Most of the articles I write here provide information on choosing, researching and buying franchises.
That’s because there are a lot more people looking to become franchise owners than there are looking to franchise their businesses.
That said, if you’re thinking about buying a franchise, it doesn’t hurt to know what it takes to franchise a business.
Because as you’ll soon see, a lot of hard work goes into turning an independent business into a franchise business. What follows is a basic overview of the process.
Validating the Idea
Before someone can turn their business into a franchise business, they need to make sure they have something. This “something” needs to be special.
A good example is Colonel Harland David Sanders, who started out selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in the 1930’s. His chicken sold so well, he perfected his “secret recipe” and along with his (eventually patented) method of using a pressure fryer to cook his chicken, started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
What he had was obviously special, as he began franchising his business, and by 1964 he had opened more than 600 locations before selling it to a group of investors. As of this writing, there are over 21,000 locations worldwide. Amazing.
It’s one thing to create and build a successful business. It’s quite another to successfully duplicate it.
For example, you can own and operate the busiest senior care operation in your local area, (and have a desire to franchise the business) but if you can’t duplicate it on the other side of town, you’re stuck.
Tip: Don’t attempt to franchise your business until you have a second location up and running. One that’s profitable.
Creating a System
One thing that all of today’s successful franchises share is a solid business system. One that can be easily followed.
The good news is since you were able to duplicate your business, you already have the makings of a business system.
But you need to make sure you document everything you did to open location #2. Including:
- Square footage
- Details of the items your contractors used to build-out the location
- Technology needed to operate the business
- Signage used
- Types of employees needed
Basically, by the time you’re done documenting everything you’ve done, along with everything needed to operate the business on a daily basis, you’ll be looking at the beginnings of a franchise operating manual. That said, you’ll want to find a franchise development firm that can help tighten it up and produce the final product.
Now that you have two businesses up and running, along with the documentation needed to continue duplicating it, you must make your franchise legal.
From the Franchise Law Solutions website*:
“The franchise laws are a combination of federal and state laws that govern the registration, offer and sale of franchises, and the legal relationship between franchisors and franchisees.”
In a nutshell, your business needs to be registered as a franchise business. Doing so, along with having the proper documents, like the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) for instance, will enable you to sell franchises to others.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to hire an experienced franchise attorney to structure your business and draft the proper documents.
Marketing and Sales
Once you’re legally permitted to sell franchises, you’ll need to market your franchise. After all, would-be franchise owners (generally) aren’t going to show up at your door, check in hand.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a marketing campaign. I recommend hiring an experienced franchise marketing firm to jump-start the process.
Next, you’ll need to create a step-by-step sales process that all interested franchise candidates will go through. And since you’ve never sold franchises, it would behoove you to hire people that know how to do it. You can hire franchise salespeople individually, or you can use a franchise sales firm.
From this point on, the market takes over.
And if you’ve done everything right, you’ll sell franchises.
And that means your idea worked.
*Non-U.S. government website