6 steps to convert your business into a winning franchise
Want to finally franchise your business? Get started with these pointers.
Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines
After years of running a successful business, you finally want to give franchising a shot. After all, franchising can help your business reach national and even global heights using the time, resources, and manpower of other people.
But, like most first-time franchisors, you probably don’t know where to start. Most business owners choose to get the help of franchise consultants and franchise developers to give them a head start in the franchise business. But just to give you an idea on how to get started in franchising, here are six steps needed to convert your business into a winning franchise.
- Strategic planning
Franchising is all about creating a win-win scenario for both you as a franchisor, and also for your potential franchisees and customers. To create this scenario, strategic planning is crucial. This usually starts with the creation of a business plan and a financial model that ensures you and your franchisees become profitable. This business plan should also detail where and who to sell your franchise to; how much the franchise and royalty fees should be; and how to develop your franchise operations and its support infrastructure. In the end, strategic planning is all about maximizing the revenues of the franchise in a way that’s still fair for all parties involved.
- Streamlining operations
As a business owner, you should also be able to detail the tasks and activities required to operate your business on a daily basis, from opening to closing time. In addition, it’s crucial that the operations manual also captures the essentials of how to run the business, from hiring policies, financial controls and effective audit practices. The operations manual is an effective tool for both the franchisor and the franchisee, as it serves as the benchmark for auditing the quality of the work done by staff members and managers of each franchised outlet and ensuring consistent quality throughout your franchise network.
- Legal documentation
Since franchising entails granting a franchisee the rights to market your product or service, and to use your registered trademarks and names, it will do you well to prepare all the legal documents needed to also protect you as a franchisor. You also need to draft a franchise agreement, which will thoroughly define the rights and responsibilities of both the franchisor and the franchisee. If your franchise agreement is below 20 pages, it is probably too short as the franchise agreement and would be lacking important points that would protect both you and your franchisee. Take note that both the franchise agreement and the operations manual are considered legal documents, and any violation has its corresponding penalties.
- Franchise marketing
As a business owner, you’ve probably mastered the art of marketing your signature product or service. But marketing a franchise will be a different playing field as you’d be appealing to potential investors and franchisees, most of whom are entrepreneurs just like you. It requires a different marketing strategy, one that will require you to know who your ideal franchisee is and how to reach them more effectively. And instead of just playing on the strengths of your products or services, franchise marketing also plays on the aspirations of people to start their own business and be their own boss.
- Franchise sales
As with franchise marketing, selling your franchise will be different from selling your products or services. Selling a franchise is a function of business matching; that is, finding the right franchisees for your business concept. So while you can’t choose the customers who will avail of your products or services, you can always choose your franchisees accordingly, depending on your growth targets. So, you can’t just sell your franchise to anyone. More often than not, the success of a franchise rests on an effective franchisee selection process.
- After-sales support
One of the key promises of franchising is that people can be in business for themselves but not by themselves. As a franchisor, you also need to be there for your franchisees even after the contracts have been signed. This usually entails consultations with your franchisees even after the opening of their outlets. To ensure the success of every franchisee, a franchisor should be able to provide the support and guidance needed to further fuel the growth of the franchise network.
This proven six-step process is what enabled Francorp to help brands such as Jollibee, Potato Corner, Bench, The Generics Pharmacy, Crystal Clear, Mont Albo Massage and 3,000 other clients globally grow from small business into huge franchise success stories. Follow these 6 steps and you will be on the patch to being the next big franchise brand.
The International Franchise Association (IFA) is conducting a search for the Next Generation in Franchising. The international search is open to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 years old. Winners will be flown to the US (up to $1,500) to attend the international franchise convention, take part in a 90-day accelerator program with industry leaders and CEOs, industry-wide media exposure and many more. Details are on http://nextgenfranchising.org/
Sam Christopher Lim is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy at franchise consultancy Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales & Management; and chairperson and director for special projects for Asean integration at the Philippine Franchise Association.