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Franchising tips from the "horse's mouth".

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


Johan Erasmus has been an entrepreneur since 1983. The owner of a Spur Franchise since 1988, Johan has had a number of restaurants over the years and is also involved in property - both commercial and residential.

Due to its great success in the market, Erasmus opted to go with Spur Corporation, which has seen him achieve the position of directorship within the Corporation.

Franchising offers the franchisee a specialist opportunity with a best practice advantage. Being part of a strong team and brand in the food industry enhances ones opportunity for success and certainly eliminates failure rate,” says Erasmus.

According to Erasmus, the franchising concept gives one the opportunity to outsmart the competitors in the industry of choice. As with any start-up venture, it is essential to revisit one’s plans. It is critical to ensure that any adjustment is made sooner rather than later. “Professionalism, honesty and transparency are important characteristics that an entrepreneur should possess,” says Erasmus.

The restaurant industry has become specialised and operates in contested markets. Products and services have to be of the best possible quality and standard. The future of the industry belongs to those businesses that have quality and service as top priorities. Erasmus believes that when an entrepreneur possesses these characteristics, a business will grow and survive.

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He advises other franchisees to be meticulous in their choice of franchise and to follow the guidance of the franchisor without question. “In the instance of the Spur Steak Ranch franchisor, I can honestly say that the franchisor went the extra mile in assisting the franchisee body,” says Erasmus. This allowed him the opportunity to attend training courses and not become complacent in his endeavors.

When starting any business venture seeking the assistance of a lawyer, accountant or even a tax expert should be treated as a requirement. Erasmus used this wealth of knowledge to his advantage and while profit was sought out from the outset of his franchise, he considered it a hurdle. He then learnt to rather operate on the basis of having a financially sound operation that generated a substantial return on investment.

Being confronted with various challenges kept Johan focused. “Even under the most difficult circumstances, the greatest challenge was not to lose the element of having fun in my business,” says Erasmus. His commitment and will to succeed at his business was the attitude that Johan maintained when he started his Spur franchise.

Since February 2007, Erasmus has pursued his own business interests. It is thus his experience in the franchise sector that has led to his appointment as a mentor for Business Partners – something he considers to be a great achievement.

As a mentor, he has the opportunity to be of service to new and existing entrepreneurs in the marketplace. “There is a great demand for business expertise and being able to coach in this field of my expertise is very motivational with a great sense of accomplishment,” says Erasmus.

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