April 5, 2024

Setting Yourself Up for Success: Essential Tips Across Markets

Thinking about franchising your business? It’s a significant step towards expansion and growth. However, before diving into the franchising world, there are several steps SMB recommends you have in place. Read more before franchising your business:

Be Current and Relevant

Meeting customer needs and demands is important to a future franchise brand. Continuously updating the foundational systems and technology that your business relies on to operate efficiently is vital. Staying current ensures that your business remains competitive, enabling you (and your future franchisees) to adapt to market changes and consumer demands. Willingness to evolve is crucial for improving operational efficiency and enhancing the customer experience across all franchise locations.

Trademark Protection

A unique brand and a federal trademark are crucial. They legally protect your brand identity, ensuring that no one else can use them. This safeguard allows you to build and expand your unique brand without the risk of confusion or competition under the same or similar name, no matter what US market you enter.

Unit Economics Analysis

Focus on your unit economics, including profits and losses. Modeling your brand fees to be attractive will rely on solid performance from your existing company operations. Solid financials will help you attract candidates, help franchisees set realistic expectations, and ensure the sustainability of your franchise system. Franchisees must be able to make money under your model, and strong financial positioning is key.

Legal Compliance

Understand legal requirements and regulations. Can franchisees operate the business and obtain licensing in a reasonable amount of time where they want to open? Franchisees will be responsible for doing their local research, but choose to expand in states that are franchise-friendly for your industry.

Document Standardization

Collect your operational tools and training materials; these will help you in the process of creating standards, manuals, and brand guidelines to support new owners. Ensuring consistency across all franchise locations will rely on this information from day one.

Now that we’ve covered essential steps for you to take before franchising, let’s delve into some specific tips for franchising three different industries: service, personal care, and restaurants.

Service Concepts:

  • Establishing a Strong Training Program: Develop a comprehensive training program to maintain the quality of service across all franchise territories. Consistent and frequent training ensures that customers receive the same level of service regardless of where they are.
  • Developing a Strong Brand Identity: Invest in building a strong brand identity. From uniforms to vehicle signage and the materials used to promote the business – all marketing should be consistent. A recognizable brand builds trust and loyalty among customers, which is invaluable for a service-based franchise.
  • Implementing Efficient Technology Systems: Leverage technology to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. Implementing efficient payment systems, online booking platforms, and customer relationship management software improves efficiency and gives franchisees the tools to achieve higher customer satisfaction levels.
  • Focus on Local Market Integration: Marketing efforts may need to be tailored to resonate with local communities. Helping franchisees know how to engage their local customers, become active in their community, and earn trust, helps drive sales and build brand loyalty.

Personal Care Concepts:

  • Create a Signature Experience: Differentiate your personal care brand by offering a unique and exclusive experience that sets it apart from competitors. Whether it’s a signature product or treatment protocol, providing something special will attract customers and keep them coming back. This will help franchise candidates choose your brand over any other.
  • Building a Community: Foster a sense of community among customers by offering loyalty programs, engaging in local events, and actively participating in social media conversations. Building a loyal community will drive word-of-mouth referrals and support the growth of your franchisees and, in turn, the franchise system.
  • Invest in Continuous Training: The personal care industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, invest in continuous training for franchisees to keep them updated on the latest trends and techniques. This will keep your brand competitive as a leader; innovating and driving the industry forward with your franchise owners being more successful than their local counterparts.
  • Ensuring Compliance with Standards: Maintain high standards and monitor compliance with health regulations across all franchise locations. Clear guidelines, training, and regular coaching visits ensure that franchisees adhere to both the brand and safety standards consistently.

Restaurant Concepts:

  • Master Your Menu: Ensure that your menu is unique, streamlined and easy to execute in any market by any franchisee and their staff. Offering high-quality, consistent, but cost-effective dishes that are on trend and appeal to a variety of customers helps franchisees make money. Regularly refreshing the menu keeps it exciting for even the most loyal, repeat customers.
  • Emphasize Unit Economics: Location selection, lease agreements, second generation space and TI allowances help franchisees get off to the right start. Train your franchisees in effective cost management and financial analysis from day one. Focusing on unit economics is essential for the profitability and sustainability of your franchise.
  • Supply Chain Management: Consistency is key in the restaurant business. Establish reliable supply chains for ingredients and equipment. This will ensure that all franchisees can maintain the quality and standards that customers expect from your brand. As you add units, be ready to re-negotiate with suppliers to improve buying power and margins and add even more value to the franchisees in the system.
  • Strong Brand Culture: Remind franchisees that their locally owned business is (and will be) a foundation in the local community. Their role goes beyond offering breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner to an individual customer. Building emotional connections through really getting to know their community, being involved, and exuding brand culture drives loyalty, repeat business, and long-term success.

Deciding you are ready to franchise hinges on thorough preparation and making strategic decisions. Protecting your brand, focusing on financial performance, standardizing operations, and staying technologically current sets a solid foundation to expand. Tailoring the approach to franchising is part of what the team at SMB Franchise Advisors does every day. Look to us for more industry insights to build a successful, profitable and sought after franchise brand.