Here, Ian Roberts, Managing Director Sushi Daily offers some advice and fast facts on the topic of franchising and what can help lead to success and what you need to know about a complex concept in the world of business.
Choosing to franchise a business can lead to fast expansion and nationwide coverage, but in today’s business world where competition is fierce, the model needs to be fair and have substance behind it. The most talented entrepreneurs stand the best chance of making a franchise a success; however they can, and will move to another franchise if it fails to deliver on profits and values. What makes franchise models successful? Is there a risk involved? Or is it just plain sailing?
Franchisees work for themselves, which makes them more invested in the enterprise – they will work harder and have more drive. The franchisee also invests their own money in the business, so it’s in their interest for this to succeed. This means the business can expand rapidly thanks to the extra cash injection franchisees bring and their rigorous work ethic. Put simply: this is a joint investment, resulting in joint financial gain.
For a franchise to come out on top, it needs to have a strong brand and must boast a business model in which prospects want to invest. Careful consideration must be given to the level of investment and the quality of the model.
As attractive as all these benefits are, the franchise model isn’t without its challenges – working with a third party can result in a loss of control.To mitigate against this risk, executives must ensure recruitment procedures are rigorous. Protecting the brand can be achieved by investing in teams and deploying mystery shoppers to establish that franchisees adhere to rules and regulations.
It’s possible to franchise almost any business, from gyms, plumbing and restaurants, to accountancy firms. But to make certain it runs smoothly, it’s critical to have good systems in place – consider how to check what products have been sold and ensure that sales are reported accurately.
A talented entrepreneur will move to a better franchise if a business model isn’t delivering.To maintain loyalty from the franchisee, the concept needs to resonate with consumers and have staying power. The brand needs to be updated constantly so that it retains the best entrepreneurs and attracts new ones, as well as keeping consumer interest. Investors will look for a model which will make them the most money, so it needs to be current and profitable.
It’s critical to have clear brand guidelines and a good operation manual which the franchisees can follow, so that the concept is replicated time and time again, delivering the experience customers expect and a strong brand concept.
This flexible model means a business can bring its concepts to market quickly and secure coverage nationwide at speed and sustainably. It can take market share rapidly because of the extra capital investment provided by the franchisee.
By contrast, the corporate model is much slower to respond because a business might only have a finite amount of investment for opening new stores during the year, whereas with a franchisee funding some of the money, this increases the number of stores it can launch.
Once a store opens its doors, everyone is making money – this is a cash rich opportunity which isn’t constrained by the capital limits on the business. It is extremely agile, with the ability to upscale quickly and meet rising demand.
The franchise model can expand into multiple overseas markets swiftly. Franchisees will have local knowledge and contacts, so there’s no need to set up a new overseas office, keeping costs down.
Take Sushi Daily which expanded into multiple markets quickly using the franchise model. It started in France in 2010 then arrived in the UK – its seventh market – in 2015. A decade in, Sushi Daily operates across 11 countries.
For the franchisee it means they can tap into a ready-made audience. Look at brands such as Hilton or Marriott Hotels. Consumers already trust the brand, so they’re likely to visit in another country. Buying into the brand gives the franchisee access to knowledge about how to run a hotel successfully, while accessing a global network.
Building a positive network with fair returns for your franchisees and a good clear agreement is key to success – fail to achieve this and your results will suffer. Customers will notice the ensuing lack of commitment from staff.
It’s not enough to have a great concept selling a product that consumers want. These days brands need to have a strong culture, values and substance, to truly stand out. The best franchises replicate a happy family environment which provides investment and good support.