Monday, 4 August 2014

Masterclass In Session: Franchising With Sofia

The franchise industry in Malaysia has always received strong government support. But while many businesses have benefited from growing franchise opportunities, many potential franchisors and franchisees don't know where to start.

With the release of Sofia Leong Abdullah's Guide to Franchising in Malaysia, the latest volume in the MPH Masterclass series, the author hopes to help them out.

Sofia Leong Abdullah is the founder of her own franchise consultancy. Her vast experience in multiple industries, including hospitality, food and beverage, property management, make her eminently suited to advising aspiring entrepreneurs on franchising.

She also had stints as the franchise brand manager for Roasters Asia Pacific (M) Sdn Bhd, which brought (and later bought) Kenny Rogers' Roasters; and CEO of the Malaysian Franchise Association.

"The franchise business model is very interesting," Sofia notes. "It allows existing businesses to grow in ways that would have been very difficult to do on their own, while giving aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to become businesspeople in their own right."

Even so, misunderstanding abounds. "Franchisors are often in the dark about the kinds of preparation that goes into getting their businesses ready to be franchised," she says. "On the other hand, potential franchisees mistakenly expect to be handed everything on a silver platter."

This book is an extension of her efforts to help grow the franchise business in Malaysia. Readers will find information on franchising, such as its history in Malaysia, and some of the more popular sectors that use this business strategy: food and beverage, education, services, and so on.

Learn what franchisors and franchisees should expect before embarking upon a business, as well as potential pitfalls and tips for success for each of the sectors highlighted in this book.

Myths of franchising as a risk-free business model are busted. And few could imagine that brands such as Singer and Bata were among the first franchises to enter Malaysia in the 1940s. "At that time, we simply recognised them as two international brands, not franchised outlets," writes Sofia.

Aspiring franchisors and franchisees can also expect some case studies, as well as a look at the legal issues in franchising, and where to find additional support and information.

"Running a franchise consultancy gives me the chance to share my experience and knowledge of the industry with keen businesspeople eager to start franchising," says Sofia. "Now, writing this book allows me to reach out to far more people than my consultancy alone could ever achieve."

Overall, the success (or failure) of a franchise depends on the people who run it. "Any form of business comes with its own set of challenges and it's how you overcome these challenges that determines the longevity of your business," says Sofia. "Franchising merely provides the new business owner (the franchisee) access to a working business system."

Sofia Leong Abdullah's Guide to Franchising in Malaysia
Sofia Leong Abdullah
MPH Group Publishing
146 pages
ISBN: 978-967-415-223-9

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