Franchising has been long proven to be an amazing way to grow a business. Look no further than down your street and you might see the latest version of franchising’s powerful effect on brands that fit the mold for scalable growth through independent franchise investment.
Often, an entrepreneur examining these fast-paced growth franchise brands can be intimidated as to how a business could get from “here to there.” The reality is that many of these franchise brands started out in the exact same position: a good idea, a fun brand, a good product or some other differentiator caught on, people wanted more of it and the franchise vehicle allowed the business to scale into new markets.
However, not all businesses are created equal and certainly not all businesses qualify as potential franchise offerings. So what can you do to get ready to franchise your business?
A franchise requires vision and long term thinking
Many great business authors have written about it, and anyone with a solid business sense tends to do this automatically, but you need to find ways to get out of your day-to-day business in order to franchise the model. If what you do is dependent on your skill set, time and daily focus, there isn’t much of a business at all, and especially not a franchise model.
Find ways to delegate, and ways to empower and train your staff to be successful doing the things you do every day. Establish systems and structure that allow you to manage a team of people as opposed to being the one person wrecking crew. Many times, this requires that you as the owner take a step back from profits in order to achieve the longer term growth objectives through scale. Invest in the people, structure and systems needed to grow and the returns will come, keeping in mind that it just might not be today that they arrive.
Discover and love your marketing model
Great business ideas die all the time because entrepreneurs fail to figure out how to sell and market their idea. On the flip side, many extremely average business ideas have been successful because the owners were excellent sales people who understood marketing and knew how to convert people into paying customers.
Know how to generate leads and get people in the door, then define processes to convert those visitors to paying customers. When you franchise your business, the franchisees will not only be expecting this type of methodology in place, but they will depend on it. We call this a franchise marketing system, which is inherent in any good franchise model. Good franchise systems have incredible marketing models and are able to duplicate that model in markets everywhere, whether the franchisee is Zig Ziglar or just a regular Joe.
Understand and embrace the financials
Too many times when entrepreneurs are asked about their numbers, answers are so vague and non-descript, it’s hard to tell if they even know if the business is a for profit entity. In order to franchise your business, you need to be able to sell success and regardless how much we want to sell people on the great tasting pizza we make, the business needs to make money to be a good franchise opportunity.
Generally, there are industry metrics for what makes a strong franchise offering, so it’s important to know where you should stand in your industry. Speak with business professionals who can help guide you and then get familiar with your financials. When someone asks what your EBITDA is, you should be able to answer without blinking.
Have a plan
When you franchise your business, you jump into one of the most powerful, successful, amazing expansion vehicles on the planet. It also is one of the most dangerous expansion concepts. Why? Franchising is like a magnifier. It duplicates the bad as much as it duplicates the good and you need to be duplicating the right things and killing off the bad things in your business.
It’s vital to understand how you will support your growth in franchising, what strategic initiatives will add value to franchisees and what your end game is in the development of your model. The better the plan, the better chance you hit the target you are aiming for.