Griffith Uni asks: Franchising better than independent business?

Griffith University's Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence is being funded to explore if franchising is more sustainable than independent business.

Professor Lorelle Frazer.

Last month the Australian Research Council (ARC) announced nearly $300,000 for the linkage project, Survival of the Fittest: The performance of franchised versus independent small business during economic uncertainty and recovery being conducted by Griffith University. 

Industry partners, the Franchise Council of Australia and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research are also contributing significantly to the project.

The project team will be led by centre director and professor Lorelle Frazer and also includes centre deputy director Scott Weaven with centre researcher and associate professor Debra Grace.

Professor Frazer said the project will shed light on the topic of franchise survival and whether franchising is a more sustainable business model.

"The project will investigate factors influencing small business survival, both independent and franchised, in regional and urban localities, in periods of economic uncertainty and recovery," Prof. Frazer said.

"Through the research we hope to identify key survival factors for small businesses, as well as to what extent small business survival strategies influence business performance in these uncertain times," she said.

Results will provide business owners and peak bodies with tools to improve business performance in periods of economic uncertainty and recovery.

Preliminary findings from the study will be released next year with final results available in 2011.


Teams are Lifeline to business success

According to international business speaker, Lindsay Adams, a customer who has a bad experience will tell 12 other people. So, how do you ensure your team is doing the best job for your business?  Lindsay Adams from Teamocracy will deliver insight into effective, profitable teams, and word-of mouth-marketing on Wednesday August 26 at the Business Lifeline seminar at Royal Pines Resort.

LIndsay Adams.

This event follows five successful Business Lifeline seminars, after the program was launched on the Gold Coast in March.


Mr Adams, a workshop facilitator, team builder and referral marketing specialist, believes business owners need to make sure they make the most of their internal and external teams in order to sustain business growth.

"This seminar is all about leadership and how to engender teamwork, getting everyone in your team to work towards your vision and make it happen with you," Mr Adams said.

"I'll also be sharing how to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to drive sales for fast, sustainable business growth."

Business Lifeline patron, Zarraffa's Coffee founder Kenton Campbell, said assessing and harnessing the power of your team is one of the most beneficial activities a business can undertake.

"Zarraffa's would not see the return of customers if it weren't for excellent customer service, which of course starts with satisfied, productive teams," said Mr Campbell.

"Like Lindsay says, a customer who has a bad experience will likely tell 12 other people ... We try to ensure that every customer has a positive experience at Zarraffa's so that they spread the good word and more people will want to try our coffee," he said.

Mr Campbell believes the Business Lifeline seminar is the perfect opportunity to develop your own teamwork action plan and accountability.

"Anyone seeking to grow their business should attend this seminar to learn other ways to improve and evolve their teams and customer service."

Another speaker at the seminar will be Professional Investment Services CEO Robbie Bennetts, who has been voted one of the 10 most influential business people in Australia.

He believes a positive attitude can be a key factor in employing staff.

"I always tell people we recruit on attitude and train for skill," said Mr Bennetts.

You can hear more about Mr Bennetts' rise to success and Lindsay Adams presentation on teamwork at Royal Pines Resort on August 26 from 6pm to 9pm.

Tickets are $66 or $44 for members. 

Business Lifeline is a membership program offering seminars, coaching and mentoring, in-house training programs and other support at very low cost and is ideal for those seeking a genuinely collaborative business network.Money raised through Business Lifeline goes to sustaining Lifeline's vital community services. 

Those interested in attending the seminar can phone Vicki Gaastra on 5579 6020.


COSBOA: Get advice before hiring/firing

The Council of Small Business of Australia has issued a warning to small businesses to act with extreme caution when making any changes to their existing staffing arrangements, including hiring, firing, changing staff hours or rates of pay, after next Wednesday, July 1.

Jaye Radisich.

"In just two business days' time the Fair Work Act will come into place, which sees the most broad-sweeping workplace relations changes in years," Council of Small Business CEO Jaye Radisich said.


"Unfortunately, most small businesses are not aware of the significant impact that this legislation will have on staffing matters.

"A report released by Telstra in April indicated that most small businesses didn't know about the new workplace relations changes or were not ready for them. Anecdotal evidence collected by the Council of Small Business of Australia indicates that situation has not changed, due to a lack of information available about the new laws."

Ms Radisich urged small businesses that fall under the federal workplace relations system not to take any action with regard to staffing decisions until they contact the Workplace Authority.

"Although Fair Work Australia is the new body that will help people navigate the Fair Work Act, no website or phone line is available yet so small business owners, managers and their staff should call the Workplace Authority on 1300 363 264 about their rights and responsibilities under the new arrangements," Ms Radisich said.

"Unlike large businesses, small firms do not have in-house lawyers or human resources departments to help them navigate major workplace relations changes. Nor can they often afford to hire expensive consultants to prepare their internal business systems for the changes," Ms Radisich said.

"The new laws are designed to enhance the protections afforded to employees. It is disappointing that small business employers have not been afforded the benefit of early notice of their compliance obligations under the new scheme.

"Ironically, both employees and small business employers could be in a more vulnerable position from Wednesday, due to the lack of awareness and understanding of their respective rights and responsibilities.

"Although the Fair Work Act passed through Parliament in March 2009, it was only last week that two further key bills passed the Parliament. The transitional legislation repeals the current Workplace Relations Act 1996 and sets out transitional provisions for the movement of employers and employees into the new system."

The second bill deals with consequential amendments to other Commonwealth legislation resulting from the Fair Work Act. This bill also deals with additional amendments consequential to any state referrals of workplace relations powers.

The National Employment Standards and Modern Awards will come into operation from  January 1, 2010.


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