Anyone who thinks that franchisees do all the work while franchisors sit back and take it easy should have been at the Franchise Expo show in Auckland, New Zealand after it closed on Sunday night.
Arguably the hardest working people at this year’s expo were the team from Xpress Art, the new-to-New Zealand franchise, which turns people’s favourite photographs into works of art on canvas. They saw an opportunity to demonstrate exactly what they do to a key audience of potential business buyers.
Their first-ever store in this country was therefore opened just inside the entry to the Expo, where it drew appreciative crowds throughout the event. This took some effort on the part of franchisor Alan Marriott and his team.
"We were due to open our first kiosk in Birkenhead Mall on Auckland’s North Shore on the Monday morning after the Expo, so we got the shopfitter to deliver all the components to the Expo the previous Thursday night," explained Alan.
"We worked late to put it all together and make sure everything operated as it should, then after the Expo closed on the Sunday we packed all the units up again and trucked them over to Birkenhead. The security guys were a bit surprised to see us at that time of night, but by 6am Xpress Art was ready to start its New Zealand roll-out. I even had time to go home for a shower before we welcomed the first customers!"
Was it worth it? ‘Definitely. We got a lot of interest from some very good people at the show and from our article in Franchise New Zealand magazine and we are looking at increasing the numbers on our first training course so we can get more stores open before Christmas.
"Sales in Birkenhead have been better than we could have hoped for so we really have something to tell people about now.’