Franchising entails successfully replicating a prototypical business unit, not just with outlook but including the character and overall feel of the business too. Sounds easy right? All one needs to do is Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V. But not exactly.
Protect The Brand Legally
You can’t franchise your business if you don’t own your own trademark rights. If you don’t protect your trademarks, there is nothing to stop imitators from using your brand name to sell similar products or services. It’s not stealing if you don’t own it in the first place. In any case, franchisees won’t be particularly excited by the prospect of acquiring something that has little proprietary value.
Adapt For Local Tastes, Preferences & Cultures
What works for your local market may not necessarily work in another market. Before even opening doors for business, look at your own offerings and see if it makes sense to sell that in the targeted territory. Even better, go one step further and determine if you could adapt some of your current product/service offerings to customize for local consumers. But don’t just focus on developing new offerings and forget about your core products/services. If your core selling items are not going to work in that market, it may be better to stay away. That’s why market evaluation for a potential territory is decidedly the first step in any expansion plan.
Take Responsibility For Products & Services
One of the most often overlooked aspect when business owners decide to expand with franchising is the supply chain system. More than just simplying executing a delivery order to a designated location, the costs of storage and transportation (and perhaps taxes) also have to be taken into consideration. Someone is going to have to pay for all these costs - the question is who and how. Moreover, if engaging another supplier, quality checks need to be performed. If you haven’t figured this out in the franchise model, you’re probably not ready to start franchising your business yet.
Perform Regular Visits To Franchisees
Don’t assume franchisees will always adhere to all your guidelines and protocols. Sure, there is a contract in place for that but when there is no one looking, the temptation to cut corners is pretty high. Perform visits to your franchisees regularly to check quality standards. Implement additional training if required. Don't accept mediocre standards or (major) deviations, that's not what made you a success in the first place.