As a developing and growing economy, South Africa offers a thriving base for talented entrepreneurs to develop their business skills, execute a viable management strategy and essentially maintain a sustainable establishment. Even though young entrepreneurs will have to overcome hurdles such as acquiring startup capital and high interest rate loan repayments, the key to winning a hurdles race is steadfast momentum.
A notable industry in this regard is franchising, which continues to withstand economic fluctuations. According to the website franchiseek.com, there are currently 400 franchise systems in South Africa, with over 23,000 franchise outlets that employ more than 300,000 people.
It is further noted that this industry, which is growing at a rate of 13% annually, will add more than 3,200 new franchise businesses this year.
These statistics clearly illustrate that franchising is a highly enticing prospect, and great opportunities exist for people who have an entrepreneurial spirit combined with drive and ambition.
Lucas Neo Mothopeng and Mpho Monareng are young African businessmen who have taken advantage of the exciting world of food franchising, and have embraced the various aspects thereof to make their franchise successful. Despite both entrepreneurs being only 27 years old, they became the co-owners of Sandwich Baron Westgate, Johannesburg in June 2012 and the store has since thrived.
“Franchising provides a stepping stone for future business endeavours. When you enter into franchising, you don’t only receive the benefit of a trusted brand and a proven concept, but you are able to learn more about formal business practice on a smaller scale,” says Monareng.
Equipped with tertiary education backgrounds in marketing, brand communication and brand management, the franchisees maintain that the trick to keeping customers coming back for more is not solely reliant on selling quality products, but by selling their personalities too.
“A franchisee and staff are one of the greatest marketing tools on offer, and marketing a business through simply engaging with your customers is essential. Monareng and I have built up relationships with the community by going door-to-door to provide customers with marketing material and just to market ourselves and in turn our business,” says Motopheng.
The old saying goes ‘the world is your oyster’, and this statement has never been truer for young entrepreneurs who have the necessary focus, discipline, dedication and passion required to own and manage a food franchise, such as the Sandwich Baron.