5 minutes reading time (900 words)

"Right People, Right Place" by Simon Lord Franchise New Zealand


"Right People Right Place" - Simon Lord, Franchise New Zealand Media

Iridium Partners matches the people with the franchise to put round pegs in round holes​ - find out more in Simon Lord's article in the latest Franchise New Zealand magazine.

There are over 630 different franchise brands in New Zealand and thousands of new and existing franchise outlets on the market at any time. This means that anyone looking for a business opportunity faces a bewildering choice of opportunities. Even if you know you're looking for, say, a café franchise, which one is best suited to your pocket, your skills and your personality?

At the same time, franchisors are keen to find people who are a good match for their own culture; people who will make a success of the opportunity and build thriving businesses in their own local area. That matchmaking process can be a time-consuming one for both parties.

That's why Nathan Bonney and Meredith Taylor established Iridium Partners. 'You could say it's "Tinder for franchising",' says Nathan. 'Our aim is to pair people with their perfect franchise systems.'

The couple bring massive experience to their role. Nathan has over 17 years' experience in franchising, including over 10 years with the multi-award-winning Columbus Coffee and roles with Mexicali Fresh, Burger Wisconsin and Cobb & Co. His passion lies in franchise business development and helping individuals succeed in franchised businesses. Meredith, meanwhile, has more than 20 years of experience as a senior Human Resources professional across sectors including hospitality, tourism, construction, engineering and digital. For Meredith, achieving successful business outcomes for all parties is her goal.

Finding a business match

'Good franchising isn't about selling the most franchises – it's about recruiting the right people as franchisees,' says Nathan. 'But it's hard to make the right decisions when everyone's trying to sell you a business. That's why our approach is focused on recruitment, not sales.'

'It's like dating – you have to find out if you are right for each other,' smiles Meredith. 'That's why, if you're considering buying a business we like to talk to you, ask lots of questions and find out about your experience, your dreams and goals, your family and your financial situation. What do you like doing or not like doing? We'll take you on a journey to find out.

'A lot of people don't understand very much about franchising, so we'll also go through how it works and help you work out if franchising is right for you at all. If it's not, we'll tell you; if it is, which franchises are worth considering? You might think lawnmowing, we might suggest a renovation franchise. We'll carry out psychometric testing to help ensure you won't be a square peg in a round hole. Only after we've identified the specific brands that might appeal will we approach the franchisors on your behalf.'

Potential franchisees pay no fee for the service – instead, franchisors pay Iridium a 'finder's fee' in the event of a match. No match, no fee.

Attracting good franchisees

Iridium work directly with some leading-brand franchises to approach recruitment from the other direction, helping them to attract and qualify good potential franchisees. 'Recruitment is a big concern for many franchisors and a vital part of keeping their brand energised and growing, but few companies can afford to have a full-time specialist in the role,' Nathan says.

'We can effectively run a franchise's recruitment programme for them, including recruitment strategy, interviews and testing, credit and police checks, and personal and professional reference checking.

'Knowing the brands that we work with really, really well means that we can identify potential franchisees who have the right qualities to succeed in those systems and ensure that we only present qualified candidates, saving everybody's time and precious resources. Just as with the candidates, we "date" the franchisors, digging deep into how their system works and what makes a successful franchisee.

'We can also work at a strategic level. Some brands have a clear view of where they want franchisees or need to set territories, others appreciate some input. We also understand the New Zealand market when it comes to property and leasing, so we can help franchisors put the right people in the right place. And we can also help create your recruitment plan, create appropriate processes and documentation, review existing databases and develop communication. That allows franchisors to concentrate on supporting existing franchisees and building their business.'

Good brands, good people

Nathan and Meredith say that they only want to work with credible brands which are structured to do well in New Zealand. 'Our client base includes such leading names as Mexicali, Rodney Wayne, Burger Wisconsin, LJ's and Lord of the Fries, and we also work on a referral basis with a number of other brands across various categories. We also do one-off project consulting.

'By working with both franchisees-to-be and existing franchisors, Iridium covers all levels and stages of buying, running and growing franchises. The result? Franchisors with the right people representing their brands, new franchisees with the right skills to create thriving businesses within that particular system, and everyone involved sharing the ingredients for success.

'So whether you're considering buying a franchise or looking for the right new franchisees, contact Iridium today to find out more.'

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