Franchising can be one of the easiest ways small businesses can expand in a very short time frame. If done correctly it can be a fantastic way to start to grow your business.
These are 5 important tips for beginning your franchising process:
Understand how you want your business to grow
It is all very well expanding your business, but in order to do so for long term success you need to understand your business and the direction you want to take it in. Try to come up with a business plan for steady and strategic growth over the long term. Think about where you realistically want your business to be in 5- or 10-years’ time.
Think about location
You need to understand where you want your business to be and what locations make most sense to expand into. Expanding for the sake of expanding may hurt your business in the long run if you do not expand with thought and purpose. What will the new location bring to your business? Is your brand recognised in the new location? Will you be able to visit the location easily?
Hire a lawyer
The franchising process can be long and there are lots of procedural forms that need to be filled out in order to complete the process. A lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of franchising so you can be confident that there are no problems. You will also need assistance with drafting franchise agreements and protecting your intellectual property.
Protect your brand
Protecting your brand involves many considerations. It is a good idea to be picky with who you chose as your franchisee. You don’t just need someone with money, you need someone who will represent you and your brand well. Think about the kind of person they are and the kind of background they are coming from.
Your brand is the most valuable asset to your business; you must protect it at all costs. Be sure to monitor your franchisees carefully and set clear rules and guidelines for them to follow.
Support is crucial
This encompasses both support for yourself, and support for your franchisees. Consider looking for a mentor to guide you through the process. There are always people out there to help.
Also, you will need to support your franchisees, particularly in the early days. Keep all channels of communication open and available and talk to them regularly. You may also want to go and visit them in person on a regular basis in the early day, just to establish a relationship between the two of you.