Is my business franchisable?
Over the past few months I have met a diverse cross section of businesses, some existing franchisors, as well as a number of businesses that are considering franchising as a cost effective way to grow their business
The question that I have been asked the most, particularly by the large volume of people who visited the FDS stand at the recent franchise exhibition in London, is 'is my business franchiseable?' This of course is the 6 million dollar question, below are some of the key criteria that any potential franchisor should meet if they want to franchise their business.
A PROVEN SYSTEM
Good franchising requires the franchisor to have gone through the learning curve, identified the pitfalls and found appropriate solutions, the franchisee can then be shown a business model that works. The franchisee should be replicating a tried and tested business system, rather than experimenting with new ideas.
HISTORICAL TRADING PERFORMANCE
Franchising is about replicating a financial model that has already been achieved, so it is imperative that there is sufficient trading to give realism to any financial projections.
PRODUCTS/SERVICES WITH GOOD STAYING POWER
Franchisees do not wish to invest long term in a business that has a fashionable product or service, which may become obsolete over time. Confidence is inspired by a product which demonstrates longevity in the marketplace. Discerning prospective franchisees will be looking for product and service deliverables that are required in a depressed market. They can then be confident of a continuing market need through varied economic conditions.
Strong branding is fundamental. People want to invest with a sense of pride in a business that portrays a strong corporate identity and has a brand suitable for national or international recognition. If the trade name has been formulated around a local region and is unsuitable to travel nationally, it is best to formulate a new brand before franchising is undertaken. The brand should be simple and shout out the message of clarity, professionalism and quality.
The corporate image of a business is portrayed through external signage, a protected brand, corporate colours, vehicle livery, corporate dress, website design, promotional material, own label products, stationery and head office presentation. A strong corporate identity attracts quality franchisees. It is important to develop strength of corporate image throughout all aspects of the operation.
Professionalism is manifested in how the telephone is answered, the quality of service provided, the clarity of written communication, the nature of the head office meeting room, the attention given to detail, a clear code of values and evidence of satisfied clients. Franchisees will be attracted by a professional approach to recruitment, which involves the right body language, meeting room atmosphere, wall hangings and the approach to franchisees. Portraying a lack of true professionalism can be a 'switch off' to the right people.
The complete franchising service
FDS South East is a consultancy dedicated to serving the needs of the franchise community across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. The team consists of Malcolm Porter, Paul Hague and Nick Williams who have many years of franchise experience. We can help with everything from an initial evaluation on the feasibility of franchising your business to helping you recruit top quality franchisees.
Paul Hague is a British Franchise Association-Affiliated Franchise Consultant who has been a part of FDS since 1993 and during that time has worked with numerous clients both nationally and internationally. He also provides services to national and international clients such as specialist training, assisting with Franchise Development, providing industry sector specialist know-how and boardroom brainstorming sessions.
Following a 31 year career with Barclays Bank PLC encompassing senior management and with a particular interest in developing new businesses, Nick Williams joined FDS in 2000 focusing on consulting to potential Franchisors and facilitating national and international Franchisee recruitment. He is a British Franchise Association-Affiliated Franchise Consultant and a frequent speaker at franchise events.
Malcolm Porter has first hand franchise knowledge and a wealth of expertise in training and sales & marketing. This experience was gained at Thomson Directories where he held a number of senior management positions in Training, New Media and Sales.