Brian Keen – Founder of Franchise Simply
My name is Brian Keen and I have been managed my own businesses for over 40 years, specializing in the franchise sector for the last 30 years. This experience tells me franchising offers one of the most exciting business models around for anyone looking to create real wealth and financial independence for themselves.
I trained as a Quantity Surveyor in England and then emigrated to Malawi in Central Africa where I opened businesses in building, property development and transport.
In 1976 however, Prue and I, with our daughters Samantha and Liz, decided to move again, this time to Australia where I started in the building industry and established my own property development business. The difficulties in this industry in the 80’s saw me looking for another career and so I bought a Bedshed franchise in Perth. After opening and operating seven stores in just five years as a franchisee, this is where I first saw the massive potential for franchising to create a successful business – fast.
With the knowledge I gained there, I went on to set up Franchise Alliance, a consultancy which helped household names like Brumbys, Ultratune, Jim’s Mowing and Donut King develop successful sales strategies and franchise systems. The Franchise Alliance is still going strong in five states, as well as in New Zealand.
I then used those same strategies and systems myself to build up six franchise groups, with over 120 outlets between them.
Based on this depth of experience, I’ve helped many dozens of businesses to franchise successfully, increasing their profits and allowing their owners to retake control of their lives by working fewer hours.
When I retired in 2007, I realized I wanted to give something back to the world of business I have so enjoyed. So I looked for ways I could help people establish businesses or grow successfully.
The first thing that came to my attention was MicroLoan Foundation in the UK, a charity helping women build businesses in Malawi where I started so many years ago. This charity gives a hand up to women wanting to move into business to support their families out of poverty. So I approached Peter Ryan, the founder and asked if I could ‘franchise’ his concept in Australia. And so MicroLoan Foundation Australia was born.
At the same time I realized I also needed to do something more in the franchise industry in Australia. And so I’ve now brought all my knowledge together in my latest venture, ‘Franchise Simply’, with the aim of showing business owners how to transform a family-sized firm into a multi-million dollar asset through a unique four-step system, saving tens of thousands of dollars in consultancy fees in the process.
I’m passionate about helping people become financially secure and independently wealthy through business, wherever they are, whatever their background. That’s why I founded and became Chairman of MicroLoan Foundation Australia (MLFA), a charity which, to date, has provided over $750,000 in loans to impoverished women in Malawi to allow them to start their own business and improve life for themselves and those who depend on them.
Originally from Uxbridge, UK, after qualifying as a quantity surveyor, Brian emigrated to Malawi in 1966, where he established several successful businesses, most notably a building and development company, before moving to Perth, Australia, in 1975.
Brian has 40 years’ experience nationally and overseas as a business owner and company director, primarily focusing on business growth, particularly sales and marketing in the franchising industry.
Brian and his wife and business partner Prue have two daughters and now live on the Gold Coast, Queensland