We caught up with Tony Triquenot and Louis Malta-Bey from DIGI-Sports to find out how Point Franchise is helping this unique concept expand into the UK market. From the challenges of expanding internationally to the impact of Covid-19 (and much more), here’s what the enterprising pair had to say.
When you think of a franchise, a food or drink business likely pops into your mind first. That’s not surprising, considering that six of the Franchise 500’s top 10 are food-related franchises. But the landscape of the franchise world is broad and varied; you can start virtually any kind of business, from dog grooming to home care to retail, as a franchise.
We arranged a virtual catch-up with the team at DIGI-Sports. Its unique interactive games and events concept is proof of just how innovative a franchise business can be. Whether you’re interested in offering entertainment for corporate team-building events or personal events like weddings and birthdays, DIGI-Sports will help you appeal to a wide audience.
People of all ages, from four to 94, engage in 30-second to one-minute ‘battles,’ testing their reaction times, coordination, reflexes, memory, and so much more. How do they play these games? On a bespoke, portable, interactive wall that engages all the senses with a combination of sound, tracking, visual and colourful features.
All franchisees need is access to a mains plug socket and they can host short games that are fun for both players and spectators. DIGI-Sports’ specially designed wall can take up to 1,500 players per day, meaning it’s ideal for events of any size.
The franchise’s International Franchise Development Lead, Tony Triquenot and U.K. & Eire Lead, Louis Malta-Bey explained more about this exciting concept and shared their experience of working as a dynamic duo.
The benefit of different business perspectives
The best part of many franchise teams is the fresh ideas each individual can bring, and that’s certainly the case at DIGI-Sports. Working as a team, Tony and Louis have established a great dynamic that makes the most of Tony’s youthful enthusiasm and Louis’ decades of franchising experience.
As you can imagine, a typical week for both franchise professionals looks quite different. For starters, Tony shared that he spends around two days on the road running the business’s events and demonstrating the concept to customers and potential new franchisees. The rest of his time is dedicated to talking to leads and plotting the franchise’s next international move.
“When I first joined, my weeks were very different as I ran events all across France. It was so important for me to really understand everything about the business and hear customer feedback, so I was able to properly sell it to new franchisees.”
Louis joined the team recently to round out Tony’s experience by bringing general franchising knowledge and local market insights and expertise to the table. He joined DIGI-Sports with over 15 years of experience in the franchise sector, much of which he learned during the two decades he lived in the United States.
In addition, Louis has experience in other markets, including his native France as well as Singapore and now the UK, meaning he offers invaluable international insight to help the network succeed and grow.
Tony explained specifically how Louis’ keen local market insight is helping DIGI-Sports find its feet in new countries.
“Louis’s mission is to establish the concept in the UK as someone who better understands the market. It’s really difficult for me to do that from France. And once Louis has managed to do that, we’ll be looking to explore other markets across the globe.”
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Breaking the mould
Some franchises tend to recruit and onboard a typical franchisee profile, whether that’s a previous business owner with years of experience or an expert within the industry or sector of a given franchise. However, Tony explained that DIGI-Sports is a business that appeals to people from all kinds of backgrounds and age groups.
“Some of the leads I’ve called have been in their early 20s, while others are in their 50s or beyond with lots of experience. I really enjoy speaking to every kind of person and working out how the DIGI-Sports business can fit into their life.”
The pair revealed that the concept is extremely flexible, as it can be run on a part- or full-time basis to suit each franchisee’s goals and lifestyle. Louis said that the head office team are the “enablers” that give investors the opportunity to achieve their business goals and sow the seeds for a happy and profitable life.
“I try and work out what each person’s needs are early on,” Tony explained. “Then, if it looks like DIGI-Sports is the right fit for them, we can move forward together. It’s a lot like a family-run business from that point!”
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A point of difference
While the hard work of the two franchise professionals has been integral to DIGI-Sports’ success, being part of the Point Franchise network has helped bring more entrepreneurs their way.
“The Point Franchise team is amazing. They always try to understand what our needs are as a business and how they can meet them. Whether it’s asking for news to publish on the website or just keeping in touch, they’re always doing something to help.”
And it seems being part of our franchise community has paid off. Tony revealed that just eight months after partnering with Point Franchise, he has received 105 quality franchisee leads.
“Due to hurdles like COVID and Brexit, we’re still finding our feet in the UK. But being part of a platform like Point Franchise, which is very clear and easy-to-use, is a big help.”
Trusting the concept
Even though we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, franchisees across the world are still setting up incredibly successful businesses. Louis explained how DIGI-Sports is a great concept to invest in, whether you’re a first-time franchisee or experienced entrepreneur.
“The initial investment is relatively low for a franchise. We’re a positive and fun company, and we offer a completely unique concept. There are also almost no fixed costs and the business model means the breakeven point is very low. Our franchisees can come in and start to make money very quickly.”
Tony revealed that his faith in the DIGI-Sports concept is so strong that he has invested his own money into it. Today he operates the French territory with the help of two other business associates. He revealed he’s using this “slow” period to get himself set up and put the necessary groundwork in place, so he can begin hosting events as soon as it’s safe again to do so.
“Even though it’s hard to imagine right now, we will return to life without restrictions in the future,” Tony said. “And when the world goes back to normal, your business will have plenty of chances to succeed. After so long apart, people will be craving quality time together. DIGI-Sports gives them the chance to enjoy fun, high-energy activities, have a laugh and make up for more than a year of lost time!”
He concluded with some inspiring optimism for prospective investors.
“Our concept will allow entrepreneurs to come back even better than before.The DIGI-Sports concept breaks through the limits of what’s possible in both the physical and virtual worlds.”
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Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©