Top 5 Factors of Franchise Success

09/04/2018 17:00 | Start a business

5 factors for franchise success

So, whether you’re considering franchising your business or investing in a new franchise business opportunity, here are the top 5 factors of franchise success:

1 Have a unique business concept that is easily replicable

The most crucial factor of franchise success is ensuring you have a unique and sustainable business concept that can be easily replicated in different locations. For example, a 24-hour food delivery franchise could replicate its business model in busy inner-city neighbourhoods with a high proportion of students or people who work long hours or night shifts. However, this kind of concept might not be successful in a small commuter town where there are few students/night-shift workers, and most of the population tends to go to bed early.

And can be adapted to different locations.

Franchisors with the highest franchise success rate also adapt their products and services to different locations. For example, KFC's Chinese franchises have different menus to what you would find in America or the UK, as its products are adapted to local tastes.

2 Choose the right people to carry your brand forward

If you’re a franchisor offering a franchise business opportunity, you’ll need to recruit the best people to represent the brand and help the business build a loyal customer base. Franchisors typically look for people with strong entrepreneurial skills, management experience and significant knowledge of the franchisor's sector. If you’re a franchisee buying a franchise business, you’ll need to recruit candidates who are passionate about the company and have the right attributes and skillset/qualifications.

For example, a hospitality franchise will need to look out for people who have excellent interpersonal skills, as they’ll often spend a lot of their time communicating with customers. This type of business will also need staff with excellent presentation skills and significant experience in the sector or a recognised industry qualification. A gym franchise, on the other hand, will want people who are passionate about fitness and have the skills and the drive to help their customers achieve their fitness goals and remain loyal to their brand.

3 Choose the right location

Without a good location, it will be impossible to succeed after buying a franchise business, even if you operate under a world-class concept and the best staff. A successful franchisor will do rigorous research to determine the most viable locations for its franchisees, taking into account factors such as demographics, the local economy, transport infrastructure and competition.

Bear in mind that many geographical factors can prevent a franchise from succeeding. For example, being on the wrong side of the road could prevent you from getting enough footfall, while being overlooked by a large tree or another business could make it very hard for people to find you even when there is very high footfall in the area.

Will you be choosing the location?

Some franchisors may allow franchisees to select the location, although they’ll usually still need to approve the site before the business can be set up. If you're choosing the area yourself, pay close attention to any planning applications in the neighbourhood. For example, if you wanted to set up a restaurant franchise, check whether any other restaurant franchises are planning to open in the area in the coming months.

4 Be consistent

Another crucial aspect of franchise success is following the franchisor's business model consistently. This is also important for building your brand awareness and getting people to recognise you. For example, if franchises of a fitness brand used different colour schemes in their marketing literature, this could confuse and make it harder for people to recognise the brand.

Consider a gym franchise that’s trying to reach out to people who’ve never used a gym before and might find this kind of environment intimidating. The marketing literature and imagery you use must make the right impression and appeal to this market. Using words like ‘inclusive’ and ‘friendly’ will help people perceive you as a gym that welcomes anyone of any level, not just bodybuilders or athletes.

Don't drift from the franchise model.

As a franchisee, you’ll need to conform to your franchisor’s model, which will include everything from how you market the business to the technology you use. That’s why buying a franchise business might not always work for people who prefer to do things their own way or are uncomfortable with following someone else’s ideas. However, the benefit of franchising compared to setting up your own brand is that you’ll be running a business under a proven concept.

5 Choose a sector you’re passionate about

This may seem obvious, but when money comes into play, it can be easy to overlook the importance of choosing an industry that you’re passionate about when considering a franchise business opportunity. While a franchisor’s earnings projections may seem very attractive if you want to save up enough money to buy a new property or fund a retirement, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the industry and the working culture.

Many franchisees work long hours, especially during the first few months when they’re getting their new businesses off the ground. Even if you make a good living, it can be tiring running a business in a sector you’re not interested in or know little about.

Remember – you don’t have to have experience in the franchisor’s industry:

Many franchisors state that it isn't necessary to have experience in a particular sector to achieve franchise success. The primary skills and attributes they look for are a motivational attitude, managerial acumen and excellent time management skills.

Choose a franchisor with an affiliate or full bfa membership

Many franchisors in the UK are members of the bfa (British Franchise Association), which promotes and accredits excellence in franchising to raise standards. As the voice of ethical franchising, it has launched industry-recognised qualifications, such as the Qualified Franchise Professional, and has created a recognised code of practice for ethical franchising, which originates from the European Code of Ethical Franchising. By choosing a franchisor that's a full or affiliate member of this body, you'll be joining a network that is reputable and complies with national industrial standards.

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