In the world of franchising where there are literally thousands of opportunities to choose from – with franchise descriptions using words such as ‘unique’ and ‘different’ – we question what in fact is unique and different? Everyone has a unique opportunity, or so it seems.
To be unique we believe that you have to be absolutely one of a kind – no replicas and no look-a-likes – which also probably means no competition.
The world of franchising, or for that matter small business in general, has moved from the rented office concept to a home-based office setup. What was once unique, in that it was a home-based business, is now common place.
Employees represent another ‘unique’ area that isn’t so unique after all. It was at one time certainly different to say that you had a business with no employees. With the advent of technology and outsourcing, the ‘no-employees’ claim, is again, fairly common place in the small business world.
Inventory represents another changing area – most businesses that produce or distribute a product would always have as much inventory as they could afford. In this day and age we tend to be focused less and less on making a product rather than importing it, often at a much lower cost than making it domestically. ‘Just-in-time’ production has also meant that inventory levels can and are drastically reduced. The claim that you have a business with ‘no inventory’ now starts to be common place.
The next question would then be – is there really any business or franchise that still has unique features and elements that distinguish it from other brands?
At The Interface Financial Group (IFG), they believe they still retain features that are both unique and certainly different from other franchise models. IFG comes with over 42 years of history.
During that lengthy time span IFG has sought to maintain its position as the primary funder for small business in a non-bank environment. IFG has sought to maintain a high standard of personal service (even that could be unique in today’s high-tech environment) while at the same time embracing technology to improve the day-to-day operations of the business model.
The IFG approach to franchising is to share the day-to-day operations of the business with their franchisees. This means that the franchisor is actually involved with the franchisee in each transaction. The franchisor does not actively compete with the franchisees, but rather complements and supports their efforts. They style their franchise as a 50/50 approach. This requires the franchisee to undertake what is referred to as the ‘people’ part of the business, while the franchisor (IFG) handles the ‘paper’ part of the business. As a general rule this works out very well as most IFG franchisees readily admit they would rather be out talking and working with their clients than processing paper.
The Interface Financial Group is in the business of helping small businesses expand rapidly by unlocking capital that is tied up in accounts receivable. In other words, IFG clients have sold their product or service to their customer and are now waiting to get paid. That waiting period for many small entities creates a major finance and cash flow issue. Interface injects capital by buying those unpaid invoices at a small discount to produce instant funding for their clients.
In their quest to deliver a unique franchise system for their franchisees, the fact that the franchisor handles all of the transactional paperwork goes a long way to set their model apart from other opportunities. But it does not end with a 50/50 approach to paperwork – Interface also offers a 50/50 approach to funding transactions. This means that every time an invoice is purchased from a client, it is a joint purchase by the franchisee and the franchisor. The paperwork and funding elements help to create a franchisee comfort zone.
Franchisees can take comfort in the fact that IFG handles the paperwork, based on their 42 years of experience in the business. Franchisees can also take comfort in the fact that every time they engage in an invoice purchase, the franchisor is working alongside them and investing their own money in the same transaction.
The Interface Financial Group franchise is naturally a capital-intensive franchise. Capital is the key to growing a business, both for the IFG clients and for the IFG franchisees. IFG has, therefore, created a capital leverage program that assists franchisees with their capital needs. The program effectively lends capital to the franchisees to enable them to complete more transactions. Having access to funding from the franchisor (other people’s money) enables franchisees to not only assist their clients, but to also allow them to grow their franchise entity at an exponential speed.
We think these are unique features – even if the word ‘unique’ is somewhat overworked, we believe these features certainly represent a franchise opportunity with a difference!
For more information visit: www.interfacefinancial.com