A Truly Unique Franchise!
We all like to use the word unique and we all like to be considered as unique, but are we really?
Unique is probably one of the most overworked words in the English language, and one that has taken on a new meaning over time. It’s perhaps similar to the word gourmet which is likewise greatly overworked and has lost its true meaning – we now have a ‘gourmet corner’ in a mall food court!
How does unique fit into the franchise scene and, especially, how does it relate to the IFG 50-50 franchise?
Firstly, let’s establish a workable definition of the word unique – we think it’s best defined as ‘being the only one of its kind – unlike anything else’.
Even a speedy review of franchise listings shows that virtually all franchisors consider their franchise offering to be unique. We see the IFG 50-50 franchise likewise as unique – but we believe there are very specific features about the franchise that make it unlike anything else, and thus it really does qualify for the unique label.
We operate in the business-to-business marketplace working with client companies that are usually small and medium-sized. Usually they are also growing at a rapid rate. While we provide an in-demand service to these clients, we certainly would not see that market sector as unique.
We are invoice discounters – our job is to accelerate the cash flow for our clients. We do this by purchasing specific current quality invoices from our clients. This means that they receive cash today for invoices that are scheduled to be paid at some future time, thus accelerating their cash flow by many weeks. Offering this service to our clients on an ‘as-needed’ basis makes us unique and one-of-a-kind.
We have been doing business under the banner of The Interface Financial Group for over 45 years. In franchising terms, this is a lengthy heritage. That longevity has enabled us to create a franchise that is definitely tried and tested in the business world. However, while 45 years is a long time we would not see ourselves as unique in this particular area.
The Interface Financial Group currently has operations in eight countries and is truly an international organization. One of the great benefits of the international structure is that it enables franchisees to do cross-border transactions in a very cost and time-effective manner. This is something that is of considerable benefit to our clients involved in the import and export of goods and services. While the international aspect is not necessarily unique, the fact that we can apply our service internationally is a unique approach.
While we like to add the tag ‘unique’ to our franchise, it does in fact resemble many other franchises in the way that it is formulated. We offer a home-based environment as do many other franchisors. We offer a franchise where normally there are no employees; there is no requirement to purchase inventory; there is no requirement for customized equipment, advertising or promotion; and it is basically paperless from a franchisee’s point of view.
Having introduced a large element of technology into our franchise, we have created an opportunity for franchisees to work in a paperless environment - there are no forms to fill in, no contracts to prepare and review, no reports to write and submit, it’s all about people ‘work’. There may be an element of uniqueness in this aspect.
I am quite convinced that all of our franchisees are 100% unique! We look for individuals that have a mature and solid business background. We are not overly concerned on their specific background, in terms of which branch of industry they came from, but rather more on the fact that they have ‘been there and done that.’ Because we see the IFG 50-50 franchise as a blend of technology and people we look for franchisees that have exceptional people skills, while we take care of the technology aspects. We look for great networkers, people with excellent communication skills and individuals that are comfortable working in a one-on-one people environment.
While the IFG 50-50 franchise may not be totally unique, as is probably the case with most franchises, we do believe that we have some very unique features that make us stand out from the crowd. For individuals that are interested in owning their own white-collar financial service franchise and working in a professional environment, then certainly our uniqueness is something to explore.