Franchising tips from the "horse's mouth"

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.

During his over 30 years of experience, Mr Erasmus has worked at varying levels of the corpo-rate world and, in doing so, has amassed a wealth of experience that has served to position him as a special-ist SME mentor with a targeted focus on business res-cue operations across all industries, business types, and sectors.

Johan has, therefore, acquired knowledge across several business areas, which he now imparts on others as a mentor in the SME business environ-ment. As a mentor, Johan provides support and exper-tise in advertising, marketing, branding, business plan-ning, IT, costing, controls, inventory, counselling, due diligence, employment, recruitment, financial manage-ment, HR management, industrial relations, legal, op-erational management, raising finance, turn-around management, and lease negotiations.

Johan Erasmus also specialises in a number of cross-industry business areas such as production and opera-tional management, general management, franchising, financial planning and budgets, and cash flow projec-tions.

When reflecting on his career to date, Mr Erasmus highlighted the following significant milestones:

  1. Facilitating the growth of the Spur Corporation brand through opening new stores.
  2. Developing and implementing successful rescue operations both locally and internationally.
  3. Personally coaching and developing entrepreneurs and SMEs across various industries.
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