Australia saw a major increase in employment in 2017, with a record high new jobs occurring every month last year. In Victoria, Treasurer Tim Pallas described his state as leading the nation in job creation since 2014, adding 250 jobs a day. According to Pallas, “In three years, we have created more than 280,000 jobs and projects to maintain employment momentum.”
However, the latest figures shows that extraordinary pace of growth has now slowed. By state comparison, not all of Australia is booming with jobs. New South Wales was the state with highest employment rate in 2017 while Victoria lagged behind. At the same time, there has been an increasing trend for Victorians to start independent businesses or run their own franchises.
While the Victorian unemployment rate remained low, it still rose from 5.4 percent in November 2017, to 5.5% in December 2017. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Jobs and innovation recently declared that, “the best form of welfare is a job”. Regular employment is still the preferred option for most people but with tightening conditions and redundancies in traditional sectors, an increasing number of Victorians are looking at alternatives like self-employment or franchising.
Australia’s franchising sector has continued to perform strongly, against the backdrop of relatively slow economic growth. The franchising sector is estimated to contribute $146 billion to the Australian economy and employ approximately 472,000 people. According to Raghu Rajakumar, a director at Eden Exchange, which runs marketing recruitment campaigns for franchises across Australia, ”We’ve seen a tremendous spike in the number of Victorians applying for franchises. Enquiries have increased by more than 50% compared to this same time last year”.
He went on to say, “There is a large cohort of highly experienced Victorians in their late 40 to late 50s. With more traditional industries being replaced or digitised, this group often faces bias from employers when applying for middle manager or senior manager roles. Many are transitioning into self employment and see franchising as an opportunity to be their own boss and control their own finances. This has particularly been the case in Victoria when we saw redundancies in the manufacturing and finance sectors as well as mining and FIFO workers returning to the state after stints in WA and QLD.”
He also noted a greater shift in Victoria’s business culture and further internationalisation of the franchising sector in the state,“Melbourne has had a population boom over the last few years with a large proportion of international migrants entering the workforce. Self run businesses are often ingrained in their cultural backgrounds. Running a franchise is often seen as way to create independence while also being able to leverage off a ready made system that is already meshed in with the Australian market and business culture.”
According to Ryan Delon, Director of Talentscope, a boutique recruitment agency in Southbank Melbourne,“Melbourne experienced consistent and stable job growth over the last 10 years, and Victoria added 100,000 jobs in the last 12 months.”
With a wide portfolio of industries in Talentscope’s corner, Ryan takes a bullish view towards the digital, marketing and engineering industries and believes they are proving to be the fast movers. He also believes that there is an increasing trend for people to be involved with a range of ventures to generate income. “We are in an exciting era where a traditional 9-5 job is not the only avenue. Diversifying your income streams is something people should be doing regardless of their employment status”.
Small business and franchising can be a lucrative option. However, it is not for everyone. A substantial proportion of franchise owners are former employees looking to enjoy an independent life free of corporate restraints. Rather than trying to climb the corporate ladder, they want to reap the benefits of their hard work.
The Business First Magazine recently reported that franchises are on a rise, “From escaping workplace bullying to buying a new career after redundancy strikes, internal motivations are driving a booming franchise industry in Australia. People from all walks of life are throwing in the towel for an opportunity to call the shots on how things are done and running their own business”. There are thousands of pathways available but you need to know where to look.
While recent media attention has focused negative stories on franchising, a recent IBISWorld’s industry report on Tradesman and Handyman Franchises in Australia indicated that the industry grew by an average of 3.4% a year over the last five years, with revenue set to hit more that $1.1 billion by 2021. A contributing factor is the fact that the building boom has pulled many skilled tradies on to large sites, creating a real demand for skilled handymen.
This has been reflected in interest in speciality franchises in the sector. Graeme Clarke is the director of Thermawood, a double glazing franchise company which has been expanding across Australia. According to Graeme, “We’re seeing high volumes of interest from handymen and construction industries for people looking to be their own boss. Like anything they need to have the right attitude and taking on a franchise isn’t buying a job. They still need to work at it as it is their own business to run. The right attitude towards this need to be at the top of the criteria for a good franchisee.”
Other industries such as swimming pool maintenance are seeing interest from the corporate white collar sector. Brett Blair, GM for Jim’s Pool Care Australia has noted that people from all industries are becoming a part of the franchise. Brett started out in the IT industry himself. He pursued a career in pool care when a work-life balance became the priority for his new family.
According to Brett, “On top of everything, a franchise offers the benefit of continuous training and support, for those who want to succeed. Running your own business relies on individual drive and motivation from those that want you to succeed. A franchisor is more like a facilitator rather than a dictator to a franchisee.”
Alan Dean, who heads up tennis court maintenance franchise Sportzing started out in the construction and real estate sector. He also noted that some of the best franchisees in his business come from a myriad of industries, “Currently we have franchisees who were salesmen, marketing executives, flooring specialists and golf professionals.”
Franchise sectors are quite varied. They can range from home services, aged & disability care, car maintenance, garden kerbing, hospitality, real estate, accounting & financing, pet grooming, construction, tennis maintenance, education to management training and many others.
While an initial love of an industry or a hobby can sometimes lead you to the most suitable business, it’s crucial to know what options you have and if you have the capital to make a real go of it. Some industries require prerequisites such as agent licenses, certificates & diplomas. Government clearances and capital requirements vary greatly between franchises. Apart from this, franchises business models avery greatly and have different goals.
According to Rajakumar, “Do your homework and due diligence before committing to a particular system. Before you give up your day job, have a clear think about what drives you and what type of business you want. Remember that some franchises are geared towards works life-balance while others are high growth businesses requiring long hours of work and intense pressure.”
About Eden Exchange
Edenexchange is a marketing network and platform, connecting Australians with franchise and business opportunities.For more information on franchising opportunities head to www.edenexchange.com for listings of current opportunities. Or visit www.businessbuyinvest.com for more information about any franchises or industries mentioned in this article.