Multi Unit Franchisee of the Year Award at the industry awards held in Brisbane earlier this month.
The award is in recognition of her work supporting local franchises such as The Coffee Club, Guzmen Y Gomez, Subway, Gloria Jeans, Domino’s and Red Rooster.

Dione has been with specialist business broker firm Finn Franchise Brokers since 2010. Along with the Sunshine Coast, she also works with businesses in Far North Queensland. Servicing the franchise sector, she helps franchisees to sell their business or helps franchisors to find franchisees for their new sites. Support includes assisting buyers and sellers with valuations, business profiling, due diligence, marketing, communications and contracts. Other well-known brands she has worked with across the state include Muffin Break, Pizza Hut, Boost Juice, Poolwerx, Battery World and Zarraffa’s Coffee.

Dione said it was an “absolute honour to receive the award in recognition of her team’s hard work across the two Queensland regions. Helping families make life changing decisions by achieving their dream of becoming a business owner, is something we are very passionate about. We’re a professional services business so it’s really important that the franchisees and the clientele within our network territory understand what we do and the value we can add. So we spend a lot of time actually out in the field talking to franchisees on a day-to-day basis, helping them with their exit planning strategies.”

Len Ferguson, Co-Founder and Director of Finn Franchise Brokers, said Dione’s award was well deserved and she had built a “strong reputation on the Sunshine Coast and Far North Queensland as the first person many franchise owners turn to when considering selling their franchise. Dione is one of our first franchise partners and has seen the evolution of our franchise system. Now more than ever Dione is an outstanding contributor to the growth and development of the franchise along with other franchise partners.”

Finn Franchise Brokers was also recognised at the national awards in 2016, when it was named finalist in the category of Franchisor of the Year.

Dione is now a finalist in the FCA’s national awards which will be held on the Gold Coast on October 10.

Finn Franchise Brokers|Man with 2 paths

How to successfully exit your franchise

When you’re ready to sell or exit from your franchise, there are several things to consider which can contribute to the success of your efforts. First, there are exit planning strategies you should consider:

1. An outright sale, when your franchise goes on the market and a purchaser buys it from you, lock, stock, and barrel.

2. If you determine that it is going to be difficult to have an external buyer purchase your business, you could make a structured deal that allows your management team to buy it. There are several ways to do this, but it is highly recommended that you have a 3rd party involved.

3. You could also opt to keep your franchise under management to free up your time. The business needs to be managed correctly though, because the process of exit planning still needs to happen over a 6, 12, or 18-month period.

You should always know the value of your franchise before exiting, and monitor and graph the value of your franchise every month. The best way to acquire a market valuation is to have your business valued by a professional who can work with potential buyers. If you want to sell your franchise in a regular marketplace, then a specialist franchise broker is highly recommended.

Changing your mindset from franchise owner to franchise seller is crucial. Try to remove yourself from the business as much as possible leading up to your exit. The value of your franchise goes up exponentially when it doesn’t rely on you. One of the ways to do this is to think like a shareholder, removing yourself from a lot of the decision making.

It’s important to think like a seller. Remember, a business purchaser will want to look at the franchise history, so be highly aware of the effect that any decision will have on the franchise valuation and ask yourself whether you would like that decision if you were a buyer considering the purchase.

Finally, decide what your goals are from the sale, particularly your personal goals. If you have a business partner or spouse, they should be included in this process regardless if you’re both working in the business or not. Knowing what your next steps in life are, whether that’s playing lots of golf, traveling, or starting a new business venture, will help you stay focused on achieving those goals and on doing whatever’s necessary to ensure a successful exit from your current franchise business.

A specialist franchise broker can help you to map out the right path for you in exiting your franchise. We have worked with over 5000 people in the process of buying and selling their business and can help you to make the right decisions when planning your exit strategy.

Finn Franchise Brokers|Man in suit

How to Get Finance

Getting financing to buy a franchise can be tricky in Australia. Most people will get their funding from one of the big four banks, but there are other options available as well. The best way to find a great financing option is by using a professional commercial finance broker, as opposed to a mortgage broker. This is my number one rule for getting financed when purchasing a franchise business.

Another extremely important tip to consider is to always have a line of credit set up against your property if possible. If you’re looking at buying a franchise business, one of the first things that you should do is to contact a commercial finance broker and set up a line of credit to the highest equity value that you can get against your property. Every business owner or even individual in Australia should always have full access to the equity they have in their property through a line of credit, just in case . Once you have that set up, you don’t have to worry about the bank denying you later when you might fall on hard times.

When the time comes that you might want to buy a franchise business, you will then have the flexibility you need, financially speaking . For example, if your house is worth $700,000 and you owe $100,000 on it, you can probably set up around a $400,000 line of credit against your property. If the franchise business you’re considering buying is $300,000, it may be more advantageous to use your equity line than to obtain a business loan at all, especially since no bank is going to allow you to have your property stand alone against the franchise.

You may want to keep your property out of the deal, but the bank isn’t going let that happen. It’s your largest asset in most cases, so they’ll want it as security. You also may have much less pressure by using a home equity line, since the interest rate could be half of what a business loan might be, and the repayment period could be twice as long or more.

Another tip – don’t quit your job right away . Establish your finances first. Find the franchise you want to buy and get your loan in place while you’re still gainfully employed. This will make structuring your financing much easier on your broker and you.

Don’t forget to have your documentation ready – pay slips, tax returns, mortgage details, and bank statements from the last two years. Organise them, scan them in your computer, and put them on a flash drive. When you go to meet with your finance broker, they’ll be able to fast-track your loan application.

The last tip that I want to give you is this – Be open to changing banks. If your commercial finance broker is doing their job right, they’ll be looking at what many different banks and other lenders can offer you. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal to your bank, unless you can get a much better deal elsewhere. And in the end, it’s more important that you get the best deal possible and have access to your money as quickly as possible.

Finn Franchise Brokers|marketing strategy

The 9 Local Area Marketing Strategies You Need to Know

In franchising, there are generally two types of advertising and marketing strategies.

The first, often referred to as ‘global’ advertising and marketing, is usually implemented by the Franchisor and is funded by the advertising and marketing levy paid by franchisees. Some examples include yellow pages, newspaper advertising, television, radio, point of sale (P.O.S.) posters, counter stands, brochures, etc.

The second is ‘local area’ marketing and advertising, and is usually implemented and funded by the franchisee. Some Franchisors provide local area marketing support in the form of funding assistance, materials, and proven methods. Ensure your business is spotless. Make sure your product is presented in a tidy, organized manner. Remember, your customers can see behind the counter too – impress them. Even if it’s not your responsibility, make sure the area surrounding your business is clean and tidy.

We all know business is tough, and in order to maximize your returns, you need to ‘go the extra mile’ to promote your business. The better franchise owners add value to their business by enjoying the benefits of the ‘global’ promotions and overlaying their own ‘local area’ promotions.

As each franchise system, location, and franchisee is different – there is no perfect model to market your business in your local area. Here are 9 ideas to get your brain into action!

1. Loyalty Cards
Discounting is not good for your image. Value-adding is much better! A good example is the ice-cream and juice franchise that offers shopping center staff a card that entitles them to every fifth juice free!

2. Free Samples
Let potential customers experience your product! How about the bakery café franchise that hands out freshly baked bread samples at the front of their stores?

3. Cross Promotions
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours! When the next Harry Potter book comes out, why don’t you team up with the local bookstore franchise? You can hand out a Harry Potter voucher to your customers, and they can hand out your voucher to their customers!

4. Affiliations
Build that repeat business! So you own a café franchise – have you approached a local real estate company and offered your business as a place to conduct their Monday morning sales meeting?

5. Customer of the Month
Do something different – create excitement! Every month, randomly select one of your customers and refund their purchase in full! Additionally, award them with life-membership of your business, which entitles them to something special during every visit (such as a complimentary coffee). Plus, you’ll never forget their name.

6. Feedback Forms
Promote the fact that you are constantly improving your business! Make your feedback forms discreet and easy for your customers to fill out and hand in. Choose one suggestion per week and tell the world how you listened and took action!

7. Sponsor a Local Hero
Feel good and do good! There is always someone in your community who could use some financial support for a good cause. How about the bakery café owner who advertised that the value of every muffin sold for one month would be donated to a local hero raising money for charity?

8. Free Footy Tipping Competition
Every week, they make contact with you! Pitch in for a decent prize such as $500 or $1000, and offer all your customers the chance to join your footy tipping competition – free. You’ll create a real community buzz (and probably make the local paper too)!

9. Promote Your Point of Difference
What makes you better than your competitor? Tell your customers why they should choose you. Have you heard about the dentist who promoted that if you felt any pain, he would refund your money twice over? Or the coffee bar that guaranteed every customer a newspaper would be available to read with his or her coffee?

Finn Franchise Brokers|franchise expert

Building the right team to expertly sell your franchise

There are times when a franchisee of a business needs to move on for one reason or another. Sometimes this is due to the franchisee being unsuccessful in running the business, and other times it’s because they have been very successful and accrued profitable value in the business.

More than 10,000 franchise businesses change hands every year in Australia, approximately 15% of the total franchises in the country. One of the primary questions that comes up in these situations is how to go about the sale and how to expertly sell your franchise. Should the franchisee ask the franchisor for help with the sale or should they sell it on their own? Many will ask former franchisees that have sold their own franchises, ask their accountants for advice, contact the franchisor to help them sell, or hire a business broker. All of these have merit, but there are a few things to consider when making the decision.

One thing to keep in mind is that a franchisee is not autonomous. There are always franchisor requirements that need to be met with any sale of a franchise business and the franchisor is generally the final decision maker on whether any sale goes through. This is because the potential buyer has to meet all of the franchisor’s requirements to be a new franchisee, just as the current franchisee had to originally.

Either way the franchisor will be involved in the sale, it’s only a question of the extent of their involvement. Two reasons that franchisor involvement is advantageous is because of their obvious knowledge about the business and their ability to sell the positives of it to potential buyers.

However, the franchisors recruitment team has a significant conflict of interest here. Their goal is to grow the network and bring new franchise locations into the fold. It’s more than possible for them to try to convince the potential buyer to open a new franchise rather than buying an already existing one.  The franchisee then having to go back to square one looking for a new buyer. Additionally, the franchisor has no financial incentive to help the franchisee sell the existing franchise, whereas a business broker has every incentive to help them sell they only earn a commission once a business is sold.

Another important point which is sometimes overlooked is licensing. Just as you need a license to operate a vehicle or sell liquor, you also need a license to legally oversee and be involved with the sale of a business. Most franchisors don’t have such a license. If that sale of the franchise is managed by an unlicensed person, the franchisee could end up in significant legal troubles if things go badly. Operating outside of legal boundaries, even if unknowingly, is always a very bad idea. –

The best advice is to sell the franchise yourself using a legally qualified broker, who can give you the best of all worlds. Your broker will work closely with the franchisor, as well as supply you with numerous leads consisting of people who are already looking to purchase a franchise business. Hiring a broker generally makes a sale happen much faster, and will always turn out to be the best deal for everyone involved – the seller, the buyer, and the franchisor.


Finn Franchise Brokers|franchise meeting

What Every New Employer Should Know About the Hiring Process

Becoming a new employer can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Many new employers experience a learning curve far greater than they anticipated, so it is imperative to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible as you embark on your new leadership position. Keep reading to learn about the top hiring tips for new employers.

Before You Hire Anyone
You can master the interview and hiring process with the right information and tools. Before hiring a new employee, ensure that you understand your state’s labor laws. Do you know the minimum wage? Are you familiar with the leave and notice of termination requirements?

Now, you must brainstorm to make sure that you are aware of the role you would like to fill. Determine your businesses’ needs, and identify how a new employee can fill them. What will their job title be? How will they fulfill these duties?

The Hiring Process
Once you have an idea of the position you are trying to fill, you want to guarantee that you are reaching out to the best potential employees. Analyse how you are advertising for the job. Ask yourself if you are marketing to attract desirable employees, and make a shortlist of any applicants who fit the bill.

Keep your interviews to a very short list, and only ask questions pertaining to the skills and abilities needed to fulfill the job in question. When you find the candidate you would like to choose, then offer them the position in a form of writing. If you would like to make the job offer personable by calling, then provide a back up agreement in writing to allow for written evidence of the agreement.

You’ve Hired An Employee…Now What?
First and foremost, it is pertinent to put together an informative welcoming packet for new employees. This welcoming packet will allow you to set expectations and prepare your future employees before they set foot in the door.

In order to put together a stellar welcoming packet, there are a few staple items to include. Here is our list of these essentials:

 • Letter of Engagement

This should be one of the first papers inside of the welcoming packet. Use this letter to inform your new employee of important information such as: their job description, the agreement of their job title and classification, pay rate and payment plan, expectations, and any confidentiality policies.

Expectations can include anything from dress code to the policies, however you want to make sure that you are not overloading your future employee with too much information. Sift through all of these possibilities and decide what is most important.

Also, try to think of some minor details may help them feel more comfortable, such as where and to whom they should report on their first day and how they are to fill out their time card.

• Parental Consent

Depending on the state in which your business resides, you may be obligated to provide a parental consent form. Make sure to check under the Child Employment Act and your state’s requirements.

If you are going to include a parental consent form, then include this paper with any tax forms as well—such as the Tax File Number Declaration form and the Standard Choice form.

• Staff Handbook

If you are a franchisor, then your franchise will likely have a staff handbook. Including the staff handbook within the welcoming packet offers your new employee to familiarise themselves with the mission statement, code, and core values of your business. Often times, vital information, such as social networking policies or emergency protocol, is included within this staff handbook; therefore, it is helpful for you as an employer to provide this ahead of time.

• Training Requirements

Provide your new employee with a paper explaining how to begin their training requirements. Many franchises and businesses are now using online training methods, so even if this is true for your business it can still be helpful to have a paper explaining login information and any troubleshooting explanations.

Even if the only form of job training is on-the job, you can still provide the employee with a mentor and their contact information. This will offer your new employee the opportunity to reach out to this mentor and ask any questions they may be hesitant to ask a new employer.

• Emergency Contact Details

 It is legally mandated for you to have emergency contact information on the books at your store at all times, so you must acquire this information from your employees as soon as possible. It is highly advisable to create a standard Emergency Contact form to include within this welcoming packet.

If you are a part of a franchise, then your franchisor may already have an emergency contact template ready for you to use.

Why Should I Follow All of This Advice?

Taking the time to prepare for your future employees will allow for a successful future as an employer. Without these precautionary steps, a few disasters can occur:

• Without proper policies and expectations outlined, any employee/employer communication can become unclear.

• Welcoming packets and preparedness demonstrates meticulousness and a superb work ethic—qualities that you want to be associated with your business.

• Future employees may enter their first days on the job confused, nervous, and feeling unwelcomed without prior information.

Assure that your role as an employer begins as seamlessly as you would like by following all of these tips, tricks, and pieces of advice.

Finn Franchise Brokers|business sale

Selling Your Business Off-Market

There are traditionally a lot of off-market sales for large transactions in Australia, like large real estate, commercial property, and business sales, but this is also starting to happen more with the sale of small and medium businesses as well. An off-market sale is when the business is sold somewhat “under the radar”, meaning it isn’t listed for the general public to see.

It makes common sense that the more people that know about a business that’s for sale the more interest there will be, which can also mean more demand which drives the price up and usually means a faster sale. So why would someone want to sell their business off-market? Generally speaking, the owner doesn’t want the word out for a variety of reasons.

For instance, your competitors might use the knowledge to their advantage – “You should choose us instead of them. They’re selling the business and who knows what might happen with that.” Or you might have key staff that decide to look for a new job before they potentially (in their minds) end up working for new owners that might replace them with their own people or change the business model significantly. It’s the ‘devil you know versus the devil you don’t’ way of thinking.

If the sale of your business takes a long time – as much as several years – the internal changes or loss of competitive advantage can make the purchase less desirable to potential buyers. Selling off-market can help prevent that from happening. Another factor could be the time itself. If the business hasn’t sold for a long period of time and everyone can see that, the perception could become that the business isn’t worth buying for one reason or another.

The key to selling your business off-market is to partner with a broker that has two things:

1) a large database of contacts and potential buyers, and

2) a strong motivation to make a deal happen for you.

A business broker like Finn Franchise Brokers, the largest business broker in Australia which receives more than 1,000 new enquiries each month about business purchase opportunities, is the kind of partner an off-market seller dreams of. The volume of potential purchasers in that database is almost equivalent to listing the business publicly, without all the unwanted publicity.

Steve Finn, the founder and co-owner of Finn Franchise Brokers, gives a word of warning to potential sellers that may want to test the waters of an off-market sale without committing: “You either want to sell it or you don’t. Don’t approach a broker and say, ‘If someone comes along that could be interested, let me know’. That doesn’t really work, because the broker won’t feel as confident in using their influence with a potential buyer to take a transaction to them that maybe could happen or maybe not.”

According to Finn, the best strategy is to let the broker prepare all of the information on the company in advance, so that they’re “armed and dangerous with all of the information on due diligence” that’s needed to lead the potential buyer to a fast decision.

Finn Franchise Brokers|business sale

How to Sell Your Business to an Employee

When you decide to sell a business, the main obstacle that stalls that process is usually finding the right buyer. For lots of business owners, the answer to this problem is often sitting in morning meetings already – an employee that is interested in the business. Is selling to an employee a good idea? There are several things to consider before deciding yes or no.

First of all, would they want the business? They already know that the copy machine doesn’t work quite right all the time. They also know that one of your biggest customers hasn’t been very happy lately and might move on to a different supplier. Maybe they’re a key player in your organisation and responsible for some fairly major operational aspects.

For that matter, just because they know the business doesn’t necessarily mean they have the skills or entrepreneurial spirit that you have to continue the business as it is now or take it to greater heights. If you’re at all concerned about the business continuing to be what you’ve made of it or what your legacy will become once you’re out of the picture, they may or may not be a smart choice.

Secondly, there’s the matter of funding. It should go without saying that if they are your employee you know at least what their income is, even if their entire financial situation isn’t as obvious. If they had the money to buy a business, would they be working for someone else to start with? Entertaining the idea of selling to someone you aren’t sure can afford the purchase can be a tedious exercise in futility, not to mention that it could end up costing you the relationship with them.

Funding options can be dodgy sometimes in this kind of situation, and it’s not uncommon for the employee to be unable to get bank or investor funding. That leaves either a rich family member to lend them the funds (which isn’t going to happen 99% of the time) or what is known as vendor financing – that is, you financing them. If they can’t get any other kind of funding to start with, this can be extremely risky and end with you moving back in to take control again while possibly losing the employee in the process. Again, a much less than ideal way to go.

If you do go this route, you also put yourself in the situation of disclosing your own financials to an employee – with no guarantee that they will become the new owner. From my experience, 9 times out of 10 this type of situation falls apart. That leaves you still owning and running the business, now with an employee that has full knowledge of all your financial dealings. Less than ideal is a mild description of that situation.

With all of that said, selling your business to an employee isn’t impossible and it does happen successfully sometimes. The key to making this happen, based on many such deals that we’ve made happen over the years, is to have an expert business broker involved with the deal. The business broker is a third party buffer between you and any of the potential problems we’ve mentioned, giving you a large measure of protection against things going badly.

90 percent of the work to sell a business is finding the right buyer. Having the right broker to structure the deal, whether that potential buyer is an employee or not, makes that 90% much simpler and is more likely to lead to a smooth and successful sale.

Finn Franchise Brokers|franchise sale

A Franchise Affair – Doing What You Love

Franchising is one of the safest and fastest ways to run a successful business using proven ideas, brands and systems. But which franchise should you choose? Above all else, the most important factor in choosing the best franchise is finding one that you will enjoy. Loving what you do raises your chances of success significantly. Passionate franchise owners naturally invest the time and energy into enhancing products, services, customers and markets, eventually becoming experts in their area of business.

The best way to choose the right franchise is to examine your goals, likes, dislikes and expectations. Owning any business requires you to sell a product or service and buying a franchise gives you a game plan but not customers. Using profit projections when selecting a franchise is not always the best indicator. What is profitable for one franchisee, may not be for the next depending on location but also on their passion for what they do, personality, natural abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

There are hundreds of different franchises, and there will usually be more than one in your chosen business area. Find a franchise that fits most with your business style and lifestyle. Do you like dealing with members of the public or would you prefer selling business to business? Do you primarily prefer to work on weekends or Monday to Friday? Are you happier working on your own or would you be good at recruiting, training and managing employees? Have you identified your strengths? Some franchisors will empowers these skills more than others. Do you also understand any business skills that you may need to develop? Certain franchisors may offer more support in these areas and this should also become part of your selection criteria.

As with any new business venture, you need to carefully consider whether you have got the right skills and attitude to run a successful franchise. Once you sign up, you are committed! It’s important to find a specialist franchise broker that can first help you to be clear about the lifestyle you want to lead, your financial and career goals as well as your expectations of yourself and your potential franchisor. Once you have your selection criteria defined, look at all of the opportunities that meet your guidelines, even if it’s something you hadn’t previously envisioned. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and to make sure that your new business will facilitate a lifestyle that you will love and deserve.