Turn your franchise into a global brand

It's not just the Subway®s and the Jani-Kings of the world that have achieved international networks through franchising, a huge range of retailers, food concepts, business services providers and more have utilised international franchising to enter new markets. TheFranchisor quizzes international Franchise Consultant Tony Urwin on how to go about taking your brand into the worldwide marketplace.

Q. How will a franchisor know when they are ready to expand internationally?
There are two types of franchisors that want to expand abroad. The first are franchisors that have established successful franchises in the UK and want to move internationally. The second are franchisors who do not want to work in the UK and instead want to start off as an international franchise.

Q. Once a franchisor has decided to expand internationally, how should they prepare?
It takes a great deal of planning to start franchising internationally. Ideally a franchisor will have everything in place first. A franchisor will need to prepare a Master Franchise Manual and an International Franchise Agreement. A FDS Consultant will be able to help a franchisor get everything that they need in place.

Q. A franchisor will need to decide which countries they want to franchise in. How should they decide which are the best ones to target?
Usually the best countries to target are the ones that can be got to easily. For example a country that can be got to and from using a low cost airline is a much quicker and affordable country to target than, say, starting with New Zealand. I would advice a franchisor to initially think about looking close to home.

Q. Once a franchisor has decided the country they want to target, how long does it usually take to launch their franchise there?
This can vary from franchise to franchise, however if a company already has a franchise system in place it takes about three months to prepare the documentation needed, such as a Master Franchise Agreement and the Master Franchise Manual.

Q. FDS International Consultants have assisted many franchisors in establishing their franchises abroad. When a franchisor first contacts you what service should they expect to receive?
FDS International Consultants provide a range of services. Amongst other things we review documents and deal with the preparation of a Master Franchise Manual. We will also contact an experienced franchise lawyer and we will help franchisors with establishing contacts in various countries.

Q. There is a wide variety of franchisors wanting to expand internationally. Are FDS International Consultants prepared to take on any client or are there restrictions?
We will be able to work with almost any franchisor as long as they are willing to listen and take advice, for example sometimes small changes need to be made to a franchise for it to successfully work abroad, so clients must be prepared to consider our suggestions.

Q. Expanding a franchise internationally involves a lot of time and effort. Will a franchisor need to get other professional advisors on board?
If any extra advisors are needed the consultant will be able to arrange this. A usual team will consist of a franchisor, a franchise consultant and a franchise lawyer - the franchise consultant will know of a franchise lawyer with experience to assist.

Q. What can a franchise ultimately achieve through FDS International Consultancy?
It should lead to the franchise expanding its brand internationally. From an international expansion a franchisor will be able to increase their distribution and worldwide network. Although the franchisor should increase their profits there have been many franchises that have gone international and have not profited, although we will use our experience to help franchisors try and prevent this.

The Franchisor