Testing, long-term focus and commitment have been identified by two experts on how best to start a franchise network.
Franchising, says solicitor Paul Breen – writing for managementtoday.co.uk – is a great way to grow a business that necessitates less investment than other expansion routes. It’s no surprise that the number of franchises has grown by four per cent on 2011, with the sector’s output equating to £13.4 billion to the UK economy – also an increase on 2011 of eight per cent.
Before starting a franchise, Breen recommends following British Franchise Association (BFA) guidance and testing a pilot operation in a separate location for a year, before launching a franchise network. The object of this is to highlight and fix any issues plus allow for the fine-tuning of business strategies.
Business salesman, Bill Sivell advises via profitguide.com that it’s key for potential franchisors to “stay focused on your long-term goals” and not simply consider the daily minutiae. The advantage, he says, of franchising is that owners already know the product, suppliers, etc, thus should be able to develop “long-range strategic planning” without being caught up in other matters.
Breen highlights the importance of finding committed franchisees for the subsequent businesses, people who are passionate about the product or service on offer and won’t object to the inevitable long hours that will be required during the early stages. Franchisees should work in accordance with an operational manual which ensures practices, quality and standards that are consistent with other branches.
Lastly, Breen says good legal advice is crucial, to ensure the proper franchising of a business. This encompasses the correct creation of franchise agreements and Intellectual Property rules. He also suggests becoming a member of the BFA.