Home' The Franchise Review : June 2015 Contents The Franchise review
we did financial modelling in every market we wished to
reach, in order to determine which markets would provide the
best environment and suitability for our business model. we
considered culture, economy and government (that is, red
tape). we ended up with a top 10 list of potential new markets,
of which america was number one.
TFR: Do you expect the franchise to operate differently to the
way it does in australia? why/why not?
JO’B: when we first started in australia, the market was extremely
fragmented, with lots of independents and small players trying to
build critical mass. we worked hard to bring some order to it with
our unique franchise model, and to offer real career paths for
people in this industry. we will bring this expertise overseas as
well, introducing our three-tiered business model covering retail,
service and commercial applications.
in saying that, every country obviously has market differences
to contend with, but part of our strategy was to find locations
that made the transition as easy as possible, and that would
add value to the entire network. we will eventually see benefits
for local franchise partners transpire, particularly through an
even stronger buying group, new learnings that we can bring
back to australia, sharing of resources, and technology.
TFR: is Poolwerx taking a support team from australia, or
setting up using a new staff from the united states?
JO’B: as we launched internationally through an acquisition,
we realised very early that success would be enhanced if we
had strong leadership and expertise ‘on the ground’. we have
been able to offer one of our top franchise partners the unique
opportunity to shape and lead the Poolwerx brand overseas.
They are small shareholders of the business now, ensuring
long-term reward for their commitment. This was an extremely
important part of the plan, as we wanted to easily impart the
values, company culture and technical experience that have
been integral to our success in australia.
TFR: what kinds of challenges have you come up against when
working towards international expansion?
JO’B: nothing happens as fast as you want it to, so having
patience has been key in managing our international expansion
effectively – not only for the business, but for me as well.
The key is to maintain focus and be realistic in your
expectations. we launched internationally through an
acquisition, and it took twice as long and cost three times as
much [as we’d expected], but we had our vision in sight at
all times to help us push through the challenging moments.
TFR: would you consider taking the business to other countries?
JO’B: This acquisition is just the beginning for our brand overseas.
Our research indicated a number of markets
[in which] the Poolwerx model could thrive, and when the time and
opportunity is right, we may launch into some of those, too.
TFR: what advice can you give to other australian franchises
looking to branch out overseas?
JO’B: For those considering expansion through acquisition in
particular, i recommend some key steps to ensuring that your
business is ready:
• solid market share – Before considering acquisition, your
company must be in a strong enough position to support the
cost and energy that will be needed. i would recommend
that a company controls at least 10 per cent of its domestic
market prior to any thoughts of expansion through
• strong leadership – you will also need to have people who are
experienced enough to take control of certain aspects of the
business while the chief executive Officer/founder is engaged
elsewhere. you can’t be everywhere and control everything,
so you need a team that you can trust to make the right
decisions for you. This can only be developed with time, so
patience is necessary.
• research – even a well-established company with
a strong domestic market needs to take its time to
properly develop its international launch plans. Prior to
even contemplating businesses to acquire, or countries
to move into, Poolwerx spent more than 12 months
and significant resources putting our global strategy in
place. Thanks to this, we knew exactly what we wanted
and how to go about achieving it when the time came
to look at destinations and companies.
Before considering acquisition, your
company must be in a strong enough
position to support the cost and
energy that will be needed
Even a well-established company with
a strong domestic market needs to
take its time to properly develop its
international launch plans
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