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Franchising: entrepreneurs just warm up
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-04-29 08:51

By Wang Jin & Lin Yingfang

"Are franchising fees still RMB 8 million Yuan?"

At the venue of the 8th China Franchise Expo, a male ran directly up to the booth of Kentucky Fried Chickens (KFC). It was not the first time for him to visit China Franchise Expo; and people in the booth told him this year that franchising KFC needed an investment from RMB2 million Yuan to RMB8 million Yuan. "I myself ran a company. Being not that rich, I have profited over RMB1 million. I just wanted to seek for an appropriate opportunity to league and join into a team with some major brands and make my business even bigger. " said Ma Xiao, who was consulting about details of franchising in front of the booth.

On the venue of this year's China Franchise Expo, both the number of brands taking part in the Expo and that of the audience have hit a record high. On the Expo venue, the zeal of entrepreneurs was releasing: in front of each booth, there were some spectators consulting while others filled in forms on the spot. As soon as Zhang Kuiyuan, a spectator from Shanxi, read the news from the newspaper that the Expo was being held, he called the reporter for details. On the very day when the Expo began, he called the reporter several times to ask about the Expo venue and the route to get there. The reporter found during his interviews that spectators came from various parts of the country: Guangdong, Shandong, Shanxi, Jilin, and Hubei, etc., and many people hurried to Beijing from faraway places just to seek for business opportunities.

Franchise expo has always been a platform to seize business opportunities and find out the development and changes in various industries. This year, the reporter found that some new shining points had won favors from entrepreneurs. Brand-new industries like economic hotels, after-sale services for motor vehicles, household necessities, sports and healthcare, fashionable decorations, and community commerce are growing rapidly in terms of franchising and are becoming the pursuing objectives for franchisees.
The sudden rise of household decoration industry as a new force

Household indoors decoration booths like that of Beijing Dongyi Rising-sun Co., Ltd. (DYRS), Beijing Qingzhou Century Construction & Decoration Engineering Co. Ltd., Shanghai Janehome Daily Commodity Co., Ltd. and Beijing Joystudio had attracted a great many spectators.

Tan Mei, who has spent 8 year on clothing business in Beijing, said that she had come to visit the Expo the year before and wanted to league KFC then, but the franchising fees were rather high. "Seeing household indoors decoration this time has invoked some new ideas in my mind. As household indoors decorations are fashionable and gentle and fragrant, I want to league since I feel that young ladies can have senses quite easily in household indoors decorations, but the actual franchising matters must be reconsidered carefully."
"I was once engaged in businesses of construction materials. This time, I just came to see whether there are some other new projects. I find that household indoors decoration is not bad and has a fairly good prospect in the market; such an industry has won my favor. I myself would like to join in the Beijing Joystudio, and the franchising fees of RMB30,000 Yuan to RMB80,000 Yuan are not that high. As the industry of household indoors decoration has just sprung up, it is certain to develop quite well." That is the feeling of Zhang Tiebin from Yichang, Hubei Province. Li Xin, vice general manager of Joystudio, said, "It is the first time for us to take part in this Expo. The main objective is to make Joystudio known to and remembered by more people. We did not expect that so many people wanted to sign a franchising contract."

Beautician and leisure industries catching eyes

Green plants, vine sofas, and beautician products, such decorations made some of beautician and healthcare booths look especially relaxing.

In front of the booth of Yogi Yuga Center, Liu Fei was filling in her contact information with her head lowered. She asked Yin Yan, the founder of Yogi Yuga Center: "How long will it take to learn the whole set of Yuga when having leagued?" Yin answered, "it will not take much time as long as you make efforts; usually, it will take nearly four months to learn it from professional teachers." When being asked why she wanted to become a franchisee of Yogi Yuga Center, Ms. Liu said that people paid more and more attention to their health, and she had been keeping her eyes open so as to find a certain appropriate project; upon seeing Yogi Yuga Center this time, she wanted to become a franchisee of the enterprise, which would be beneficial to both others and herself.
Miss Li, who worked in Beijing Bank, said, " I want to start my own business. Now, people all show concerns for their health and beauty. I have done no businesses before and thus lack experiences in other projects. Further more, I don't have enough funds necessary for becoming a franchisee of big brands. As this project does not entail very high investment, I am considering becoming a franchisee."

Overseas booths attracting prospectors

This year, exhibitors from Malaysia and South Korea had attracted a lot of attentions from spectators. The booth of Singaporean Ink Jet Printer Filling Services was besieged by spectators. Three Singaporean explained their project to the spectators with patience and demonstrated again and again how to fill in ink. Manager Ton Ho said, "This is the first time for me to come to China for the Franchise Expo. As long as the Expo began, I became much occupied: I had no time to drink water although I felt thirsty. For the time being, there is no special service to provide ink-filling for printers; I came to attend the Expo to see whether the Chinese like such a kind of service. What I did not expect is that so many people feel interested and so many people want to become a franchisee."

Wang Zhu from Shenzhen felt much confident in this project, "The service industry in China has gradually sprung up, and various services that people need will become more and more. I have been running a Lining franchise shop earlier and staying in Shenszhen for a very long time, realizing that there exists a huge space for the service industry. Last year, I came to attend the Expo and wanted to be a franchisee running a shop selling Monarch Lubricant Oil; nevertheless, I didn't make it due to some capital problems. For the moment, computer printing is very common; and the franchise fees are not so much: less than RMB30,000 Yuan. I feel a bit touched."

"With the funds well prepared, I just wait for an opportunity to become a franchisee." said Li Xiaofeng, who ran a digital photo developing shop in Zhengzhou, Henan, "If possible, I even want to be an exclusive agency of that project as there is no such service in Chinese market and the market for such a new service sector must be very large."

"From the year 2000 when China's franchising system was founded till now, it has been developing rapidly and healthily in a sustained manner. Both the total number of franchising systems and the scale of each system have been growing steadily. International franchising industries have covered 14 major categories, among which the newly growing parts are mainly pooled in economic hotels, household necessities, after-sale services for motor vehicles, tourism, leisure and body building, etc., which are also the major industries for China's franchise industry to be introduced recently. At present, there are still some fields not covered yet; for instance, commercial services. All these new business opportunities form a big piece of cake and deserve attention from investors. We will also recommend investment projects less than RMB500,000 Yuan so that more investors can find appropriate opportunities." That is what Pei Liang, the Secretary-General of the China Chain Store & Franchise Association, said. 
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