Starting your own company was no piece of cake, but you put in the time to build your brand and create a local business that patrons grew to love. Perhaps you even expanded and you now own and operate several locations in your city, your state, or even nationally. Now you’re ready to take your company to the next level by turning it into a franchise and allowing others to take the helm, so to speak. But you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. There are so many details to cover when it comes to developing a franchise, and as a newbie you could easily make expensive and frustrating blunders. And you’ll face challenges not only when it comes to creating a business and marketing plan, but also when finding the right buyers to represent your brand, as well. Here are just a few helpful tips that should put you on the right track when it comes to transforming your company into a franchise.
- Hire a consultant. Since you’re new to the process of creating a franchise and operating as a franchisor, it’s probably a good idea to hire a qualified consultant to advise you. You’re not the first business owner to go through this process and having an experienced professional to guide you could help you to avoid major hassles and missteps along the way.
- Perform a financial study. Before you get started with the process of transforming your business model you need to know what it’s going to cost and what you stand to gain. This requires that you conduct a financial study. You need to determine how much it will cost to draw up contracts, create and implement a franchise system, support new franchises, create marketing materials, and generally conduct business. But you’ll also want to calculate the cost of a franchise, including ongoing royalties and fees to be paid to you as the franchisor. Understanding potential costs and earnings is an essential part of the planning process.
- Find a good attorney. Franchising will require a slew of legal services, from documents like contracts with franchisees, copyrights, and NDAs, to possible legal filings. Having a suitable attorney or law firm to help you make sure you have all your legal ducks in a row will ensure that you’re always on the right side of the law and that your interests are protected.
- Develop franchise systems. Franchise systems will include all of the materials, standards and practices, and policies you provide for new franchisees. An operations manual, hiring and training materials, site development and store design plans, product and supply lists, communications systems, financial systems and procedures, and even mystery shopper programs (amongst other features) may all be covered by your franchise systems development.
- Develop a franchise proposal. Once you have all of your materials, legal concerns, and expenses in hand, the next order of business is to start attracting prospective franchisees. This could mean advertising and participating in every franchise expo in the state. But you’ll also have to develop a pitch for your newly formed franchise business in order to hook buyers. Your franchise proposal is the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to developing your franchise.