Franchising a business requires a specific business model that has the effective tools, systems and processes needed to expand a business model, but there are five critical aspects to a business that should be in place before a business expands into the franchise market.
Franchising requires a new set of skills, a new customer and a very different approach to business, these elements should be in place in order for a business to successfully grow through franchising:
1. A solid marketing and sales model needs to be in place. How does the business find, attract and get new customers. Regardless of how great the pizza is or innovative the product might be, if the business doesn’t have a strong marketing system in place, the franchisee will suffer when they open up in a new market.
2. Good operational technology should be in place to effectively scale the business and offer someone who buys into a franchise the tools and infrastructure needed to replicate the business. Generally one system that manages all aspects of the business is best case, meaning marketing and sales contacts, customer contact management, order processing, inventory management and other aspects need to be addressed with a solid technology system.
3. A good brand should be in place in order to market the model and convey the business’ value not only to consumers, but to potential franchise investors. This means a business in today’s world needs an excellent web presence, social media marketing and consistent only marketing tools to attract customers and convey professionalism to a potential franchise investor.
4. In order to franchise a business effectively, a business should have strong strategic relationships with suppliers and vendors who are critical to the success of the business. McDonald’s always described their vendors as one of the legs needed to keep the stool standing strong and provided the support needed to launch the franchise juggernaut.
5. Leadership focused on growth and scale. The only businesses that successfully grow into the franchise market have leadership that sees opportunity for market expansion and are willing to see past short term operational objections and continue to invest in growth. Great franchisors are continually looking for opportunities to expand, grow and cover new ground with the expansion of the business. Not only are good franchisors opportunists, but they also are typically never-ending optimists who always see the glass as half full.