Australian professional services firm, BlueRock and retail property services specialist, BDC Property Partners, have partnered to launch an industry-first retail service for the management and growth of franchises and SMEs.

BDC Partners is the only service of its kind in the market to complete the missing integrated link between franchisors, franchisees, landlords and lenders. BDC Partners will work with all four to build profitability and longevity rather than retailers and franchises needing to navigate and deal with multiple agencies.

BlueRock CEO Bruce McFarlane said that this service launches at a critical time for the sector, with record-breaking enquiries for new business and a huge entrepreneurial boom.

“With many people either choosing to or forced into career changes, or making lifestyle decisions due to COVID-19, we expect more Australians will turn to small business and franchises to create their own opportunities and generate income,” he said.

“However, the wealth and employment creation ‘engine’ that is small business and the crucial franchise sector is facing many headwinds and needs to be activated to get the economy moving again.”

According to McFarlane, the franchise sector is facing three major issues: finding the right retail location and service areas, recruiting new knowledgeable and enterprising franchisees, and securing affordable finance for the business.

BDC Partners aims to solve these issues with services underpinned by joint ventures with data-backed insight from location mapping software Gap Maps, Associated Projects shopfitters and BlueRock accounting, finance, insurance and legal firm.

“In addition, BDC Partners will use FRANdata’s independent auditing to rate and provide transparency to potential franchisees and lenders. This service will offer valuable insights that help take much of the guesswork out of franchise selection and expansion.”

BDC Partners founder and partner, Jon Sully added, “Right now franchisors are under cash-flow pressure, and many do not have the marketing budget to locate and recruit the right franchisees to expand their business. This is particularly the case in Victoria right now with the second COVID-19 shutdown. Similarly, franchisees may not have the resources to choose the right franchise business or obtain the cash-flow required to start up. Because of COVID-19, the franchise sector needs more support than ever.”

In conclusion, BDC Partners head of franchise recruitment and partner, David Lindsay said: “Our mission is simple: to execute on the vision of retailers and franchises, and to provide first-class support when systems and brands are contending with COVID-constrained resourcing.”