In recent years, franchising has become a popular business concept among Filipinos who want to jump into the entrepreneurial bandwagon. It has been proven an effective method to boost profits in a shorter span of time. Fast-food chains, bakeshops, and even clothing lines are part of the rising popularity of franchise businesses in the country.
The franchise concept also provides an alternative option for people who would like to transform and upscale their small-scale business into a large-scale industry. Initially, the franchise system seems too heavy on the budget as an investor has to shell out a larger amount for the franchise fee as well as the royalties the company gets. But the franchisee would benefit in the long run as the entrepreneur would be guided properly in managing and running the business.
Lawyer Anna Devanadera is one of the believers on the effectiveness of the franchising concept. This was proven right when she embarked on a new business model after bigger businesses opened in the area where she used to operate.
Devanadera used to operate a canteen in the Jupiter Street area in Makati for seven years. Business was doing well until bigger eateries established their presence in the new buildings, housing business-process outsourcing companies. “When I started my business, the only competition to the canteen was the so-called Jollijeeps,” says Devanadera.
When the big boys opened shop, Devana-dera realized she has to upgrade her business because of the tougher competition.
She chose to pursue the franchising concept. While she and her mother were in a mall for a franchise expo, she stumbled upon the Binalot booth. This piqued her interest because Devana-dera is a foodie herself.
“Although I did not study formal lessons in cooking, I love to eat and enjoy dealing with culinary matters, too. I just had lessons before in the Maya cooking program under Chef Sylvia Reynoso Gala,” she says.
The concept of Binalot Fiesta Foods fascinated her. Immediately, she inquired about the terms and applied for a franchise. Last January, her Binalot franchise opened.
Naturally, there was a transition from running a canteen to managing a franchise. Devana-dera used to implement her own style in managing
her canteen. But with Binalot, she has to adhere to the Binalot standards in terms of quality control, people management and accounting, among others.
“For instance, we have to be more conscious and consistent in terms of the quantity of food served to the clients. We have to be stricter in terms of the weight and the size of what we serve to our customers,” says Devanadera.
On the employees’ side, Devanadera has to inculcate in them that they have to change their mindset in the new business environment. During their canteen days, Devanadera recalls the staff just performed the regular routine of canteen operations.
This changed when Devanadera opened the Binalot franchise. “Employees had to adjust to the new environment in terms of their work style,” she says.
She also reminds them they have now a bigger responsibility to make the business sustainable.
“I always tell them that it is a privilege to be given a franchise and we have to take care of it. This serves as a guide for them to perform better,” she adds.
Truth be told, Devanadera was already thinking of getting a franchise after she finished law school. However, she couldn’t find the “right fit”—whether in terms of budget or location. “Some even rejected my proposals,” she recalls. “I was just waiting for the right company.”
Hooking up with Binalot has given her business a good standing. Aside from providing the tools, it allows Devanadera to grow her business acumen.
Rommel Juan, president of Binalot, says the company reminds the franchisee that there are different market dynamics in each location. This means each market has its own character, which is a major factor in the operations. In this aspect, Juan says partnership is a key element in the success of the franchisee.
“We trust that the franchisee can really help us because we know they’re familiar with the areas where they operated before, especially with Ana because she’s familiar with the Jupiter area,” he adds.
On a general note, Devanadera says franchising is good for people who are first-time entrepreneurs because business is done in a more controlled manner and employees can be disciplined easily because they have to be accountable to a higher authority.
Although her canteen business has also served local food, Devanadera says the Binalot franchise is a new learning experience because it enables her to learn new things such as inventory, accounting and management.