There is no cookie-cutter approach to evaluating the daily operations of a business for sale
Before jumping into owning a franchise business for sale, taking the time to talk to franchisees and witnessing first-hand the day-to-day operations of an individual franchise will help you make a more informed decision. Peter Elligett, CEO of Mrs Fields, discussed the insights that can be gleaned by taking a hands-on approach to understanding how a franchise operates. Mrs Fields has operated in Australia for 30 years, an offshoot of the successful American cookie company that started in 1977. Wanting to be considered more than just another café, Mrs Fields has set out to make people feel good with simple, special moments through their various cookie and savoury options.
When in the market for a business for sale, communicating with franchise owners and spending a couple of days in the physical store will allow for an on the job evaluation process to occur. This is a critical path to success for any potential franchisee looking to buy into a business for sale, regardless of the industry that franchise is involved in, with the experience providing an important input into your final decision. Each franchise has its own identity, and this can only be discovered by taking a hands-on approach to understanding how a franchise business for sale operates as a separate unit to head office. At Mrs Fields, we encourage all prospective franchisees to speak to as many of our outlets as possible so that they can get a complete picture of the day to day experiences of being a franchisee.
The franchise sector can be described as an environment of significant change, with new brands entering and then exiting the market over a short period of time. A franchise system with a longer operating history could be an indicator of its ability to weather a variety of market conditions, providing assurance that the franchise will continue into the future. Mrs Fields has been operating in Australia for over 30 years. Our long tenure is a testament that we are able to change and evolve to stay relevant with the market, and this is in no small part due to our innovative approach to catering to consumer tastes and our excellent operational support to franchisees.
Mrs Fields operates all throughout Australia. While we currently have a smaller footprint in Queensland, our stores there are doing quite well in terms of turnover, giving us a strong foundation to expand our operations in that market. Opportunities also exist in regional Queensland and Victoria, where, coupled with lower rents compared to city locations, we are looking to learn and emulate the success of our particularly entrepreneurial franchisees. For those looking for a business for sale, these two states will be ones to keep an eye on.
Peter Elligett is the CEO of Mrs Fields in Australia