March 15, 2019
FRANdata Australia today launched a new objective ratings system for Australian franchise brands. If US experience is a guide the ratings system will quickly become the key industry standard for performance assessment and comparison. (more…)
October 9, 2017
Franchise information and ratings specialists, FRANdata, have released a list of Australian Franchise Brands deemed to be ‘Finance Ready’.
Inclusion on the list is based on assessment against a set of criteria developed from measuring and analysing performance over nearly 30 years. The assessed criteria includes key system information, financial benchmarks, transparency measures and recognition of existing lending relationships. Franchisees of ‘Finance Ready’ brands are expected to experience an improved lender experience from the effort and investment of their franchisor.
44 brands have been initially named with the list including a diverse mix of food, retail and service based franchise systems. The list also reflects a mix of larger established names, emerging brands and those with a lower capital entry cost.
FRANdata’s Australian CEO, Darryn McAuliffe, said “we are seeing a welcome increase in interest from franchise lenders on the whole but this remains heavily reliant on brands providing good information to lenders and strong support to their franchisees. Our ‘Finance Ready’ assessment aims to recognise those brands we have identified as providing that information and building, or already enjoying, good relationships with franchise lenders.”.
FRANdata expects to add more brands to the list in the coming weeks.
The list can be found here FRANdata’s Finance Ready Australian Franchise Brands
For further Information please contact:
Darryn McAuliffe – Telephone: 02 8346 6093, Email: [email protected]
September 19, 2017
FRANdata, a leading reporting and rating authority on franchising in Australia, has today announced the newly appointed General Counsel Damira Banaszak to bring greater legal clarity for the franchise industry.
Damira’s appointment follows an extensive market search for this strategically and commercially important role.
Mr Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata said “we are delighted to welcome Damira to FRANdata’s Executive Committee. With the rapidly changing marketplace and continued execution of our growth strategy, we require high level legal advice and support from our General Counsel and team”.
We are extremely proud that Damira’s abilities have been recognised nationally, and she is now heading a new Compliance Standard for FRANdata.
“Damira brings over 30 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer, both in private practice and in senior in-house counsel roles within the financial services sector. We are delighted to announce her appointment.”
Her background includes significant corporate, retail, franchising and banking experience, including senior in house legal counsel responsibilities with both Westpac and the NAB. She has particular expertise in corporations law, franchising code of conduct compliance, ASIC and regulatory compliance, privacy and anti-money laundering legislation, dispute resolution and commercial negotiation.
As Frandata Australia General Counsel, Damira’s primary focus will be on creating processes for quality franchise brands to promote their compliance and commitment to higher standards. She will also oversee the legal aspects of the Australian Franchise Registry, and assist in training lawyers and financiers as part of Frandata’s Registered Franchise Lending Specialist and Accredited Franchise Lawyer programs.
Damira commented, “This is a rare opportunity to work across a new compliance standard for the franchise sector especially at an exciting time in FRANdata’s growth trajectory in Australia.”
Damira’s new appointment will enhance greater transparency in the sector which boasts over 1,100 franchise systems and 70,000 franchise businesses.
“The new standard led by Damira gives responsible franchisees the opportunity to strengthen the credibility in franchising,” said Mr McAuliffe.
May 2, 2016
The partnership will provide the FCA with unique access to Frandata industry information and build on recent initiatives to enhance the public perception of franchising. It will also enable franchise systems to individually and publicly differentiate themselves in the eyes of regulators, financiers, prospective franchisees and the media should they wish to do so.
The Australian Franchise Registry (TM), is a voluntary low cost registration platform that enables genuine franchise brands to promote their commitment to compliance and signal the availability of other key stakeholder information. Prospective franchisees, lenders and other key observers of the franchise sector can all search participating brands through the registry’s free publicly accessible search function.
July 17, 2015
Today FRANdata Australia released its first report on Australian Franchising. The Report does call into question some of the macro-economic data, as the Australian Franchise Registry™ has to date only been able to validate the substantive existence of around 900 franchise brands, rather than the oft quoted 1,100. This may also call into question the accuracy of assertions as to the number of franchised businesses, industry turnover and employment; although the Registry does confirm that the sector is a very large feature of the Australian economy. The voluntary registration feature of the Australian Franchise Registry™ that enables franchise systems to confirm their regulatory compliance is a strong positive for the sector.
“Questions will be asked of the franchise sector if the number of confirmed franchise systems does not increase substantially by October 31, 2015, being the deadline for updating franchise disclosure documents. One would expect that regulators keen to ensure regulatory compliance would focus on franchise systems without “confirmed” status, as that could be due to non-compliance. Given the ease of registration and only nominal cost there really is no excuse for franchise systems not to register.” Says Darryn McAuliffe FRANdata Australia CEO.
Data from the World Franchise Council shows the potential for expansion in the South East Asian region, with countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Indonesia seeming to be experiencing the exponential growth Australia enjoyed in the 1990’s, whilst it is now clear that Australia is a mature franchise market. The challenge this represents is significant given around 75% of franchise systems have fewer than 25 franchisees, which could well be under viable critical mass. FRANdata Australia sees industry consolidation likely to continue, and probably increase.
In the first ever study of franchise unit turnover the Report confirms that turnover is within expectations. The 11% turnover rate is relatively consistent with the average franchise agreement term of 10 years, although the 18% turnover figure for food concepts is more worrying. This could be caused by a number of factors – challenges of leasing longevity in major shopping centres, long trading hours, businesses being easier to sell, harder working conditions etc. The relatively high number of “transfers” is positive, assuming the reporting of transfers is accurate, but the high number of “ceased other” merits further examination.
The Report also contains interesting information on franchise royalty methodology, marketing contributions, initial franchise fees, renewal fees and other matters that will assist franchise systems to benchmark their performance against their peers.
July 16, 2015
If you are serious about buying a franchise you are in demand. With reportedly more than 1,110 franchise brands operating in Australia, nothing is more important to the ongoing success of a franchise business model than finding and keeping good franchisees.
If the old franchise adage “in business for yourself but not by yourself” rings true then your first step is to make sure you partner with a quality brand that has “got it together”.
There are many ingredients of a quality franchise and some are easier to spot than others. To start your search a few basic questions can be asked:
Is it a good franchise citizen?
Quality brands desire to be identified as a genuine and transparent brand. Franchise Council of Australia membership and registration with the Australian Franchise Registry are two excellent indicators that brands are serious about their reputation and that of the franchise sector; recognising the importance of a unified, representative voice and the role improved information plays in supporting that representation.
Is it lender friendly?
Smart brands recognise the importance of good relationships with lenders to help prospective franchisees buy a franchise. Accredited status is generally granted to brands that meet certain minimum requirements and have been through a comprehensive review process. These brands are allocated dedicated bank contacts and their franchisees generally enjoy more consistent and predictable treatment. Whilst only a minority of brands enjoy formal bank
accreditations, a growing number have taken additional steps to make themselves more “lender friendly” by creating tools that help their franchisees obtain finance.
Does it have Code compliant documentation?
The Australian franchise sector is arguably the most heavily regulated in the world. It operates under a Franchising Code of Conduct which is overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This code has recently been updated and quality franchise brands will be pleased to demonstrate they have updated both their disclosure document and franchise agreement.
Is there comprehensive information available?
Quality franchise brands have nothing to hide and are generally willing to share detailed information to help prospective franchisees quickly determine if they are the “right fit” for the brand.
Does it have strong training and support programs?
Quality franchise brands provide strong initial training to ensure the success of new franchisees and effective ongoing support to keep them and the overall brand successful. It is worth asking them to outline exactly what they do and then validate that with some existing franchisees. Some of the most worthwhile initial training can come through “on the job” practical experience and training days. This is provided by many quality brands and is also used by them as a key tool in confirming the suitability of prospective franchisees.
Does it have good public hygiene?
We live in a world of abundant public information through social media and sophisticated internet search engines. Franchising certainly gets its share of exposure and some is adverse. It is worth checking brands you have an interest in to see if there are any issues you require the franchisor to provide satisfaction with. Google, Safari and other search engines are a good start but it is also worthwhile digging deeper on the ACCC’s website to identify any franchising investigations the brand may have been involved with.
Is it growing in a disciplined manner?
Whilst growth is the aspirational objective of nearly every franchise brand, and a good pointer to market acceptance of their concept, nothing sets a franchise brand up for failure like undisciplined growth. Sadly innocent franchisees can also be the subject of heavy collateral damage when the day of reckoning arrives for those brands that have grown too quickly and allowed items like excessive rents, weak franchisee recruitment and poor support to accelerate their demise. A much better percentage play is generally achieved through finding brands that are growing in a steady and sustainable manner.
How does it help underperforming franchisees?
Even the best systems have franchisees performing below expectations. The good ones have a plan to help and can often call out specific examples of what they have done. Look for a strong support program with an ability to name early warning signs.
What key relationships can benefit you?
Multiple units make franchise brands prime targets for many equipment and service providers. More importantly many quality franchise brands leverage their buying power to provide cost effective solutions for franchisees with items they most need to protect and grow their business. A good example is customised insurance policies to cover the key risks of their particular business.
If you, and your advisors, like the answers to these questions you may have found a brand that can claim that it has ‘got it together’.
August 4, 2014
FRANdata Australia CEO Darryn McAuliffe provides some advice for those looking at lending or funding options before they buy a franchise business. Turns out your new Franchisor and existing franchisees in the system can be a great source of advice when it comes to finding a lender familiar with the way the business works.
June 29, 2014
Glenn Walford of Franchise Buyer speaks with Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata Australia, about the business and services they are providing to the franchise sector.
June 27, 2014
News Article published on QSR news website
Dissatisfied franchisees are avoiding banks and embracing other options.
It is not cheap to set up a new franchise store, and most entrepreneurs would need to borrow money in order to start up their favorite quick service restaurant (QSR) such as a frozen yoghurt shop or Mexican restaurant. Banks have traditionally filled in the role of a provider for these entrepreneurs, extending credit to those they think can become successful and pay back the loan plus interest premium.
June 11, 2014
Federal Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson MP launching the Australian Franchise Registry at the RACV Club Melbourne, June 11, 2014
April 16, 2014
FRANdata Enters Australian Market with Launch of New Office in Sydney
Arlington, VA January 13, 2014 –FRANdata, an independent research company that has been providing objective information, analysis and consulting about the franchising sector since 1989, announced today their expansion into the Australian market with the opening of their new office in Sydney.
Article published on FRANdata US website.
April 6, 2014
Darryn McAuliffe CPA has been involved in franchising both as a banker and now as chief executive, Australia, for FRANdata, one of the US’s largest providers of business intelligence on franchising. The franchising sector has given many small business people their start, but the lenders funding these enterprises need more information.
Member profile published on CPA’s In The Black digital website.
March 3, 2014
Comments from Small Business Minister have roused market participants.
Last week, Bruce Bilson MP, Federal Minister for Small Business commented that “the availability of finance had not improved enough since Australia’s recovery from the global financial crisis and opportunities for growth and employment were being lost”.
News Article published on QSR news website.
March 1, 2014
FRANdata commenced Australian operations in 2013 to help the Australian Franchise Sector address key strategic challenges and assist qualifying brands to take advantage of emerging opportunities. The business is led by CEO, Darryn McAuliffe, and is supported by an advisory board of well-known franchising and professional services leaders, including PKF Lawler Director, Anthony Sullivan.
Article in Chartered Accounting (Lawlerlink Autumn 2014) publication.
February 27, 2014
Franchisees and budding franchisors need better financial funding opportunities say franchise sector representatives who are supporting the Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson’s stance on ‘ultra conservative’ lenders and regulators. His comments during a speech at a G20 Conference in Sydney last week drew support from both the Franchise Council of Australia and Frandata.
News article published on the Franchising Magazine website.
February 14, 2014
Article published on FRANdata US website.
January 4, 2014
FRANdata Australia has formed a partnership with the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) to provide an internationally recognised source of independent information and analysis for the Australian Franchising Sector.
Initially FRANdata will source and review information from qualifying franchise systems and other sources to provide an independent accreditation. A key component of that accreditation will be the production of a Bank Credit Report that will provide valuable insights to both traditional and new finance providers.
Accredited franchisors will also have the ability to tap FRANdata’s extensive franchise data warehouse to help shape their future strategic decisions.
Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata Australia, says that whilst the Australian franchise sector remains in a substantially healthy state, key challenges such as franchisee recruitment and capital access remain as recurring themes. “FRANdata is about producing independent information that will showcase the strengths and overall balance of our best franchise brands,” says McAuliffe. “Just as importantly it will provide the catalyst for emerging brands to focus on any areas that require refinement or development.
“It is a natural fit for our business to partner with the FCA given their status as the peak industry body and their enduring commitment to raising standards in the franchise sector. FRANdata looks forward to working and growing with the Australian Franchise community as brands continue to strive for improvement and differentiation in a crowded market.”
November 25, 2013
Franchise Buyer’s Glenn Walford interviews Lawler Partners Director and FRANdata CEO on franchise funding at the National Franchise Convention, Gold Coast October 2013.