Already running a successful business? Wondering about the best way to expand and how to take the next step? Considering how franchising would help? Nick Williams, Managing Consultant at Ashtons Franchise Consulting, outlines 10 reasons franchising could benefit your business.
As a Franchise, your network can grow more quickly because new outlets will be funded by your Franchisee’s own capital. The overheads and expenses associated with opening company-owned outlets are replaced by the cost of your Franchisee recruitment, training and launch assistance - costs which are considerably lower than the working capital needed to establish each new outlet.
By the time you recruit a Franchisee they will have been through a rigorous selection process identifying that they have the energy and drive to take your business forward in a new location. You will benefit from the ambition of owner operators while maintaining your service standards. Your Franchisees are likely to be more motivated and effective than a salaried manager because they are invested in the business; their livelihood depends on it.
Customers are often attracted to something new and may be initially drawn to your brand out of curiosity. However, when you provide a product or service which is better than the one they used before, they are likely to stay loyal to your brand. Franchising allows you to expand in a structured fashion, allowing you to pull in your competitors’ customers and hopefully retain them; as long as your products and services are good enough.
Franchising is all about following a system. As your Franchisees will be following the same system, customers throughout the network will receive the same high quality service as you currently provide, irrespective of location. They will always know what to expect from your brand.
Expanding your business into new areas generally requires a great deal of research. Expansion through Franchising passes the main responsibility for developing a new territory onto the Franchisee, who is likely to already possess a great deal of valuable local knowledge. This can be particularly beneficial if you are looking to expand into foreign markets. By using indigenous Franchisees, you will tap into local business knowledge which you may otherwise have been unable to obtain.
Centralised buying allows your entire network to benefit from volume discounts that an independent trader would be unable to obtain. As a result of this, you and your Franchisees will be able to offer more competitive prices which will help to increase your market share.
If you are a manufacturer or service provider, establishing the sales function of your business as a franchise operation provides you with a distribution network that is entirely focused on the supply of your product or service to your customers.
A company owned chain of outlets requires extensive management to organise the hiring, training, motivation and retention of competent staff. If you choose to Franchise your business, you pass this responsibility on to your Franchisees. The benefit to your Franchisees is that, as their Franchisor, your management expertise can be shared across the entire network for the benefit of all.
As your network develops, all of your outlets can benefit from the group’s marketing initiatives, both at a national and regional level. A positive network spirit will encourage Franchisees to help each other through referrals as customers become increasingly familiar with your brand.
Should you choose to expand your business through franchising you may find that the return on your investment will increase. A Franchisor's profits are generated on a much lower capital investment, and although the revenue received from franchised units is less than that from company owned outlets, a higher percentage of that revenue is profit.
As you can see, Franchising can be an effective and rewarding way to expand your business. As a prospective Franchisor, you must be ready to invest time, effort and money into developing your franchise system in the correct manner. Seeking the right help and guidance at an early stage is crucial if you want to maximise your chances of success – that’s why you should always consult Franchise experts from the start.