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Secrets of Japanese Franchise’s Success

The success of a business is measured by customer satisfaction. Thus, a company that is attuned to what its end-customer wants and needs achieves success ahead of its competitors. Franchising is particularly tricky because the entrepreneur has to deal with an existing network of stores, suppliers and customer base.

Ministop Convenience Stores hosted the Ministop Franchising Exhibit 2006 at the Crowne Plaza Galleria where it revealed three key factors for its success in the Philippines and other countries.

After being in the Philippines for six years, there is a Ministop Convenience Store in every corner. The company believes it is helping the economy through its retail model and by providing jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Innovation. Ministop embraces the Japanese concept of Kaizen or continuous improvement and believes that every business must constantly upgrade products and services. The franchisee’s success lies in innovation. It continues to provide customers with affordable ready-to-eat meals and snacks. During the exhibit, the company launched new products, including rice toppings in Pinoy bistek, pork sisig, beef caldereta, chicken teriyaki and bopis; pork tonkatsu with rice; Belgian cone sundae; Belgian white chocolate sundae; potato fries and taco hotdog with salsa dip. The company also plans to launch new combo meals and merienda packages. Bobby Go, business unit head for Ministop Convenience Stores, said the company was also looking at innovations in other areas to enhance its partnerships with franchisees. These include new POS software, new crew uniform and product display patterns.

“We are able to find inspiration beyond our own industry by looking at best practices in different sectors,” he said.

Service is king. The company offers its customers and business partners a wide array of services, including mobile phone prepaid loading, cellphone battery charging docks and even flower delivery services. There are also plans to launch broadband Internet facilities and bills payment counters. The company’s goal is to be a 100 percent convenience store where people can do more than buy groceries and have a quick snack.

Dinna Chan Vasquez –

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