One of the most cost-effective and quickest ways to expand any business is to go through the franchising route. This involves making your business available to other people to open their own branch of your business following your tried and tested model.

As with the set up of your original business, you need to put in the right building blocks before you begin offering your company out as a franchise, however. Here’s our quick guide.

Decide If Your Business is Right for a Franchise

The first thing you need to do is decide whether your business fits the franchising approach and, perhaps just as importantly, whether it’s actually ready to go down this path right now. To succeed, your business model needs to be easily replicable so that anyone opening their own outlet under your brand is indistinguishable from your original company and is likely to succeed.

This means that you need to research the market thoroughly to ensure that you’ll be able to compete in a variety of new locations and that there are actually customers who will want to buy your product or use your service.

A Franchise Development Plan

The next building block you need to start putting in place is the business plan for your franchise. This will look at the structure as well as important considerations such as the type of franchisee you are looking to build a relationship with and what sort of investment you are going to require from them.

What franchise package are you going to offer in return and how are you going to support your new outlets? All these aspects need to be nailed down before you do anything else.

Running a Pilot

There’s no point in rolling out your franchise without first running a pilot project to see if it actually works. The reason for this is that it’s going to save you money in the long term if things don’t work out. It will almost certainly highlight any problems or hurdles that you need to rethink and overcome. The lessons you’ll learn during the pilot stage will be invaluable once you get up and running for real.

The Operations Manual

The next step is to develop your operations manual, the main document that will guide franchisees and keep everyone on the same page as different outlets develop. This can be a difficult thing to get right and will take a lot of time but is imperative if you want a strong foundation for your franchise.

Recruiting Franchisees

Who you bring into your business will eventually define the success or failure of your franchise. It’s not a matter of simply choosing the people who have the money to invest. You want someone who is going to share your ethos and your passion and then deliver on your expectations. How you word your recruitment markeing and the processes you follow need to be worked out to the finest detail if you want to be successful.

Supporting Your Franchisees

The final step to running a great franchise is the support you provide so that the people you choose have the best chance of success. It’s worth investing your time in this area, especially if you are looking to expand your franchise model in the future.

There’s no doubt that franchising your business can be beneficial and rewarding but it takes a lot of effort to make it work. Getting input from a franchise specialist who knows what they are talking about should be your first port of call before you begin to develop the processes and business model that take your company to the next level.