Considering franchising your business? Look for experienced franchise consultants

Are you looking for a low-cost, practical and profitable way to expand your business whereby you can invite serious investors to become part of your expansion plans? Roy Seaman recommends you consider franchising your business

As a method of business expansion franchising ideally suits businesses where there is potential for the brand to grow and become a national symbol of success and satisfaction, combined with a method of running the business that can be taught to others.

The intellectual property rights are created and held by the franchisor who in turn licenses out the rights to use the marks and follow the system in return for an investment from the franchisee. The franchisee then agrees to pay regular financial contributions through either the purchase of goods, products or services, together with a management services fee based on the total turnover. Both parties - the franchisor and the franchisee - work together to maximise the franchisee's turnover and profit.

Around the world there is now over 10,000 different franchise operations. Simultaneously there's a growing demand from individuals and organisations to own and operate proven and profitable franchise opportunities. So if your business suits the above criteria, how do you approach turning it into a franchise?

Step 1
To take the first step you should engage a professional Franchise Consultant to help you assess the viability and profitability of your proposed Franchise Development Plan. Such a study is likely to cover some 21 areas that are considered critical in laying a solid infrastructure prior to offering your first franchise.

There are normally two or three ways in which a business can be franchised and an experienced Franchise Consultant will be able to identify these opportunities so that you can then discuss and decide which is the best package to offer prospective franchisees from the beginning.

Step 2
Once you have your Franchise Development Plan crystallised, you will have the timescales as well as budgets laid out before you. You then bring together a team to provide a strong framework for your franchise development and recruit the first phase of pilot franchisees.

Step 3
It is important to launch your franchise quietly and efficiently. It is not recommended that you go to considerable financial expenditure and shout the availability of your franchise from the rooftops. It is far better to recruit franchisees and tell no one, particularly the press, that you are in the business of expansion by franchising. The reason for this is that it alerts your competitors to the fact that you have seen the opportunity to expand by franchising - some of them may consider themselves stronger than yourselves (and indeed they may be) and use their market strength to scupper your efforts before they get off the ground.

There is no substitute for experience and the team at Franchise Development Services (FDS) has been involved in national and international franchising since 1981. FDS has worked with companies of various sizes in all sectors, including food & beverage, fashion retail and services. Some are major PLC companies recognising the advantages of converting to franchisee-managed operations rather than company owned, while others are successful businesses with just one or two outlets who immediately recognise that franchising could be the most practical and profitable way forward.

We have now assisted more than 500 companies to successfully franchise their businesses and helped over 10,000 people to actually own and operate a franchise. In fact, if you were to combine the total experience of all the Franchise Consultants in the UK that are considered to be the competitors of FDS, you would not amass anywhere near the amount of experience that you will discover within the FDS Franchise Consultancy team.

The FDS method of operations ensures that your Franchise Development Programme is designed specifically for your company according to its strengths and your particular opportunity. The FDS goal is to help new franchisors achieve the best possible results within the shortest and most realistic timeframe.

Order a copy of The FDS Guide to Successfully Franchising Your Business by visiting or calling 01603 620 301. For more about FDS, visit