Financial crisis creates franchise opportunities

Max Konstantinides, President of KEM International Franchise Exhibition, explains how franchising could be a solution to the current economic crisis not only in Greece but around the world

The crisis in the Greek economy is a fact which cannot be questioned. Unfortunately, it has struck on other countries as well, but as it is known, every crisis also creates opportunities. All it takes is to detect, to process and to see what they have to offer. Franchising is one such opportunity.

Franchising has built solid foundations in the Greek market and has proven its worth and effectiveness as a business practice. Its significant advantage is that it provides the security needed by people in such an economic climate. Trade never stops and consumers are constantly looking for quality products and services at a competitive price. An organised franchise network is able to meet the expectations and needs of the consumers and to offer solutions to all those who are looking for a profitable business opportunity.

In addition, the Greek market today is going through a balancing and smoothing phase. In other words, the fictional prosperity of previous years created conditions of high costs in order for someone to launch their own company. Today, as a result of the crisis, these costs have been reduced significantly. For example, the cost of renting a store, regardless of the area of choice, has fallen dramatically, thus creating favourable conditions in the market. Also, the problems in the public sector, give impetus for growth in the private domain.

If we look at countries close to Greece with similar circumstances, habits and attitudes, we see that the franchising industry has experienced tremendous growth in times of economic crisis. In Turkey, for example, although it does not belong in the EU, when forced to comply with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund in 2001, it developed the largest franchising chains with enormous success.

But what are those aspects which create the conditions for franchising to be the most correct and safe solution in times of economic uncertainty and crisis?

  • The existence of a strong brand with value in the eyes of consumers
  • The success story of any franchise can be proof in itself about the results that any new business that is part of a network can have
  • The continuous functional support towards franchise owners, who most of the time, seek the franchisor’s experience to bypass problems
  • The assistance and support the franchise owner receives in matters related to finding the most appropriate commercial spot for a new business
  • The training programmes that assist franchise owners in attaining fast and substantial knowledge regarding the franchise of their choice
  • The purchasing power a network offers so a franchise owner can negotiate lower prices with suppliers
  • The avoidance of risk any new independent business has

A significant number of entrepreneurs are interested in importing and developing brands in Greece, which are already proving to be a success abroad. Almost 20 per cent of visitors to the KEM International Franchise Exhibition that took place in February 2010, in Athens, stated that they visited the exhibition in order to find a Master Franchise Owner. For four days from 25th to 28th February 2011, the KEM International Franchise Exhibition will be organised in Athens, at Helexpo Palace Exhibition Centre (Kifissias 39 Av. Marousi), where a great number of qualified visitors will look for profitable business opportunities from the domestic and the international market in order to develop in Greece and its neighboring countries.

The Greek franchising industry enjoys one of the highest annual growth rates within the European Union. The KEM exhibition plays a vital role as the main driving force of franchising in Greece, as it attracts thousands of qualified visitors from Greece and all over the world.