Thursday, June 7, 2018

FRANCHISE : What you need to do before franchising

Wambugu Wa Gichohi

Wambugu Wa Gichohi 

In determining your brand’s readiness to franchise, you run some questions through your current operations.

The answers will reveal what you need to do before attempting to franchise. We continue exploring if your existing corporate culture supports growth through franchising.

Do you have self-discipline to follow the narrow path to franchising success? Franchisees hate decisions that impact negatively on their profitability.

They seek to be sheltered from unexpected happenings and see unexpected change as a threat. As the franchisor, you have to keep focused on a carefully thought-out franchise roll out plan.

Do you have a clear passion for excellence across the business? Franchisees won’t join a mediocre operation. However big your brand’s fame may be, it would be foolhardy to imagine that you can franchise a disjointed “one-man show” type of business that stops operations when the owner catches a cold or travels out of town. In franchising, service excellence rules supreme.

Are you open, a team-player, do you share information and do you consult regularly? Truth is that most traditional businesspeople don’t, yet to succeed in franchising, you have to be open with your franchisees on all aspects of your business, share as much information as is necessary to profitably run the franchised units and regularly consult them through the franchisee council for them to feel part of your franchise family.

Personal contact is also key as it breeds personal relationships with franchisees, leading to better business results.

Do you dream of growing your brand into the market leader? On the racecourse, everyone wishes to back the winning horse. So do prospective franchisees who expect nothing short of brilliant ideas from you to outsmart competition.

So, you must always be unsettled and ready to implement disruptive innovations to move your brand to the lead.

Are you looking at the short-term or long-term returns from franchising? Franchising is a long-term strategy, try other models if seeking short-term returns. Depending on your industry, it could take a minimum of three years, some even more, before you see real returns from franchising.

Do you enjoy training people and seeing them grow? For you to replicate your success in your franchisees, you will have to invest considerable resources in training them. You move from managing your daily sales etc. to training people and placing them into business. Make sure you can tolerate slow learners as they sometime turn out to be your best performers.

You will need to hand over your original business to a manager for you to train others, or you will appoint a franchise champion to run the franchise show. In both scenarios, both you and the franchise champion will need to be well trained to franchise and in return you will need to be at peace with coaching and placing others into business.

Are you ready to stop all else to make putting others into business as your future career? The franchise manager you may appoint as indicated above cannot do a better job than you. At the end of the day he doesn’t own the show. So, you would need to do it yourself, thereby setting a new career path for yourself.

The writer is a franchise consultant helping indigenous East African brands to franchise, multinational brands to settle in the region and governments to create a franchise-friendly business environment.

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