Often a new franchise business is created not by launching a brand new site, but by converting an independent business into a franchise unit.
There are many reasons why independent operators make this decision. Sometimes a small business owner may be considering selling because the business is not performing at the level they hoped, while some may have found owning a business as a solo operator is more difficult than they thought it would be. Meanwhile, others have big ambitions and want to take their business to the next level but aren’t sure how.
It is a big decision – why would you want to give up your independence? What do you get in return? And how can you decide if the move from independent to franchisee is best for you?
Here are five reasons why making the move to a franchise may be right for you and your business:
- You instantly have support
When you become a franchisee you instantly have a support network behind you. The franchisor will take care of many tasks so you can focus on your strongest skills and doing the work you love. It’s still your business, of course, but you have a professional crew behind you and can often find better work-life balance as a result.
- You can access expert advice in the face of uncertainty
If there’s anything the pandemic has reminded us, it’s that things can go wrong and responding is often way out of our comfort zone and skills matrix. In difficult times, emergency situations and possible future lockdowns, as a franchisee you know you’ll have help from the franchisor regarding the required response, technology, marketing, operational protocols, regulation compliance and crisis management plans for these situations.
- You may achieve significant marketing advantages
By being associated with a franchise that has a regional or national reputation already, your business instantly benefits from the work the franchisor has done over time to establish the brand and its goodwill. There is usually also a shared marketing fund used to drive brand development and growth.
- You may achieve significant purchasing power savings
By being part of a much larger business, you’ll usually find you can access better bargaining power than you could as an independent operator.
- You plug into a proven operating system
As a franchisee you are given the keys to an operating system that’s been tested over time by many other business operators before you. With a reputable franchisor, you should have confidence that these systems have been well refined and are continually improved and updated to ensure the highest possible level of success.
If you’re thinking converting to a franchise could work for your particular business, make sure the numbers add up and be confident that the increased projected revenue, cost savings or profitability associated with being a franchise will more than offset other costs like fees and fit-out modifications.
You also need to feel comfortable being part of a bigger team. While individual franchisees still have a good amount of control over the way their business is run, the strength of the franchise model relies on service and brand consistency across the entire network and that does mean adhering to certain protocols, strategies and ways of operating.