Thinking about franchising your business idea? Starting a franchise program can be a great way to grow your business fast. But there’s a lot that goes into getting a new franchise up and running. For that reason, it can help to learn from those who have gone through the process before.
Tips for Franchising Your Business
Here are some tips from franchise experts and business owners who have franchised their ideas to help your first franchising experience go as smoothly as possible.
Research Before Jumping In
Franchising isn’t right for everyone. So even if you’re interested in growing your business quickly, it’s important that you take the time to actually learn about the process and what is involved before you jump in and end up wasting time on a bad fit for your business idea.
Chris Covelli, founder and managing partner of #getfried Fry Cafe said in an email to Small Business Trends, “My biggest piece of advice is to learn as much about the franchising process prior to jumping in. Read books and articles, talk to consultants, etc. Being prepared and knowing what to expect is invaluable.”
Consider the Legal Issues Involved
More specifically, there are a lot of legal and logistical issues involved in franchising your business. So you need to seek expert advice and lay out a plan to navigate all of those intricacies.
Covelli says, “I strongly believe that the intricacies of franchising are widely underestimated. When people hear about franchising, they rarely understand the legalities and the amount of moving parts involved with the process.”
Find a Good Consultant
Covelli adds, “Additionally, find a good consultant to take you through the process of becoming franchise compliant. This person is an expert and will be your franchising mentor before, during and after you’re franchise compliant.”
Find the Right Franchisees
Once you’ve made it through the initial setup process, it’s time to secure some franchisees. But don’t just settle for anyone. It’s important to carefully consider the culture you want to create and find people who best fit with your goals.
Kat Eckles, Co-Founder and CVO of Clean Juice said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Figure out what kind of people fit best into your culture, and don’t settle until you find them! The franchisees you choose need to be completely aligned with your vision as owners and you all need to work together as one family moving towards the same goal: growing an excellent brand.”
Build an Online Presence
You can’t hope to get the best possible franchisees if you don’t give them an easy way to learn about the opportunity and get in touch with you. These days, that means you need to have an online presence. According to President of Franchise Marketing Systems Christopher Conner, that doesn’t just mean setting up a website. To effectively market your franchise to potential franchisees online, you also need to include your franchise opportunity on listing sites, work social media and create content that is relevant to your target.
Attend Franchise Events
Another way to share your franchises opportunity with potential franchisees is to attend franchise events. According to Conner, these events can be expensive for exhibitors, but fairly reasonable for attendees. And by attending, you can take advantage of networking opportunities that can help you find franchisees directly or make valuable connections that can help you grow your franchise network over time.
Determine What Makes a Good Franchise Employee
And it’s not just the actual franchisees that can make a big difference in your business’s chance of succeeding. Though you won’t have total control over who is hired in each of your franchise locations, it’s still important to consider what qualities and types of employees you want to be part of your business and create hiring guidelines for franchisees.
Eckles elaborates, “Nothing is more important than finding the right people! The right franchisees, the right store employees, and the right office support staff are absolutely essential.”
Create a Process Early On
When recruiting franchisees, you need to have a setup process already in place so you can make it as easy as possible on them.
Covelli says, “Set up your foundation as soon as possible. I personally used a whiteboard and tried to write down every aspect of opening one of our stores (accounting, HR, food supplier, real estate, etc.)”
Focus on Relationships with Suppliers
Part of making the process easy for potential franchisees is to have relationships with suppliers and others who your franchisees might need to interact with when setting up their new business ventures.
Covelli explains, “I made it a point to set up a relationship with a supplier or third party to handle each one of these for the franchisee. After all, people are paying you to give them a system that is seamless and allows them to do as little work as possible to get open. This has proven to be a huge help and it’s allowed us to scale our business much faster.