Ambitious bookshop operators embrace the idea of franchising to expand their business and claim a larger share in the local market. 'A franchise has a brand image, which helps the company grow in the market,' said Wang Hsiao-hui, general manager of Dymocks Franchise System. 'For us, it means that we have the backing of the parent company to help us set up new shops, run promotions, and have the infrastructure of 90 stores worldwide behind us,' Ms Wang said. 'The parent company also helps us by telling us how to run a bookshop. This is invaluable, because our new staff are not always knowledgeable about books. 'But by providing customer service training, and encouraging staff to learn about books, it takes less time for staff to know what they are talking about when they interact with customers.' Being part of a franchise also allows the company to undertake extra ventures and helps improve services for customers. 'The survey we did last year with the help of the parent company helped us learn what customers want from their bookseller. 'It allows us to customise our products and services. Based on this survey we found out that customers want a wide range of products, especially English language books and books that are currently popular, such as the Harry Potter series,' Ms Wang said. 'We have seen our sales of children's books double each year for the past couple of years.'