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Could you grow your business by creating a franchise?

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By Joel Bissitt, of www.franchise-uk.co.uk

Many UK SME owners choose to accelerate growth by turning their business into a franchise.  

You may be wondering whether franchising your business could be a viable option. There are many important points to consider before deciding whether franchising is the right option for growing your business. 

Firstly, seek the professional skills of an experienced Franchise Consultant. They will be able to guide you through the process.

 

There are many Franchise Consultancies in the UK who can help, the key is finding the professional who you want to work alongside and whom understands your business and shares your vision for the business.

All franchises share a common theme whereby the product or services they provide can be replicated in a different location, to the same business method. 

An experienced Franchise Consultant will ask many questions initially. These will include, how long has your business been operating, how the business operates, what goods or services your company supplies, company turnover, and profit.

The consultant will quickly get a handle on your business and will able to tell you almost immediately, whether your business concept, has the potential to be franchised. 

A reputable franchise consultant will advise, based on the information you have provided, if they feel at that time whether franchising the business may not be recommended.  

If this should be the case, the consultant will explain the reasons why, and guide you in the direction of what steps are needed to be made before the business can be franchise ready.  Reasons for this could be due to the business being in its infancy, lack of financial data or resources to run the core business, whilst the franchise is being developed. 

Developing a franchise model will involve the creation of a detailed operating manual, documenting every aspect of running the franchise.  A marketing prospectus will need to be designed to represent the franchise opportunity.

This is an important document that will explain the franchise, the franchise fee, and detail as to what you can expect for the fee, and earnings potential. Territory mapping, the vast majority of UK franchise opportunities are sold as an exclusive territory in which the franchisee has rights to sell the goods and services in these territories are often defined by postcode.  

As a franchisor you will also need a deposit, confidentiality and franchise agreement, usually drawn up by a specialist Franchise lawyer, initial training plans and manuals.

The vast majority of  franchisors invest in marketing to recruit the best franchisees for their growing networks.  Marketing of the brand is also an important area of the business to consider, when a franchisee decides to invest, launch marketing as they come on board needs to be right.  

Therefore, you will need to be on hand to provide information, as no one knows your business better you, it's creator.

A common franchising pitfall to avoid, is to grow too quickly, whilst accelerated growth sounds tempting, if you haven't got the resources in place, such as a dedicated network manager.

This may lead to neglect of the core business. As an owner of a small business you may find you are having to juggle too many balls, this can lead to frustration and franchisee fatigue.  Agree on your franchise plan and stick to it.

The advantages of franchising your business include investment into your business without having to borrow. An income stream being produced via franchisees, usually in the form of a management service fee, in line with the franchisees turnover.  Another positive is better buying power.  



Most of the major franchise brands in the UK were created from a single entrepreneur with vision, could your business have the same potential? 

Joel is an entreprenuer who has run small businesses for over 25 years & Director of www.franchise-uk.co.uk , the UK's largest franchise directory and resource of free franchising information.