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Starting a new business is easier said than done so Clouds developed the TASTE program focusing on 5 key success factors.
Targets - Clouds support Franchisees in developing a business plan with a detailed assessment of the potential market in their community. This is distilled into hourly visitor targets, achievement of which underpins attainment of the plan's financial goals.
Advertising - To attain visitor targets between 8am and 2pm, promotional materials focus on job seekers and entrepreneurs. After 2pm the focus switches to teachers and pupils. Franchisees are trained how to actively and effectively appeal to these groups with a mix of personal engagement, posters, flyers and text messages.
Selling - Even if visitor numbers are good, sales will disappoint unless visitors are logged on to workstations with a paid session ticket. Franchisees also learn that visitors need to return and will do if time spent online is valued. Delivering online value is supported through the provision of free internet training for customers and focused links. For schools, Clouds provide link based virtual text books and quizzes supporting the South African curriculum. For job seekers and entrepreneurs, Clouds has a European eBusiness program under which freelancers can find Cloud based data entry and development work. To stay on top of the latest sites for customers, weekly online training is given to franchisees.
Takings - to have sufficient funds to meet month end obligations and to maintain thorough records of income and expenditure, Franchisees learn the importance of banking takings every day.
Execution - Franchisees take an online TASTE course at the end of which they make a personal commitment to carry out a series of actions in the first months of business. This commitment is shared with other franchisees via a private bulletin board. Successes and challenges are shared within the franchise community which becomes a self help forum.