You have gone through the hard yards of setting up your business and now it is performing really well. You have loyal customers, the business is turning over a profit and you are offering a product or service that there is a growing demand for. The question is now, what next? Have you thought about replicating the success of your first business in another one or two or fifty just like it?
Franchising is a growing trend in the business world and could be worth considering for your business. Australian brands Souvlaki Hut, Xpresso Delight, and Zambrero are just a few of the businesses that have gone from one successful store to many over the past couple of years. What makes franchising a popular model for growing your business? You may have heard about the turn key revolution in popular business books such as Michael E. Gerber’s E Myth. What makes your business successful and special is more than just the product you sell. It is the experience you offer your customer and the business systems that allow you to offer that experience consistently time after time.
1. Do you have a stand out brand?
Developing your brand, your customer experience and what sets you apart in the market is what attracts customers to you and makes your business a success. What value does your business offer your customers? What experience does your customer associate with visiting your business? How could you replicate this in another store or another ten stores that would provide the exact same experience? Finding your answer to these questions is the first step in developing your franchise model.
2. What experience do you offer that keep your customers coming back?
I have worked with business owners of restaurants, burger stores, barbers and beauty salons who have one or a handful of successful business and want to franchise. My response is always the same, before you can franchise something you need to know what experience it is you are trying to replicate. Your customer experience is more than your logo and the colour of your shopfront, your customer experience is everything your customer sees, hears, feels and associates with your brand. It may be the bubbly girl at the front counter or the recycled armchairs in your coffee shop.
3. Can you replicate your success?
Do you know why you are successful? Do you know what your customers love about your store/ coffee shop / salon? Before you create copies of something you want the first one to be as close to perfect as you can make it, this is your franchise model. I ask my customers not only what they love about their brand and their current store but also what they don’t like. Is there anything you are unhappy with or would like to change? Once you know what you want (and don’t want) in your store document EVERYTHING. You may choose to work with a designer and a franchise consultant to document the look and feel of your business, the layout and the business systems that keep the experience your customer expects from your brand the same every time.