In a market where everyone is selling the same thing, as a franchise… how do you make yourself stand out and be different?
As many franchised businesses are trading under the franchisor’s brand name, they are effectively a subsection of a larger, established company. Many of the franchisees shared common qualities such as:
- An excellent set of brand values.
- A strong marketing strategy.
- Access to a diverse network.
- A unique product or service offering.
- A large customer base.
Whilst these qualities make a strong foundation for any business, we found that the payment collection and processes were usually not part of the overall structure and many franchisees were left to find their own payment solutions.
We recently attended the bfa annual conference at the Vox in Birmingham. This two-day event was packed full of engaging keynote speakers and a comprehensive educational programme aimed at helping the attendees improve their business and make essential efficiencies within their organisation.
The bfa states:
“The conference has adapted to meet the needs of the franchising industry as it continues to show record growth. At its core, the focus is around education – how to maximise the potential of your brand, how to create a positive work environment, how to iron out pain points in franchising, and which services to use to get your business in tip-top shape.”
During our time at the event, we learned a lot about the various attendees from their pain points to their tips of success. What stood out to us was the clear advantage that Direct Debits give businesses in this space.
Getting The Edge
A simple yet equally effective way to scale up a franchise business was through managing the payment collection process. By choosing the right Direct Debit partner, this helps to maintain franchise’s cash flow, as they will be able to know exactly how much money is received (and when).
By taking control of the payment collection process, franchises also have the added benefit of reducing lengthy administration and reconciliation time. Not only will this help the business to stand out, but it will allow for better business planning in the long term. According to Bacs (PayUK), 43% of SMEs spend a combined total of £6.7 billion in administration costs chasing late payments.
There are other advantages of Direct Debit payments. Firstly, they can set up payments in both variable and continuous amounts which are vital, especially if the company is providing multiple products and services. Secondly, any ad-hoc payments that the business incurs can be paid in a timely fashion via Direct Debit, for example, if customers wanted to purchase a one-off product and service at any stage, companies can process them alongside other Direct Debits they might have. Moreover, if a franchise was to increase its prices, such as a result of inflation, Direct Debit offers the flexibility to increase the payment all at one time, without the administration involved with chasing standing orders, amending bank transfers and following up on debtors.
The event was a fantastic opportunity for us to discuss the benefits of Direct Debit with the front line troops of franchise businesses.
London & Zurich are a member of the bfa (The British Franchise Association) which has allowed us to a have a more tailored approach in providing payment solutions to aid franchise growth in the UK. We want to enable SMEs and franchises to function and thrive. As a Direct Debit and card payment provider, we use economies of scale to minimise your costs while providing a cutting-edge service.
To find out how we can help contact us today.