It’s DJ Anthill here and we’re counting down the top 10 steps you should take to franchise your business successfully. So, let’s get straight into it…
10. Find the best route to your market. Talk to successful franchisors and find out what worked for them. LinkedIn is a good place to start, not to mention that it’s free too. However, there are even franchise associations where you could delve even deeper into this.
9. Go shopping for consultants. Consultancy fees vary with the size and scope the operation. You will need advice on franchise and legal agreements and if you intend to cross borders, then country legislation and territory mapping too will come into play. Look around until you get a good deal.
8. Get your franchise package together. This contains everything your franchise needs to get up and running. The basics are stationary, marketing materials and operations manuals. Some franchisors even supply phone lines and websites but, what you provide will be unique to your business.
7. Level the franchisees’ playing field. You can avoid future legal battles simply by ensuring that all franchisees are on the same payment terms. Cooking up special deals with certain franchisees will only create animosity and come back to haunt you later.
6. Choose your franchisee training method. Decide what kind of training you wish your franchisees to receive before they can start trading. Do you prefer an online training system or would you rather have a physical classroom session? You could even visit them on-site to help with the set-up.
5. Set up a franchisee support system. Decide what kind of support you will offer your franchisees. You could choose a 24/7 phone call centre or an online support centre. Will you be responsible for marketing and PR? Remember no one blows your trumpet better than a happy franchisee.
4. Improve, improve, improve. Never stop looking for ways to improve the business; lead your franchisees by example. Listen to their suggestions and ideas and, be on the constant look-out for ways to grow their businesses but don’t fall into the trap of becoming an unpaid administrator.
3. Standardise and automate to save time. Clearly defined rules such as ‘franchisees must send monthly revenue reports and bank statements to franchisor by 5th day of the month and, electronic payment to Franchisor is to be made no later than 20th of month,’ make your business work like clockwork!
2. Define your uniqueness. Figure out your unique selling points and make sure your franchisees are fully aware of them. They must know why they should roll with you, and not the competition. So, get to work on your marketing material. Make sure your marketing materials are detailed and eye-catching.
1. Is your business franchise-able? This is the most important thing to consider. You must have a wide enough market (or else you’ll fall into a wide enough financial hole). Can your business really be duplicated? What makes it stand out from the competition? Reflect deeply upon these questions. (It’s yoga time!)
All in all, as an entrepreneur, you will know in your heart if your business will work as a franchise, but that’s only half the story. Ideally, you’re going to need several years of audit-able accounts to prove the system works.