If you have a small business that can be easily replicated, then franchising may be one of the best ways to expand it at a fast pace. If you tackle it the right way, you can certainly pump up your profitability.
Here are eight tips to help you get started:
1. Get organized
Think through the process of precisely how your business works. Franchisees will need exact details and guidelines to get their businesses up and running. From marketing to signage to business cards to staff training, it all has to be executed in a similar manner. Develop an operations manual to give franchisees a quick way to reference policies and best practices and create an approval process so that you sign off on major decisions.
2. Hire an attorney
Getting expert advice is really crucial during the franchising process. For starters, you’ll need to fill out a Franchise Disclosure Document. It has a very distinct format you need to follow, and it’s important to have a lawyer walk you through this process. You’ll need to set pricing, create a franchise agreement and determine intellectual property protection.
3. Be picky
It’s easy to find people with capital, but are they the right people? Do they have the right background in order to run a business? This is someone who will be representing you, so it needs to be a good fit. After all, you are in this to protect and grow your brand. Set up an interviewing process and know what your deal-breakers are.
4. Build and protect your brand
As a franchisor, your most valuable asset is your brand; protect it at all costs. When you franchise, you are giving new people the ability to represent your brand. To keep your good image, you have to: establish clear guidelines, set clear message throughout the whole organization, and make sure to monitor every detail from marketing to daily operations.
5. Choose the right locations
What locations make the most sense for your business? Where do you have brand recognition already? Consider keeping your first few locations close to home, but far enough away that it doesn’t hurt sales at your initial location. Keep in mind you’ll want to visit these locations in person from time to time.
6. Find a mentor
There will always be people who are willing to give you advice, you just need to seek them out. People who have experience and expertise in Franchising will definitely give you additional tips and pieces of advice that’ll help you franchise your business.
7. Know how you want to grow
Steady, strategic growth is ideal. Does it make sense to expand on an international level? Or should you stick to a statewide plan? You, as a franchisor, must know who is your market and how to tap them. Analyze your environment and look for better opportunities to grow.
8. Support your franchisees
At first, you’ll need some face time with your franchisees, as well as lots of time online and via phone. Do all you can to encourage them by celebrating victories and milestones. Scour through articles that you find helpful and share them. And last but not least, set up a way for franchisees to communicate with one another, too.