Should you franchise your business?

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Armando Bartolome
Armando Bartolome

Franchising is acknowledged as the best means to expand a business, but not all businesses may qualify.

Franchising is a strategic way of duplicating an existing concept. Starting a business begins with having the idea in mind and there are processes which go with it.

It is not enough to one day have an idea and, voila, start a business.

Often, this is the spark or sudden burst of an idea, which may happen any time or practically anywhere. Most successful entrepreneurs I have worked with approached with caution.

The ultimate key in getting a business franchised is the ability to launch a model, or otherwise known as prototype. This is an actual implementation from the thought process.

In its early stages, the entrepreneur may be doing some adjustments particularly on the products and services. Everything is experimental. This is the time to identify the target market, become profitable and ensure sustainable quality. Getting the right exposure like in any of the quad media may be a boost to the business.

There are businesses which may take more than 12 months prior to embarking into a franchise.

The logic is clear: it is much better to iron out the kinks within the confines than to launch and discover numerous problems. Of course, this is not to say it will be problem-free. In fact, entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for ways and means of constantly doing innovation.

The other factor in knowing if the business may be franchised is if there are key people assigned with a clear understanding of their functions and responsibilities. At the beginning, the entrepreneur may be doing everything by himself. Yet during the course of time, there is staff identified. The people behind are now the organization. They will be part of the support team who together with the entrepreneur will render to the franchisee. It is sad to say some franchisors I have seen need to focus and accept its importance.

The lack of franchise support is often cited as one of the frustrations of franchisees.

Documenting the procedures is another challenge for the entrepreneur. Having everything remained in the entrepreneur’s memory is not advisable. Writing on pieces of loose sheets of paper or issuing memorandum may not be a smart move. For the business to effectively operate, formally writing the procedures and compiling into a manual is the right way. Tedious as it may be but if properly done, benefits may soon be realized.

Some entrepreneurs may say the process is simple and a no-brainer. Try telling this to Ray Kroc, who reinvented the wheels of the original McDonald’s. This company with 38,000 branches worldwide continuously updates every manual. From licensees to the bus boys, they know what the latest procedures are.

There may also be indications of people inquiring for a franchise. This is another sign of others wanting to partake in the success. The entrepreneur must be alert on the increasing number of queries. It spells the need to rethink of seriously considering franchising the business.

As in any franchise agreement, the entrepreneur must first fully decide on accepting franchising as way to expand. Doing it because everybody does it is not the right attitude.

Finally, always think and act as a responsible franchisor. Never leave the franchisees without support or assistance. They are, after all, partners in building the brand. Franchisees, on the other hand, need to focus and readily commit in the management of the business. At the end of the day, what is important is if both parties achieve creating and sustaining a synergistic relationship.

For questions and more information, you may contact Armando “Butz” Bartolome by email: philfranchiseguru@gmail.com or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/philfranguru). His website is www.gmb.com.ph

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