Spring FG pushes forward with franchise expansion

Spring Financial Group has named the NSW Central Coast, north of Sydney, as the location planned for its first franchise outlet, with other regional locations to follow.

Keith Cullen, the company's managing director, told ifa last week that Spring FG plans to open its first outlet by July this year and aims to have 10 more shopfronts up and running in the next 12 months.

"We'll start with key regional locations like the Central Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast," he said.

"We hope to open 10 in the first 12 months and then run it at 10 to 15 a year. We should have the first one open in July and we're hoping for the Central Coast."

Spring FG has engaged an external professional  who helped Fantastic Furniture set up 140 stores – to scout for the shopfront location.

"Where we open the first one will depend on where we find the best properties," Mr Cullen said.

Spring FG first announced plans for a franchise-based expansion at its annual general meeting in November last year.

"From mid-2016, we will embark on our most ambitious expansion plan to date, as we commence a rollout of franchised outlets that will see the Spring brand expand across Australia," Mr Cullen said at the meeting.

The model is based on its graduate academy and encompasses Mr Cullen's vision of a centralised back office that allows planners to put more focus on clients.

"Our franchisees have to go through our recruitment program and then have the opportunity to have a franchise and have your own business," he said.

"We think the model is fantastic because we have centralised all the expertise. If you're sitting up on the Central Coast with your clients, you'll be their accountant, their tax adviser, help administer their SMF or their insurance adviser. But you're not pretending that you now about all of that; really we're doing it out of Sydney. So what you're left to do is recruit clients, manage the relationship networking and build the brand."

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