Some business owners like to think about expansion into overseas markets in vague terms (i.e. Asia, Europe, etc.) but this oversimplification is problematic. For example, what does Asia mean — the continent is sub-divided into 48 different countries so which are the ones that’s supposed to be part of the plan? China? Saudi Arabia? Vietnam? And the list could go on for another 45 times.
There are so many options out there and one could easily be overwhelmed. Simply trying to choose a target market for the next phase of expansion already brings about headaches and blurred vision. Not to mention, every country (or even state) has its own way of getting things done so expecting to come up with a one-size-fits-all masterplan for franchising seems a little naive and overly optimistic.
As the ambition to expand into overseas markets grows, some of the more commonly sought after market information that business owners should obtain before any decisions are made, are those such as costs for setting up the business, consumer spending power, competitive pricing and local preferences. Furthermore, having market data also helps to prioritize certain markets over others, and plan for the necessary budget and resources accordingly. In short, identifying and analyzing targeted markets will allow franchisors to answer one critical question — is there a practical market for the franchise and its offerings?
But in the midst of these all, one aspect that might be overlooked is the one that basically determines whether a business has the right to franchise. Normally, the biggest obstacles that would come into play when looking at overseas expansion are local laws and business practices — in this case, franchise regulations. This is especially important because some countries have stipulations that requires a business to physically operate in the country for a certain amount of years before being able to start franchising activities. So even after all that time, effort and resources spent on franchise marketing, and eventually converting a prospective franchisee into an actual franchisee, it could be all go down the drain because the single most important criteria was overlooked from the start.
Oops, you say?