How you can prepare your business for Asean integration
MANILA, Philippines - With ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration coming in 2015, many business owners are now looking at how to prepare for the arrival of more foreign competitors into the Philippine market.
Franchising can help you prepare by solving 3 critical issues that every business needs to address:
1) Building your Brand
With hundreds of foreign brands entering the market, branding and marketing are no longer just the logo and tagline you have. Branding is what you say and do in every touch point that your customer interacts with you. Whether it’s your advertising, how your store looks, how your staff speaks or even the emails and newsletters you send, every element needs to be aligned to your brand.
Franchising can help by re-evaluating and documenting your key brand elements to ensure that the total experience is properly replicated by franchisees. In addition, having multiple franchises allows your brand to gain higher awareness and protect you from the new brands that are coming in.
2) Upgrade and make your systems as efficient as you can
World class competitors bring world class systems. So you need to step up your operations to be competitive with your competitors. Local franchise brands such as Magic Melt from Cebu have invested in ISO - certified facilities and HACCP certifications to ensure that their products and processes can compete with the best in the market.
By upgrading your systems to a franchiseable level and documenting every step in your process, working with international franchise developers can help you gain years of international - level operations knowledge in a short time, perfect to prepare you for the AEC 2015.
3) Look beyond the Philippines
The AEC is an opportunity for every Filipino business to look beyond the 100 M customers in the Philippines to the over 600 M customers across Southeast Asia (SEA). Businesses should look beyond defending their customers in the Philippines, but aggressively pursuing growth strategies in other SEA markets.
Franchising is a lower risk entry strategy in foreign markets given the advantage of using the money, time, and organization of local partners who know the market. It allows for a faster growth option than doing it alone and allows you to maximize the AEC integration by entering multiple markets at the same time.
The AEC brings many challenges and opportunities for your business. Franchising is one strategy that can help you prepare by solving these 3 critical issues and ensure that the AEC brings exponential growth to local brands and businesses.
About the author:
Sam Christopher Lim is the Senior Vice-President for marketing & strategy at Francorp Philippines. He has over a decade of global marketing experience from Bangkok, Shanghai and most recently London. He is a multi-awarded marketer who graduated with distinction from Oxford University and was awarded with the Young Market Masters award. He is also currently Chair for ASEAN integration for the Philippine Franchise Association.