Shell Australia invited the Franchise Council of Australia to attend a jobs expo for its retrenched workers last week, highlighting the shift to franchising amid mounting job losses.
Last week, the FCA attended a careers opportunity expo for 500 Shell employees and contractors set to lose their jobs due to Shell’s decision to cease refining at its Clyde Refinery in Sydney.
In addition to providing information on the benefits of franchising, the FCA invited attendees to sign up to the upcoming franchising and business opportunities expos, held across various states.
The FCA also promoted its Eyes Wide Open Seminar – an educational program for people considering buying a franchise.
Joining the FCA were 40 exhibitors from a wide cross-section of industries including mining, energy and manufacturing.
While Shell could not be reached for comment, FCA chairman Stephen Giles says franchising can be an ideal option for workers who are laid off.
“Business ownership under the franchise model can be less daunting, and lower risk, than trying to set up a business from scratch,” Giles says.
“For most people, the payout they receive is not enough to provide a meaningful investment income.”
“Franchising allows a person to use the payout, and the skills and experience they obtained during their employment, to create future income security and build wealth.”
Rod Young, managing director of franchising specialist DC Strategy, believes the latest round of redundancies in the financial services markets will fill the pool of potential franchise applicants.
However, he says there has been a reduction in the number of people willing to go into business and accept the associated risks during tough economic times.
Having said that, Young predicts a “better quality of applicant” will emerge as franchisees become less reliant on loans, particularly if they receive a payout from their former employer.
“Franchisees will be borrowing less and providing between 60% and 100% of the capital required to establish or buy a franchise,” he says.
“What will emerge during 2012 is more robust franchise systems with better quality, better funded franchisees establishing a foundation for the recovery that follows hard economic times.”