A practical guide to successful franchising

As part of the process of franchising a business, Gary Rigby of FDS Southern draws on the benefits of his 23 years of experience within the industry to offer a complimentary consultation on the possibilities of franchising a concept or an existing business.

In essence, the franchising model for expansion initially requires a business that has good staying power within the marketplace, can be replicated and has sufficient margins for both franchisor and franchise owner. A business must also have a recognisable and credible brand and a product or service offering that has tangible longevity.

One example of a typical work programme is CoLaz, which is an advanced beauty specialist business offering a wide range of treatments to the general public. The original company has four highly successful salons and two training schools. It ‘ticked’ all the necessary boxes with regards to franchising.

Owners, Manroop and Surinder are professional in their approach to the service provided to their customers and are very distinctive with their franchise package. They have the credibility, know-how and expertise in the UK beauty market to help franchise owners replicate the success they have achieved to date.

Having worked with Manroop and Surinder over the last six months, we now have a very attractive franchise offering that could be highly recommended to any prospective franchise owner. The typical route for franchising a business and the process we undertook with CoLaz is outlined in three simple steps below.

Phase 1

The process works on what we call a ‘roadmap to franchising’. This provides the structure for moving forward and considers all the relevant aspects necessary for successful franchising. These include the proposed concept, financial illustrations, the essential legal considerations, important points to consider when franchising a business and, ultimately, recommendations and action plans.
It is also important at this stage that potential franchisors clearly understand what is involved with franchising and how it will affect the business with regards to operational, marketing, sales and staff considerations. In effect, you are actually starting another business, which has to thrive and survive alongside the existing company. FDS, with 32 years of expert experience, is ideally placed to advise and assist potential franchisors.

Phase 2

Once we have the aforementioned ‘roadmap to franchising’, we can then start to create the necessary documentation essential for professional franchising. This includes a Franchise Prospectus, which is in the public domain, and the Franchise Information Memorandum, which is a disclosure document and clearly defines what franchise owners are buying into, thus removing any ambiguity from the business opportunity. These documents are closely linked to the Franchise Agreement, which perfectly complements the accompanying comprehensive Operations Manual. Typically at this stage, clients can be selective with regards to their specific requirements from FDS. All these documents, in effect, help to market and promote the franchise opportunity and protect both the franchisor and the franchise owner. They are essential to clearly define what is expected from each party in a successful business relationship. The recruitment of franchise owners differs considerably to the appointment of employees. As a franchisor, you are providing the use of your intellectual property rights for a specified period of time. This requires careful consideration with regard to the entire recruitment process and eventual appointment of suitable franchise owners. FDS can apply the knowledge, gained from years of relevant experience, to help you with this process.

Phase 3

This crucial third phase is to promote your exciting franchise opportunity to attract prospective new franchise owners. FDS are uniquely placed to assist the franchisor, through various online and print franchise media promotional activities.

As with each of the previous phases, FDS can do as little or as much as is required by you. There is no obligation to commit to all of the phases outlined above, but by taking franchisors through these vital three stages, FDS has helped hundreds of businesses maximise their potential.

On a cautionary note, over the years I have had the pleasure, and sometimes the misfortune, of working with both established business format franchisors and licensors that, for whatever reason, have not initially taken professional franchising advice and have found themselves in difficulties.
Invariably, a franchisor has to live with the franchise documentation produced at the time. Taking advice from bfa-affiliated franchise consultants and solicitors can, from the outset, save literally thousands of pounds in future corrective measures – if the situation can be corrected at all.