Even in an economic environment as troubling and uncertain as the current one, the only way for a business to survive is to grow. For many smaller businesses, asking how to grow inevitably leads to an inquiry into the possibility of franchising.
So, is your business right for franchising? The answer is not always apparent, in part because success as an individual business does not guaranty success as a franchise model. There are many reputable sources of useful information regarding the viability of franchising, such as our website or the website of the International Franchise Association, a large membership organization consisting primarily of franchisors.
When asking whether your business can be franchised, important things to consider are the following:
- Is your brand known? Successful franchises are built upon unique and readily recognized brands. If your brand is not already well known, you will need to make it well known as soon as possible.
- Has your business concept been tested and proven? Many entrepreneurs come to us with a concept but no established business. It is very difficult to franchise a mere concept. It is essential that at least one version of your business model is up and running before your can meaningfully consider franchising.
- Do you have a system that is replicable and that can be taught? For your business to become a successful franchise system, you must be able to teach franchisees how to operate the business in a manner that will work in various environments.
- Do you have the people to help you get your franchise off the ground? You must remember that running a franchise system is different from running your business as just a business. You will need expertise in marketing, building brand awareness, and sales. Many aspiring franchisors do not realize that even after the franchise plan is in place, it still has to be sold to the public.
We will discuss the viability of franchising a business further in entries to follow, offering actual practical case studies of successful franchising ventures.