When trying to turn an idea into a franchise, it’s easy to make mistakes. Many people start trying to franchise their business without being prepared for all the work it takes. While franchising can be a great growth strategy, it can cause serious financial repercussions if you don’t plan ahead, use resources wisely and work with reliable people.
For a successful franchised business, avoid these common mistakes:
An inconsistent, unclear brand
It might seem like defining your brand is the easiest step of franchising, but it’s often where entrepreneurs miss the mark. Most entrepreneurs are big picture people, which make it difficult to contain those ideas into a streamlined, clear brand. A great brand must always be simple enough to easily understand. If it can be defined in six words or less and understood by strangers, then you have a good concept.
Listening to bad legal advice
Most dread dealing with legal issues, but quality legal counsel is necessary when you’re developing a franchise. As tempting as it can be, never cut corners on legal advice, especially during the growth stages when decisions are crucial. Try not to think of high-quality legal counsel as a waste of money, but as a fundamental requirement for building a sturdy business foundation. Cheap or inexperienced advice is not a solid foundation and has a serious risk of collapsing.
Not being duplicable
Entrepreneurs often build a successful business based on their own personal touches. Unfortunately, a personal touch is difficult to duplicate. Franchisees need to feel connected to the original spirit of the brand. Offering immediate, easy access to a full range of educational resources will teach them how to recreate the brand.
When you have several franchises, tweaks need to be made. Passion allows you to provide consistent attention and care, but intense feelings can cause tunnel vision, making it difficult to listen to advice about tweaks. Passion about your original idea is a good thing. Rigidity is not. Let your brand develop and be open to feedback.
Franchises are designed to cover a large amount of space, but it’s best to start slow. Instead of attempting to take over the whole country or the world immediately, break your plan up into manageable pieces. Successful franchises need to be broken up into territories and managed by regional developers. Additionally, dividing growth into territories will also help the business gain more insight into regional and local demographics. This way you can learn more about who you’re really selling your products or services to.