About Us - State Franchise Opportunities
2015 - A New Way of Franchising
We’re changing the way we franchise our business.
People are often worried about purchasing franchises as it can mean a large amount of dollars to put down before commencing. It’s normal to ask questions such as; will it work,will I get my investment back within a reasonable time etc etc?
Well, I’ve got a fantastic “try now” offer for you that won’t use up all your cash resources and has no hidden nasty surprises. This new concept allows you to purchase a remaining State franchise for an initial “limited time”. What this means is you can purchase for one full year at a time. You get complete access to all productsthat Conflict Solvers has and full re-sale rights to materials etc.
If you feel comfortable you can continue for up to five years. After five years, you then have the option of full purchase of the franchise or opting out. A real try before you buy deal.
Here’s the BEST bit. If, after five years (or of course any years in-between), you decide you want the franchise, take the dollars you’ve paid off the total asking price.
Here’s an example:
South Australia $9500
Year One 10% - full access: $950
Year Two 10% - full access: $950.
After Year Five - You purchase full franchise
Total Owing: $4750
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Do I need any special training to own a conflictsolvers franchise?
A. It is now important to ensure you undertake training to become a nationally accredited mediator if you have not already achieved this. In running a franchise you are required to demonstrate the following skill set as per the Mediator Standards Board in order to conduct accredited mediation training (this is different from running a professional workshop or conducting a mediation session). In order to run a training group where participants want to become accredited the principal trainer must be nationally accredited for a minimum of more than three years and have training skills for the same amount of time. So if you are newly qualified it may be at the start of your fourth year that could independently conduct the training as the main trainer. (You can of course use other conflictsolver trainers to run the course before this period if you wish; who already meet this criteria).
Q. I see you have a franchise in New Zealand. Do you franchise to other countries as well?
A. Yes. Whilst other countries are not listed, I am always happy to talk to you about a franchise for your country.
Q. I like the idea of having a franchise but I already do some other consultancy that isn’t mediation. How might the two work together?
A. Each person has their own page on the site, so they can tailor what they personally offer. For example in Victoria, I run mediation but also offer Mental Health short courses. You can enable people to come to one website and register for whatever courses you run.
Q. Are there any other costs for each year?
A. Yes, each franchise puts in $500 a year which covers website maintenance etc. Also given the cheap entry in the first year there is a one off cost to update the website for your profile, programs etc of $100. So a first year investment using the above example would be $1550, second year would be $1450.
If you buy the franchise outright after the second year the only on-going commitment is the once yearly $500 contributed towards maintenance of the website etc. There are no other hidden costs.
Q. How do I work out the one year initial franchise fee for my state?
A. Simply it is 10% of the overall franchise state fee (during your time the purchase price of that state you have will not alter, even if the value of unsold conflictsolver franchises go up).
Q. If I purchase the franchise for just 10%, do I have full commercial rights to conflictsolver programs, videos, materials etc?
A. Yes, absolutely. However you may not on-sell conflictsolver programs for commercial purposes (this applies to all franchisees).
Q. Will I get training in how to use the programs, materials, run courses etc?
A. Absolutely. However you can understand that you may need to spend some time (a day or so) in Melbourne if you so wish. I am also happy to chat on the phone for support or through email.
Q. After five years can I continue to purchase conflictsolvers a year at a time?
A. There is no provision for this to continue after five years i.e. you purchase conflictsolvers franchise or you give up the franchise. However, I will discuss a possibility of continuing due to special circumstances.
Q. What if someone comes along during the first year and wants to purchase conflictsolvers as a franchise paying the full fee?
A. You have the rights until the completion of five years (providing you pay each year along the way) i.e. if after the fifth year you choose not to take up the franchise, if the person who made the enquiry is still interested they can then purchase the franchise.
Q. What if during the first year, I want to get out of conflictsolvers, can I get a refund or can I sell it to someone else?
A. At such a cheap price, I am unable to offer you a refund. You cannot on-sell to someone else.
Q. I noticed that for full franchisees they can sub-franchise to someone else within their state. Can I do this?
A. Until you are the full owner of the franchise, you cannot sub-franchise.
Q. Will I get a written contract guaranteeing my rights in this new franchise concept?
A. Absolutely. The contract will state you have a year by year option for the first five years and the monies paid will come off the full purchase price if brought at the end of the fifth year.
Q. Why is this so cheap?
A. To be honest, I want to move conflictsolvers into all states. If this happens then I believe it’s great for all concerned. It gives a solid national identity. Also as I understand that people don’t have unlimited financial resources and often would like to add conflictsolvers to other consultancy work they already do, this new franchise method becomes more financially viable. I also feel that once you try conflictsolvers for a year, you’ll love it and will want to continue as the permanent State franchisee.
Before considering the purchasing of an exclusive franchise, you should note the following before reading the business plan:
- I have always run my consultancy as a part-time business rather than full time. This is essentially as the consultancy is around 90% training and not direct mediation work. I feel it is important to keep up your mediation skills. I have also found that in busy periods, it is hard to maintain high levels of enthusiasm when training week in, week out.
- Ideally it would suit someone who has a part-time position of around two to three days full time work (assuming you want more than a part-time income).
- As many of the clients are primarily within education areas, there is definitely some very quiet periods e.g. January, July to name two periods.
- I would not consider purchasing a franchise if you have not had any training experience in presenting and working with groups.
Who will this franchise most suit?
- Someone who enjoys interaction with all age groups (outgoing).
- Someone who has completed a mediation training course and has a good grasp of mediation principles, or is willing to put in the time in to learn mediation principles.
- Someone who is good at time management and is able to prepare courses.
- Someone who is prepared to put the necessary work in to attract clients
Still interested, then read on
To establish a mediation training consultancy specialising in running education based training programs. The emphasis will be on high quality training products and service, business growth and the development of a high profile business identity across Australia. The aim is to provide excellence in service delivery.
Business Plan Summary
The current proprietor, Fred Stern, with over twenty three years of experience in the field of mediation and an expertise in delivering high quality education training packages. The proposal is to establish across Australia, new consultancies that will as its primary objective provide a range of education based programs
The business will supply a range of training programs both within educational institutions as well as mediation services to general organisations and the community. Products and services will be of a high standard and include both resources for re-sale and the provision of direct service.
Anecdotal evidence in Victoria has shown an increasing demand for high quality educational programs and resources in the areas of conflict resolution.
There are currently no existing Australia wide consultancy services where all states are represented by a business proprietor. This opportunity will allow for strong growth across Australia by motivated people.
I believe the best marketing strategy is a combination of a good network of contacts, a reputation for quality and reliability and personal referrals. This will be complimented by a variety of advertising including an Internet site, promotional poster give away, flyers etc.
The initial cost of a state wide franchise is as follows:
|New South Wales / ACT||$12,000|
|Buyer gets www.conflictsolvers.co.nz but links into this site.
Can sub-divide franchise across NZ
Paying the franchise fee will give you exclusive rights (one which you can sell at a later stage as a whole and re-franchise within your own state). Note however that re-sales of sub-franchises may only occur once all fees are fully paid.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: SWOT analysis
- Technical know how and long time experience of Fred Stern (ability to pass on detailed program management, financial costing & market appraisal)
- Operation able to be run & managed by one person
- Good range of resources
- Ability to respond to market needs
- Low overheads
- Substantial markets in each state
- Business is dependant on person having both mediation skills and the ability to train others
- Business income is not spread evenly over the financial year, often heavily concentrated within certain periods.
- Rapidly growing market for consultants
- Availability of sub-franchise within own state
- Reliable payment of consultant fees from people who employ you (almost zero bad debt)
- Expansion of franchise into other future areas
- Economic instability (unclear with economic downturn how this will effect training. However conflictsolvers has a strong base)
- Existing and future competition within the market
- Rising costs of materials and petrol etc
- Geographically diverse market
Over several years, many changes have taken place, particularly within the education sector. Schools are now required to implement a higher number of specialised programs and are opting for outside consultants to assist in this area.
Conflict resolution continues to grow as a field within schools primarily as governments are demanding a higher standard of accountability and newspapers and current affair programs highlight schools who are unable to protect their students from such areas as bullying, etc
Professional Development of teachers is also an ongoing issue ensuring that they are given new strategies in dealing with conflicts. Whilst the days of corporal punishment are long gone, the need to deal with conflict is still as pertinent as ever.
Participants in the community are looking to increase their base line skills and our courses represent a solid opportunity for this to occur.
Conflictsolvers keeps abreast of developments within the field and has since 2009 offered accredited mediation courses. It is considered a "value for money" course.
A good marketing strategy is vital to any business.
First Class customer service
- Responding promptly to enquires for program information and costs
- Flexible hours of service to meet customer needs
- Providing clear consultant quotes (agreed upon by all states)
- Ensuring that starting and finishing times are adhered to
- Guarantee a quality product (delivery and presentation style)
- Follow up service to the client
- Promotional literature used and produced as follows:
- Literature will promote the business through easy to read materials (where-ever possible up front program costs)
- The use of established give-away posters (already in existence)
- The continued use and upgrade of the website
- Each franchisee will provide a sum of $500 per year for the ongoing promotion of the business
Means of advertising
- Selected and specialised targeted market promotions (based on existing & new ideas)
- “Word of mouth” which has proved to be one of the best forms of promotion and as a result of the communities the franchisee works in.
- The use of specialised advertising programs on the web.
The proprietor believes that over a number of years, reasonable fees have been charged and accepted by a range of different clientele. This will give the business a competitive advantage.
The Competitive Edge
The competitive edge will be through superior products and service, quality and established market product and range of materials. Also well established pricing will allow a solid access into the market.
Sales Targets linked to working capital
Aside from the franchise payment required, new franchisee’s should have the following working capital:
- Outlay of $500 for one year to cover web costs and other group incidentals
- Letterheads template is provided by conflictsolvers. You may wish to purchase business cards.
- Initial stock outlay for resource materials (approx $300)
- The ability to attend training in Victoria for five days accredited training if needed ($900 cost)
Business Growth & Development
Franchisees will keep abreast of new developments, products etc and monitor existing programs etc. Those programs that are successful will be expanded and the others will be abandoned.
Whilst no direct promises can be made on the profitability within the first year, with reasonable input, franchisees should easily cover all costs and have strong growth.
Franchisees may choose whatever structure that best suits their own business needs. Whilst each franchisee may sub-franchise within their state, in matters of changes to the business, they are entitled to one vote only per state.
What if I would like to work in this area but have no real experience with mediation or training?
You seriously need to ensure you have mediation skills or attend a course. I can give you great products and great ideas about selling but I can’t give you instant skills and personality to run a franchise. Whilst I do not require you to prove you have these skills, you would be foolish to bluff your way into a franchise.
Once I own my State franchise, can I sub-divide it into other areas?
Yes you may. However negotiations are between you and the sub-franchisee and all legal agreements are between the two of you. They must be made aware that they will need to operate within existing guidelines. Whilst they do not have individual voting power (ie: one state, one vote), they are still required to contribute $500 per year towards advertising etc.
What if I don’t want my franchise anymore?
You can sell it off. If you simply do not continue to operate, and your annual $500 is not received within 3 months of being due, your franchise will be sold off to the highest bidder. You will receive proceeds less advertising costs, any legal costs and less 20% commission from the sale (which goes to the central banking account).
Can I run other programs than what is centrally agreed upon?
Yes, but programs need to be approved overall by franchisees if they are “mediation” type programs. You are of course able on your own home page to advertise other work you currently do.
How will franchisees keep in contact with each other and updated?
Through a closed mailing list on the Internet whereby constant feedback etc can be received. Franchisees may also decide to meet face to face each year (different state).
Who will keep the account with yearly franchise fees in it?
Currently kept by Fred (Victorian franchise). Policy and practice will be put into place if necessary in the future.
What happens if I decide to take up a franchise and change my mind?
You initially have seven days to change your mind once payment is made. Up to this stage you will receive a full refund. If you decide to make two lots of payments and the second lot is not paid up then it will revert back to the initial proprietor unless suitable other arrangements are made and agreed to.
What if someone from another State gets a request for some products or service?
You can only sell products to your State's post codes. If for example in Victoria someone from SA rang for some products, I would pass it on to SA. In the case of services, the same would occur. If for some reason, only a particular date is available and the person in that state is not, they may negotiate for an outside trainer to come in (ie receive a commission).
What about any States not sold first up. Who can service those?
Any State franchise not sold remains the property of Fred Stern, the initial proprietor.
Are we required to purchase stock ie printing etc from you?
No, if you have your own printers etc, feel free to use them. However I will let you know where in Victoria I have obtained the various products from.
Are we required to use conflict solvers.com.au as our main trading name if we already have one?
No, you could use your trading name then add underneath "Part of conflictsolvers.com.au (Victoria)"
Are our details put on the Internet site?
Absolutely.The site will list contact details for all franchisees and you have your own personal page. Also you will need to provide a photo and some info about yourself for inclusion under training team.