Keeping a cap on infrastructural risk in business has its growing challenges, but it is also providing solid opportunities in franchising.
With workplace health-and-safety obligations more stringent than ever, the implications for businesses who choose not to take the regulations into consideration will be dire.
Test-and-tag business, Appliance Tagging Services works throughout Australia to provide electrical safety assessments, as well as testing and reporting management systems.
Sarah Allen, Appliance Tagging Services GM suggests the integration of automated IT platforms across business sectors could be a potential solution for managing risk through the automation of repititive tasks.
“There is increased risk with the trend to work from home – how does an organisation control workplace hazards at home? – and increased risk with stresses associated with blurred work/life balance.”
The change in industry attitudes has led to an increase in demand for mobile workplace safety supplies and services, as well as the integration of IT services, resulting in a wealth of opportunity for potential franchisees and franchisors.
Allen believes the growing importance being placed on health-and-safety obligations by the infrastructure industry creates both new challenges and new opportunites.
“We continually put the customer at the centre of our business decisions and have always invested in technology and upgrades to testing equipment and processes so as to stay ahead of the curve,” Allen said.
“Our customers demand service transparency and real-time reporting so they can satisfy their own work health-and-safety obligations.”
Allen predicts the diversification of services will be key to the sector’s continued growth.
“The fire safety component of our business has really taken off,” Allen said.
“While we will always be an electrical safety company that also provides fire-safety services, rather than a fire company that does electrical, this extra service has the potential to double our business in the next five years.”
According to Allen, the growth experienced in this sector has been widespread, with fanchisees reaping the benefits of the new business additions.
“Some of our franchisees have seen enormous growth in fire-safety services already. Electrical- and fire-safety services are complementary, and our platforms for both are exclusive to ATS and Australia,” Allen said.
“Our franchisees have found that approaching their client base about adding fire services has been incredibly beneficial to their business.”
Allen believes the success of ATS franchisees can be accredited to the company’s unique support model and client building framework.
“The ATS model ensures that as a network we are capitalising on all business opportunities. The support office is firmly focused on securing national clients, and our franchisees are focused on securing clients in their local designated marketing area,” Allen said.
“Our franchisees can also provide personal consistent service to our clients around Australia. ATS has an established _ and growing _ client base of national organisations, and our franchisees have access to service this client base.”
ATS isn’t the only franchisor experiencing massive growth within the safety sector however.
SafetyQuip provides the full scope of workplace safety supplies and services, with mobile units backed up by a counter-sales base and distribution warehouse.
Gary Shearer, CEO of SafetyQuip said the deciding factor in franchisee success is continued support.
“We believe that supporting start-up franchisees is more important than growth, so that limits us to taking on two franchisees a year,” Shearer said.
“We regard as equally important, the growth of existing franchisees. Our 13 present franchisees will turn in more than $20 million this year.”
“For existing franchisees to grow, we just need to consistently deliver our support programs. Ten months of significant group growth in revenue year on year suggests we’ve got it right. I don’t believe in tampering with something that is working, other than tweaking.”
While new legislation and industry attention has placed additional demands on the safety sector, Shearer believes the renewed focus has opened doors for potential franchisees to grow.
“The Vulnerable Workers Bill has involved us in a lot of extra work but has been for the better,” Shearer said.
“It is comforting to know that franchisees are looking after their employees. They are equally important to the business.”