Franchise Voices Blog

Listen in on iTunes, or on Stitcher here to this episode.

When I was in Year 11 at school, I successfully (thankfully), completed a subject called Business Maths.

Of course it had other nicknames, and indeed so did the teacher. However, in lieu of having a passion for the very funky Maths A and B subjects, I followed a very practical path with the maths.

Very likely my Maths A teacher was happy as I exited his classroom, (after a variety of ways in which I expressed my lack of passion for some of the content) and I entered the world of business maths.

I am thankful that I did, and whilst it’s a little while ago now, I still remember talking profit margins, sales volumes and measuring them both, albeit with a different hair do (mullet) and I didn’t have glasses at that point like the kid in the picture above.

In this episode of the podcast I talk with Paul Le Blanc, a franchisee for Fast Signs in Vancouver, Canada.

Paul shares many insights from his journey in franchising, from both before and during his tenure with Fast Signs, and we talk about the ups and downs of business ownership.

You’ll hear Paul talk about his recent months performance and also some historical stats from throughout his journey. 

There’s a number of lessons he shares very well along the way, and we talk maths.

Doing the math, or maths (some colonial differences there we don’t get to the bottom of) and how often you do them in your business has featured a number of times in different episodes of the podcast (with Smart Franchise and Lisa Gissing) In this episode we get inside Paul’s thinking and behaviours around the subject as a franchisee.

Learning, starting to use, and continuing to focus on the maths is important.

This was an enjoyable chat with Paul, I hope you enjoy it, but also soak up the insights he has shared.

And if you’re in need of his business, here he is at Fast Signs in Vancouver



What’s the Franchise Business Readiness Initiative about and how can it help you?

The Franchise Business Readiness Initiative is designed to help people think through questions of money, lifestyle and business skills as they consider starting off in a franchise business.

It actually came out of discussions about significant change in industries such as the Automotive Industry here in Australia, and how could we educate people and enable good decision making for them when they are seeking to transition into a franchise business.

Simply register here for the FREE introductory webinar to the Franchise Business Readiness Initiative

Here’s what Peter and Kate from Smart Franchise and The Franchise Accountants Network say …

“We have worked with a lot of new franchisees through the workshops we run in Smart Franchise. Most new franchisees have never run a business before, so it’s no surprise they often don’t have a strong practical grasp of the financial side of business.

We’ve heard similar thoughts in conversations with bankers, lawyers and the folks at OFMA. They all tell us this can often lead to difficulties once the franchise is established.

The ‘pre-franchise’ stage is a great time to lay some foundations for good business and financial management.

This is a time when prospective franchisees can do some learning and thinking – and apply it in a practical way, as they research the financial aspects of a franchise, create a budget and cash flow, and have family money conversations.”

Simply register here for the FREE introductory webinar to the Franchise Business Readiness Initiative.

When you register, you’ll receive access to Kate’s free video detailing the 3 essential financial questions to ask when buying.

Listen in on iTunes, or on Stitcher here

When purchasing a franchise business, one of the key steps to get right in the process is Disclosure.

As a prospective franchisee, knowing what to do with the Disclosure information when you receive it and knowing who to talk to, can help save you money and time in the short or long term.

Ignore the information provided within the Disclosure Document at your peril!

What form does a franchise agreement need to be provided in during this period?

How long is the disclosure period itself?

Who should you be speaking to in the Disclosure process?

How are you going to gain a view on the details of operation, to help you determine if you can see yourself involved in this business?

“Careful, inquisitive and thorough” a great description of a solid approach to the Disclosure stage of the franchising process.

Ilya is the principal of FranchiseLegal, a nationwide franchise law firm, and has provided franchising legal advice to franchisees and franchisors for many years.

Tune in to this episode to hear the answers to the questions above, and to also hear more detail and recommendations from Ilya.

Links referred to in this episode:

Read more about Ilya here

Franchise Legal website here

An online copy of the Australian Franchising Code of Conduct can be accessed here (although I would add, that digesting the contents and putting any of the references to use is often best left to the experts – folks like Ilya that is!)

Listen in on iTunes, or on Stitcher here

I’ve always loved a caffeine injection in the morning. When I owned a cafe business a number of years ago, myself and my business partner would easily put away four coffees before midday, and rip into the lunchtime rush (customers that is).

I’ve often thought this was a great way to kick off the day and keep things moving (and ideally our customers did as well!).

We often reach for the coffee, for the tea, and often also for the soft drink or energy drink to kick us through a long day or overnight, or see us to the end of a shift..

What if actually there was something that you could be drinking more of, with more impact to improve or remove your fatigue.

John Toomey, The Fatigue Professor, talks with us on this episode of the podcast about the maths of hydration to help manage fatigue and endurance across your day.

Links referred to in this episode:

The Fatigue Professor website here

Visit John Toomey’s website here

John talks about Lisa Martin, read more about her here

In this episode of the podcast I talk with Avon Collis. Avon is reasonably new Gloria Jeans franchisee in Darwin.

Listen to it on iTunes or on Stitcher for Android here

A former member of the ADF, Avon did some significant diligence on his business purchase during the 6 month notice period he needed to provide for his exit.

I talked with Avon about the challenges upon entry to the business and questioned him about the challenges of operating a store very far flung from your Franchisor’s Head Office.

What we progressively dug into though, is how Avon has applied the thinking at the title of this episode to his business processes and refining opportunities to grow profit.

Outsourcing book keeping and drilling into the cents involved in an activity, are just some of the ways he is going about refining costs and maximising profitability.

The focus Avon’s approach is bringing to each element of his business, is enabling him to free up his time.

Could any of his tactics be useful on this front for you?

Links for sites referred to in this episode:



Xero accounting software

Team Viewer


Are you experiencing any of the following in your business when working with different cultures?

Frustration in not being heard?

Do behaviours not match the words that are being said?

And are you attributing some of this to “attitude problems”…

Barb West of Culture Works digs into these questions, enabling you to identify where there are opportunities for you and others, to adapt and learn about how cultural differences effect the growth and effectiveness of relationships.

Without curiosity (and Barb describes herself as infinitely curious) on this subject, you may not identify some of the clues and insights you need to gain in order to adapt to the different cultures within your business.

On a personal front, during my career it took me some time, and I mean sometime with some deal of frustration, to understand the concept that Barb talks to at 16:30 mins in to the interview….sometimes being calm and considered doesn’t work when you are needing to emphasise your point!

However, once I had learned that sometimes demonstrating your passion or frustration on an issue can take a different form (waving hands and raised voices!), a whole new world of more effective and impactful communication opened up for me.

You can find Barb West or the Culture Works business via the link below:

Culture Works 

Listen to Barb on the podcast on iTunes here

Or Listen to Barb on Sticher (for android users) here

Or just duck back to the podcast site page and tune in there.


In this episode of the podcast I talk with Steve Champion of ER Strategies and the Franchise Advisory Service.

Listen on iTunes, or on Stitcher for Android, or click here  to stream it now.

What does it take to get your rates of pay accurate for your team in a fast food or retail environment?

What are some frequently made mistakes that can be avoided when interpreting award requirements or penalty rates?

Steve’s expertise and business are founded on getting these details right with QSRs and other Food and Convenience retailers.

Within this episode are some very clear recommendations on how to navigate issues that may arise, some potential consequences when you get it wrong….and how to deal with any queries along the way.

Below are links to Steve’s websites, where you can sign up for access to free QSR award rate tables, and investigate with Steve how you can access the ER Strategies services.

Links for sites referred to in this episode:

Go to ERstrategies here 

Visit the Franchise Advisory Service site here (where you can sign up for the award tables)

And for advice on Enterprize Bargaining and to attend his courses, please head here

Fair Work Ombudsman site is here 

Some clear advice and some simple ways to connect to it with Steve and his business.

Lisa Gissing works with the Davidson Institute at Westpac.

I knew that the Westpac was Australia’s first bank, but I didn’t know until I interviewed Lisa, that it was also Australia’s first company.

Having been a small business owner and operator myself, and having worked with groups of franchisees, I find Lisa’s session extremely practical. For a very simple reason – cash flow is the lifeblood of any business.

And as we move through the interview, you will though, hear Lisa talking about constantly coming back to your cashflow forecast.

Wondering where to start with your current financial status in your business?

Go to your cashflow forecast.

Do you need to prepare for a store refurb in line with a lease renewal, but its about 18 months away?

Go to your cashflow forecast and make sure you are preparing to fork out that cash down the road.

Lisa’s education and message is consistent, and you’re hearing it from someone who loves the numbers and says she has the best job in Westpac!

Essential elements of financial literacy from someone who is passionate about the Profit and Loss statement, and cash-flow planning!

Be the artist of your financial picture!

Links referred to in the episode:

Davidson Institute website 

This episode on the Davidson Institute Website here

Who is this Davidson guy anyway?


You can listen to this episode on iTunes, or on Stitcher here, or click here to stream

In my experience, the Business Migration Stream has contributed significantly to the franchise sector here in Australia, having personally had the opportunity to work with many business owners who have migrated to Australia.

In this episode of the podcast, I chat with Florence Buegge-Borshoff, a migration agent from Perth, with over 25 years of experience in the industry.

Florence gives some insight into a current review of the program being undertaken in Canberra and we discuss possible ways forward with the program.

Links referred to in the episode:

Florence’s website

The Department of Immigration website and Business Migration here


In this episode of the podcast I talk with Greg Nathan of the Franchise Relationships Insititute. 

Listen on iTunes, or on Stitcher for Android, or click here to stream it now.

Often we will hear franchisors groan about the challenge of franchisees taking up new initiatives.

However, when it comes to resisting bold and new ideas, is the problem with Franchisees or the Franchisor?

During this discussion, Greg highlights some key activities to undertake with your franchisor to bring initiative forward, and even talks about the number one priority when doing so.

Does innovation slow in systems as they get larger, and the need to maintain compliance or “participation” is prioritised.

What if somewhere in YOUR network, there are ideas and activities underway (and profitable ones at that), that you just aren’t listening to any more, because the noise of numbers is too great.

This bloke makes great sense, and you’ll hear why when you listen in.

Links relevant to this episode:

Greg is the founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute, their website is here

Profitable Partnerships, written by Greg, is one of the best resources on franchise relationships I have read. Click here to go to the order page and grab a copy.

Useless tidbit (I’m not sure) typing “If it’s going to be, it is up to me” in google nets 3,140,000,000 results. Sure is a true statement though!