Aussie Farmers Teach Aussie Agents a Lesson

Every Wednesday morning I’d be greeted by a box of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and bacon. It was our weekly Aussie farmers delivery ; good quality, competitively priced, Uber convenience.

The demise of Aussie farmers has some pertinent points that all Australian travel agent should consider to keep their business successful.

The duopoly rules again

25 million inhabitants and relative global isolation means that in many industries, Australia can only support a duopoly with a thin band of alternatives. Bunnings and Masters? Only room for one. The independent band gets thinner every time Helloworld  and Flight Centre completes another acquisition.

Franchises under fire

Aussie Farmers, Gloria Jeans, Donut King, Domino’s, Caltex, Pizza Capers. … The list goes on for failed franchises. Starbucks “store on every corner” policy was great for global brand recognition but meant that to survive, businesses had to cannibalize one another.

By and large , franchises have worked well in the travel industry; will that continue to be the case? For the sake of roomsXML, I hope so, but don’t be surprised to see ever changing and evolving models raise their head. Interested? Investigate thoroughly.

The conversation needs to be more than about price

The retail war between Woolworths and Coles left Aussie farmers as collateral damage, caught up in the wrong conversation, price.

Agents won’t beat Webjet or on price alone; it needs to be about service, personality, people, saving time and relationships. Computers suck at personality, for now.

Success reliant on insane growth levels will fail

Growth happens when the pie gets bigger, or getting a bigger slice of the pie.  At the moment, the Solar pie is baking nicely in Australia.

Travel expenditure in Australia is not going to grow by 10% per annum. Think about all that mortgage stress, lowering real-world in wage growth. So to grow, your slice of the pie gets bigger when someone else’s gets smaller.

Know the maths

Corporate failure means catastrophic personal loss . I felt for the entrepreneurial families buying dirt cheap franchises to consolidate their business.

It would appear they didn’t have access to the data which said there were no new waves of customers and the pie was not going to get much bigger.

The same thing goes with selling doughnuts, how many do you need to sell to pay the rent?



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