Most franchisors who are looking to expand their brands internationally do so via Master Franchise Owners. Purchasing the rights for a Master Franchise Owner usually involves a greater level of commitment, flexibility and dedication than most single unit and regional franchise opportunities.
By purchasing a Master Franchise a person is gaining the rights to franchise a brand across an entire country or large territory. This usually means that the Master Franchise Owner will have to open multiple franchise units to cover their region.
Many Master Franchise Owners choose to open a flagship store and then sub-franchise the franchise and build a network of single-unit franchise owners. If the Master Franchise Owner takes this route it will not only involve recruiting franchise owners but also providing training and support to ensure that their businesses succeed.
Prior to offering a Master Franchise for a country a franchisor should have researched the market to ensure that the concept is viable in the country. Sometimes franchisors will have already opened company-owned stores, however, it will usually be up to the Master Franchise Owner to open the first store.
This store is usually a flagship store, which a Master Franchise Owner will use to customise the concept to their market. Most Master Franchise Owners will ensure that this initial store is a success before beginning to recruit franchise owners for the rest of the territory.
Once a Master Franchise Owner is in a position to start sub-franchising and building a network of franchise owners it is vital that they have training and support programmes already in place. It will be up to the Master Franchise Owner to ensure that their network of franchise owners are fully trained and supported in the running of their business.
The fact that a Master Franchise Owner is responsible for managing a countrywide network of franchise owners or for servicing a large territory means that the demands and commitments involved in owning a Master Franchise is much greater than owning a single-unit or regional franchise.
Hand in hand with the extra responsibility is complete control over the expansion of the franchise in the territory covered by the Master Franchise agreement. Although normally as part of the agreement a Master Franchise Owner and a franchisor will have agreed how many units will be opened within a certain time frame it is usually up to the Master Franchise Owner to ultimately decide the speed of the growth.
Once the Master Franchise Owner has achieved the stated number of outlets in the agreement they will normally have the opportunity to expand the brand further if the market demands it. This provides the Master Franchise Owner with almost unlimited growth potential within their territory.
As well as this a Master Franchise Owner will also often have more say into how to adapt the franchise concept to suit particular customs within the franchise territory, whereas the majority of single-unit or regional franchise owners have to adhere to the franchisor’s business model. Although the basics of the franchise model will remain the same, adapting the concept to the local culture enables the Master Franchise Owner to have greater flexibility over their business, which can have an affect on the success of the franchise.
Most Master Franchises are owned by companies or business partnerships, which have the financial capabilities and infrastructure to offer the support and facilities needed to run a network of franchise owners.
If an individual decides to take on a Master Franchise they usually come from an executive business background and are often experienced in franchising.
Franchisors often have specific skills and experience they require in a Master Franchise Owner, as they need to ensure that the person or business that takes on the Master Franchise is fully capable of operating and growing the business throughout their territory.