If you're an entrepreneur who's been running a business for more than a year, chances are you've probably heard your fair share of this question from colleagues and customers: “So, will you franchise your business?”
Maybe you haven't really given franchising much thought, let alone think that now is the right time to franchise your business. For entrepreneurs who are wondering when is the right time to give franchising a shot, here are five signs that your business is actually ready for franchising.
1. You have at least one operating prototype.
Franchising is about replicating a successful business, so it is essential that you have at least one operating store. But it will actually be even better if you have three or more operating branches prior to franchising. Not only will this allow you to improve and streamline your business operations prior to franchising, but having multiple existing branches will also give you the opportunity and the platform to show your potential franchise buyers how the business operates on a daily basis. This will give them a better glimpse into the business, and will also allow them to buy into the franchise concept with eyes wide open.
2. Your business has had at least one year of profitable growth.
This is the minimum requirement, but it’s even better if you’ve had three to five years of profitable growth prior to franchising. A year of profitable growth is enough to determine how your business will fare, given the different seasons and movements of the market. Also, this would have given you enough time to further improve business operations and strategies, which will be important once you go into franchising.
3. People are asking if they can franchise your business.
A person wouldn't ask if your business is open for franchising unless he is interested to buy a franchise of it himself, especially if he is not even from your local vicinity. These franchise inquiries mean that not only are more people on the prowl for a franchise business to invest in, but also that your business concept is unique to them and is actually worth replicating in their territory. Of course, franchise inquiries alone are not enough to say that your business is ready for franchising, but they are a strong indicator that people will be interested to invest in your business concept once it opens for franchising.
4. The business concept and operations can easily be taught.
Franchising is not just about the transfer of rights; it is also about the transfer of proprietary knowledge and technologies. As such, the business's concepts and operations should have been made simple enough to teach to any potential franchisee prior to franchising.
Understand that most would-be franchisees are also first-time entrepreneurs. Most of them have no previous experience when it comes to running a business and have chosen to invest in a franchise business due to the training and the guidance it will provide. With that being said, simplifying and streamlining your business operations prior to franchising will make it easier for your potential franchisees to comply and replicate the success of your business in any territory.
5. People are starting to copy your business concept.
As they say, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Entrepreneurs are good at spotting up-and-coming concepts, and these enterprising minds usually copy those concepts that are doing well so as to ride on the business's success and popularity.
With that said, it might be a good time to consider franchising once you see other business owners trying to copy or recreate your business concept. It's all about beating them to the punch—franchising will give your business the opportunity to evolve and scale up before these copycats even have the time to improve their own systems. These copycats might have copied your basic business concept, but they wouldn't be able to execute and market a business as effectively as you do.
Take a free franchisability test (http://francorp.com.ph/are-you-franchisable/) and learn whether your business is ready to grow through franchising. For more information on franchising, contact Francorp Philippines at (02) 638-3149, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit francorp.com.ph.
Sam Christopher Lim is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy at franchise consultancy Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales & Management; and chairperson and director for special projects for Asean integration at the Philippine Franchise Association.