The first step to deciding whether or how to franchise your business involves two key questions:
These questions can best be answered by an initial feasibility assessment determining how franchising fits with your specific goals and objectives.
If the decision to franchise a business is made, a potential franchisor should develop a business plan outlining the company’s growth and strategy for the next five years. A franchisor needs certain new capabilities and will need to be sure that these capabilities are in place, with systems, procedures etc.
The new company will also need to award franchises. This will require a specific marketing plan designed to get the franchisor’s message to the targeted franchisee audience via a number of different marketing channels.
Once a candidate has enquired the franchisor will also require marketing tools to assist communicating, tracking, presenting, interviewing and onboarding franchisees.
To ensure successful franchisees and maintain quality control, the franchisor will need to develop an effective operation manual for its franchisees. This manual will serve partly as a sales tool demonstrating franchisor competence to new prospects, significantly as a training guide for new franchisees, and primarily as a reference guide for established franchisees, as a “liability limiter” for the franchisor, and as a legally binding quality control device for the network.
The franchisor should also develop training programs for use in conjunction with the operations manual. Computer-based tools and programs are highly effective, as are training videos, and can be used for the franchisee, for the franchisee’s employees, and for corporate employees.
A strong legal agreement, tied into the manual is essential for contractual purposes, and control, and brand protection. It should be thorough but not too long as a detailed document is off-putting to many.
The franchisor will need to understand the nuances of the sales process and the legal aspect of franchise sales.