Quoting a Roman philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, “luck is where preparation meets opportunity”. Business owners who adopt franchising as a growth model should be aware of both the pros and cons of it, and prepared for what comes next, especially when looking at operational matters.
A general guideline is that a business should have been operating for at least five years before launching into franchising. This works on the assumption of a practical timeline that should encompass the business to gain experience by enduring through both good and bad times, thus, being able to provide appropriate guidance to franchisees. Yet, each business is different so the five-year operational guideline is really more of a guideline and less of an implied requirement.
Prototypical Pilot Operations
You may be running successful operations for your sole business unit but there is not a whole lot else going on that proves you can efficiently and effectively replicate the business model in another location, much less by someone else.
Having more than one business unit helps you to determine whether your business model is dependent on demographics or other location-specific criteria, and also allows you to fine-tune operations and identify weaknesses to increase business viability and sustainability. Without a tried and tested system that optimizes operational, management and marketing aspects of the business, you will probaby be guessing the solutions to the obstacles that franchisees could face.
Also, you could conduct your own franchise dry-run by having employees run the subsequent business unit on their own, with minimal supervision, and stepping in only just before the occurrence of disasterous mistakes. From these situations, you will be acutely aware of what needs to be highlighted during the franchise training process.
Ability For Growth
While the pursuit of franchise expansion could reap major potential financial rewards, it could also prove to be a tricky journey with serious consequences if things go south with franchisees.
Take the decision to start franchising your business because you believe (and know for a fact) the business is equipped and ready for franchising. On the contrary, don’t franchise your business just because some people are enquiring about it’s franchising availability and you want to bank on that immediately. In short, the pursuit of franchise growth should be an outlined pro-active activity instead of a reactive movement.