by Shannon Roscher

Women blaze franchise trail

Tried and tested model enticing for entrepreneurs

Lindelwa Jali, in front, who owns a franchise of The Fish & Chip Co, with some of her workers at one of her stores in King Williamstown.
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The franchising industry has always been an enticing business prospect as it offers entrepreneurs a tried and tested formula that is backed by training and support, which assists in managing a business with less risk.

Entrepreneurs who are dedicated and hands-on will assuredly have what it takes to make any franchise business a success.

Although the concept of franchising has enticed businessmen and women, the industry has shown remarkable growth among female ownership in recent years, proving that franchising is a viable business option for all.

A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the International Franchise Association, revealed that female business owners account for roughly 25% of franchise unit ownerships to date, with figures rising continuously.

Lindelwa (Lindy) Jali is a good example of a female franchisee who has successfully applied the franchise business model to achieve success with The Fish&Chip Co family.

With two stores located at Stone Towers Mall and Cathcart Street, both in King Williams Town, Lindy is flourishing.

At just 30, Jali is taking the business model in her stride with a determined management style that is democratic, consultative and sets a pace for managing employees by coaching them as individuals.

“It is important to give employees a voice within the company as they will then take responsibility for their respective roles.

"By being open and encouraging dialogue, staff are driven and they will want to achieve more than their capability,” Jali said.

“Because I have multiple stores, it is important to monitor progress on a daily basis.

"Teams are briefed daily on what the game plan is and duties are delegated to achieve our targets.

"I check up continuously, without micro-managing, to ensure we stay on track,” she adds.

On being a woman in business, Lindy says it has been challenging at times to prove her leadership skills as a female at the helm of a company.

“Even though I do find that I sometimes need to work harder to prove myself in business, I choose to work hard regardless of my gender.

"As my late mother, who was my greatest mentor, taught me you should never let circumstances that are out of your control, hinder your ambitions,” Jali said.

Marcel Strauss, Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co notes: “Any one that has the drive and passion to be in business can do it, and we are especially proud of our female franchisees.

"I think women are quite nurturing in their management style as they show empathy and take the time to really listen to the needs of staff and clients.

"It comes naturally to them, which is a great bonus when you are delivering a service.”

Aside from managing these two stores, Jali is also a wife and mother who manages her household as she manages her team – with great care and open lines of communication.

Even though she does sometimes struggle to bring balance to her life, she still encourages any woman to consider franchising as a viable business opportunity.

Her advice to other women who want to become franchisees:

·           Treat your staff with respect and allow them to have a voice

·           Be involved at the store as much as you can. Stores that are owner -managed have proven to have a higher success rate than those that are run by managers

·           Do not slack on the day-to-day managerial obligations, such as taking inventory. You need to keep your finger on the pulse at all times.

Lindy concludes that any woman has the potential to succeed in franchising, as long as she is fully committed.

“While franchising offers exciting business opportunities, potential franchisees should also be aware of certain challenges they may face as first time franchisees, such as inexperience, dealing with various staff issues, and ensuring that customer needs are always met.

"It is also critical to learn about the intricacies of the franchising industry and business, before committing to ownership.”

Should you be interested in becoming part of The Fish & Chip Co. franchising family, please visit the website for more details www.fishandchipco.co.za

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