Operators of these Swisscom Shops run the outlet on their own account and benefit from Swisscom's market presence. Martin Matter, Head of Franchise Management, has ambitious goals: "Since the first shop was opened we have been continually optimising the system. Now we are in a position to start a nationwide expansion. In addition to the 76 shops operated by Swisscom, we aim to open another 40 franchise shops by the end of 2005." The new outlets will offer the complete range of Swisscom services and products for fixed network, mobile and Internet applications.
The general interest shown in Swisscom's franchise system has exceeded Matter's expectations. He believes there is only one explanation: "We live in an era of rapid change, and more and more people are seeking reliable, tried-and-tested products. Swisscom stands for quality, homeland and trust, and this motivates a great many potential entrepreneurs to get in touch with us."
The aim of Swisscom's franchise system is to establish successful partnerships with the owners of franchise shops. Selection of the right franchise partner is the key to an effective, sustainable franchise model. Lots of people dream of setting up business on their own, but they must meet certain criteria before they can open their own shop. "The ideal partner has experience in sales and distribution, enjoys contact with the public, and is willing to invest his own money in the business," says Matter.
According to Matter, agglomerations with a resident population of at least 30,000 make ideal locations. "Needless to say, locations with high customer volumes and sufficient parking spaces are optimal." The shop floor space should be at least 70 square meters, with an additional 30 square meters for storage and offices.
While the term "franchising" is very old, the concept of "business franchising" was established only after the Second World War. A franchise system usually covers a comprehensive package of proven offerings from the franchiser. The franchise holder pays the franchiser fees in return for the transfer of know-how and rights, and for support in building up and managing the business. For an initial and a recurring fee, the franchiser provides the franchiser holder with a complete business model.