Any entrepreneur will tell you that getting a business off the ground in the first place is the hardest step. Once that initial success has been achieved, however, the next step is to consider how you are going to grow.

One solution many businesses opt for is to open themselves up as a franchise.

First off, franchising is not a solution to help a bad business survive. You need to have a robust business model and a clear idea of where you want to go. If you want to attract top class franchisees it takes a lot of work, thought and research to set up a successful franchise. But the effort could just be worth it.

The Benefits of Franchising Your Business

Firstly, it can be a more cost effective and easier way to spread the reach of your brand. Lack of capital is normally the biggest barrier that many entrepreneurs face today. Do you wait until you build up enough to expand? Or can you use the investment of time and money from willing advocates to grow your company quicker.

Secondly, it’s difficult to find good managers who can run your new outlet or reach out to a different audience. Then there’s the training of support staff. When you offer a franchise, you are hoping to find motivated entrepreneurial types who are more focused on making things work and can take a good deal of this pressure off you.

Finally, opening new premises can take time. You need to find the right staff, pick the right location and get all that equipment in and that’s all before you start operating. The ideal franchisee again can take a good deal of this burden off you making it easier to grow.

Top Tips for Franchising in 2017

It all sounds great and can be the perfect solution for growing your brand quickly and cost effectively but there are a few issues that you need to consider before you begin. First and foremost is:

Is your business ready to be a franchise?

While franchising is a flexible solution to growth, you need to have a brand that works outside of its current size and format. You need to be able to teach your franchisees how to sell your product and for that you require a clear brand identity and set processes in place. The mistake many entrepreneurs make is not thinking about this issue clearly enough. Picking the right time to go down the franchise route is imperative.

You also need to have the potential for making a decent return. Franchisees aren’t going to be interested in an opportunity where they are putting in hard hours and not getting much out of it. Your franchise also needs to be repeatable wherever it’s located. How are you going to pick the right franchisees? What legal support do you need, for example, in putting together the franchise contract? How many franchisees are you going to take on? What qualities or qualifications are you looking for?

Getting the right advice and putting in place the appropriate processes, including training for your franchisees, is absolutely vital. There’s certainly plenty to think about. Whether you franchise your business in 2017 or not is going to depend on a lot of factors but getting a strong base to work from is going to be a crucial factor in your future success.