More and more entrepreneurs are seeing the value of franchising in South Africa. Multi-unit franchising is growing in popularity amongst franchisees both locally and around the world.
A multi-unit franchise is a franchise consisting of more than one store operating in different locations.
Multi-unit Montagu franchise owner Pierre Lombard was recently interviewed by Radio Pretoria, where he shared his thoughts, experiences and learnings from starting and running several local businesses over almost a decade.
Pierre is the proud owner of seven Montagu stores in the Western Cape. He opened his first store 7 years ago and has never looked back.
Small beginnings are great opportunities
Throughout his entrepreneurship journey, Pierre has learnt that a small business venture has the potential to turn into something a lot bigger.
“We wanted to just open one store,” he explains. “It did so well that the next year we opened three new stores.”
Starting his first franchise didn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Any successful business owner knows that it can be risky to start a business, especially when you have no idea what lies ahead.
“When we joined Montagu it was a leap of faith as there weren’t other stores to look at. It was the scariest but also the best decision we ever made.”
Key Success Factors for a Multi-Unit Franchise
Pierre had seen the success of other Montagu stores before he opened his first store, and understood that starting strong was essential for success.
“A strong national brand is a benefit to anyone going into business – this is why I decided to go with the Montagu franchise. Sales is my strength and with the Montagu franchise looking after the product procurement, quality and distribution side leaves me to focus on the selling of the product, which is what I do best.”
Why a multi-unit franchise?
Over the years, Pierre has realised that when it comes to owning a franchise, an all-your-eggs-in-one- basket approach can be risky.
“The risk with having one store is higher than if you have more than one store, as the stores support one another. When the one is down the other one is up,” he says. This balance of risk and profitability has had a lot to do with his success with Montagu.
Scaling up from one franchise to two or three is certainly a challenge in itself. But an entrepreneur enters a new playing field when expanding a multi-unit franchise. A strong management support base is the key to all stores running smoothly.
“When you go from one store to eight stores, you need to have a sound infrastructure to support you,” he explains. “Up to four stores you can manage on your own and you need a simple structure. But scaling up to eight stores requires you to look at appointing a manager and a stronger structure to support you.”
Buying a franchise with Montagu:
Montagu runs a highly successful franchise network nationwide. We have over 100 franchises that sell more than 2,500 tons of dried fruit and nuts products every year. Montagu is passionate about the further development of the Montagu brand by establishing a national network for those interested in buying a franchise. This network provides franchise opportunities through various products from the town of Montagu.
Our focus is to assist the Montagu franchisees with administrative systems, marketing and national brand visibility.