As the owner of a small business, you are probably looking for growth options that let your business expand on minimum investment. Did you know? Many renowned franchises across the world started off just like your business – small, nimble and with a desire to scale. The popular Domino’s Pizza, one of the greatest franchise businesses in India and globally, had started as a single, small pizza store called DomiNick’s. Leading pre-school education franchise in India, EuroKids, started with just 2 pre-schools and has now grown to over 900 preschools across 350 cities in 3 countries!
Small businesses have always experimented with innovative ways to grow, and Franchising holds a special place in that list. But, what exactly is Franchising? Simply put, it is an arrangement in which a business (the franchisor) offers a party (the franchisee) the right to use its technology, trademark, brand, etc. to replicate its business model in untapped markets and geographies.
Benefits of Franchising
For the franchisor (for example, a small business like yours), the benefits are:
- Penetration into new markets at minimum investment
- Leverage the talent and local network of new entrepreneurs
- Quick growth with significant brand building
For the franchisee (the entrepreneur / business you franchise your business to), the benefits are:
- Ease of venturing into a new business
- Tested business model, brand value
- Handholding, mentoring and technology support
How to Go About Franchising Your Business
- Preparation – As they say, “preparation is the hallmark of a professional”. Your future franchisee will require detailed guidelines on how to go about replicating your business model and brand recall. Many small businesses do not spend much time documenting their know-how, internal processes and systems – franchising is a good opportunity to do so. Develop clear guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and document your key learnings in a systematic manner. Design concise training modules for the franchisee entrepreneur and his staff, and also a timeline and budget for the training. Take stock of your paper-work and consult a legal advisor to make sure compliances are in place for a franchise arrangement to function.
- Invest in Your Brand – If you haven’t taken your brand equity seriously yet, now is the time! The first step is to build and protect your brand. Make sure you have a clearly legible logo of the right colours, get your trademark registration, and reshuffle your marketing strategy around creating maximum brand recall. Remember that brand is one of the most critical elements in ensuring success of a franchise business. Work on creating a good online as well as physical presence, and make sure you stand out!
- Choose the Right Location – Franchising is largely about entering new geographies. As a small business, make sure you ask the right questions before expanding into a new location. Is the market big enough? Will it generate enough sales to cover the cost of setting up and running the franchise? Is it accessible to you for physical inspection and visits, if need be? Is your brand known to your target customers in that area? Will you find the right franchisees there? Are there any politico-legal challenges in operating there?
- Choose the Right Franchisee – Once you have chosen a location, choosing a franchisee can be a challenge as the new location will not be too familiar to you. To source good franchisees, list your business as a franchisor in dedicated web portals for small business growth, such as IndiaBizForSale.com. You can also reach out to your personal network in the chosen location and post in entrepreneur forums. Once you have a pool, shortlist on the basis of criteria such as professional qualification, local influence, familiarity with the industry you are in, entrepreneurial acumen and so on. The first few franchisees will mostly be selected through trial and error. Thereafter, you can use the learnings to standardize the process to a great extent.
- Provide Continuous Support to Your Franchisees – Remember that Franchising, above all, is a business relationship and not just an arrangement. It is important for your franchisees to feel that they are your partners in growth and that you have their back when they need it the most. Also, create a system of continuous tracking, reporting and discussions so that you are always informed about how each franchisee is doing in the market and what support they need to grow and earn profits.
Now that you know how to grow your small business with franchising, get started today! To know more about how IndiaBizForSale.com can help you achieve your business franchising goals and much more, click here.