Can your business be franchised?
Franchise owners are attracted by a professional approach to recruitment which involves the correct body language, the atmosphere of the meeting room together with associated branding of the company. Companies that portray a lack of true professionalism will ultimately fail to recruit. Professionalism manifests itself in a number of ways such as the general written communication, the way the staff answer the telephones, the appearance of the head office with attention to detail to the Code of Ethics and indeed a portfolio of satisfied clients.
Products and Services
It would be very difficult if not impossible to persuade a potential franchise owner to sign up to a franchise opportunity where the products or services become obsolete with time or was a trend or a fashion ‘blip’. Therefore, longevity in the market place is paramount to the success of the franchise opportunity being promoted.
Franchising is not typically suited to low margins, there must be sufficient margins to sustain growth within the business and develop it further. There needs to be adequate return for both the franchisor and the franchise owner in the short, middle and long-term. The franchisor must receive a Management Service Fee, which is fair and equitable in relation to the continuous support services provided, but equally the franchise owner must also have a margin which rewards them adequately and maintains their commitment and dedication to the franchise systems.
Management Embracing Franchising
Franchise owners are not employees, they are self-employed business owners and must be treated as co-equals. While the franchisor needs to lead with authority, the franchise owner should be given the opportunity to develop their own ideas and put forward suggestions for future development of the franchise. The franchisor’s objective is to build a successful franchise through the development of its franchise owners; the positive attitude of management towards the franchise owners is important to the success of the business.
Quality franchise owners are attracted to a business that has a very strong corporate identity that they can feel proud to belong to and promote within their territory. It’s important to develop the strength of the corporate image through the Operations Manual and its conformity throughout the network. The franchisor, as custodian of the corporate image, must ensure that brand compliance is portrayed within the internal operations and throughout the franchise networks. The corporate image itself will vary depending on the type of franchise business but could include internal/external signage, corporate dress, vehicle livery, websites, advertisements, logo’s including the corporate colours, stationery and promotional items.
When you franchise a business, in effect you are starting a new business. You may decide to continue with the existing branding for a number of reasons or, alternatively, consider starting a new brand. The branding itself needs to be suitable for either national or international recognition, often words have different meanings in different parts of the world and care needs to be taken when selecting the most appropriate trade name. It is important to design a brand that is both simple and clearly defines the message, some regional brands simply do not travel, as a result an opportunity to redesign the brand/logo for national coverage could represent a new start.
A Proven System
Business Format Franchising requires a proven, tried and tested business system. A system that can be replicated provided the demographics are the same or similar within each region, the franchise owner has to replicate the tried and tested methodology for success. It’s because of this core principle that franchising has such a successful start-up rate of some 90 per cent succeeding within the first year as opposed to 60 per cent of independent start-up businesses failing within the first year.
Historical Trading Performance
The core principle of franchising is that a business model which has a proven successful track record can, in theory, be franchised. What works in one county if truly replicated, will work in another county, therefore, it goes without saying that having a good historical trading performance is paramount to the success of franchising.
Delivering effective Support
It is very important within franchising that the franchisor continually develops the franchise network through training, product knowledge, marketing, sales and operational improvements. As with any business, the market place does not stand still; it continually develops and as a franchisor owning the ‘blueprint’ to the business model, it is incumbent upon the franchisor to continuously strive forward with new developments and ultimately support for the franchise network.
It is important to have a portfolio of good client testimonials, this provides credibility to any prospective franchise owner looking at the business. Clarity and details in these testimonials are important; they can be incorporated in all the relevant marketing literature and websites to enhance the kudos of the brand.
Know-how and Expertise
Franchise owners are looking to purchase franchise opportunities from franchisors that have acquired extensive knowledge and expertise within their sector. This knowledge could have been gained through many years’ experience of trading where the management have gone through the learning curve and identified a proven system, this together with credibility, gives an overall picture as to why a franchise owner should choose one franchise over another.
London House – “We have worked with FDS Southern for 15 years and throughout that time they have offered first class advice and support. We have known Gary for a number of years and he is a true franchising professional who continues to offer the same constructive advice that we have grown used to receiving from FDS Southern.”
Godfrey Lancashire, Managing Director
the pink cab – “Franchising our business has not been an easy process but with the ongoing help and support from FDS Southern’s Gary Rigby, we are now in a position to bring a new and exciting package to the market. His advice has been invaluable to us and we would have no hesitation in recommending his services to potential franchisors.”
Mark and Tina Stevenson, Founders