Opportunity From Adversity: How To Grow And Franchise Your Business
As I reached the end of my second year as founder of Simply Bows & Chair Covers I was feeling a little burnt out.
The business was growing at a rapid pace and I was extremely passionate about what I was doing, I still am, but the growth was too much for me to manage alone. I didn’t want to turn down the work, but equally I didn’t want to potentially compromise the quality I was delivering by being under pressure.
I didn’t want to expand my business in a way that would mean I’d be taking on larges overheads, which can come from expanding your business by simply taking on staff and extra office space, so I started to consider franchising.
I was excited at the prospect of growing my brand and working with new people, sharing my passion.
How does franchising work?
As a prospective franchisor, I learned that to successfully franchise my business I would grant franchisees the right to use my brand in the form of a licence, to carry out a replicated service which I established in the first two years of Simply Bows and Chair Covers.
In simple terms, I’m licensing the right for someone else to use my proven business model.
The franchisees then act as sole traders and are responsible for running their franchised business, paying a licence fee back to me, the franchisor.
What are the challenges you might face when franchising your business?
Although this seemed like the perfect way to grow my business, the lack of control and inviting in third parties was a major concern.
However, I developed an interview process which allows me to really get to know franchisees before I agree to take them on board. I then created an induction programme and operations manual which means my brand is replicated to the high standards I require.
All Simply Bows and Chair Covers franchisees are bound to an in-depth contract which is signed and agreed prior to them starting with us. They must sign confidentiality agreements and follow all systems and procedures to the letter.
That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a few bumps along the way!
How to get started
So, I went back to the drawing board and wrote my second business plan and my franchise model.
I amended the current model to one which could be easily transferred and taken on by a franchisee. I then started small by hiring just one franchisee to take over an area near to Head Office, so I could be hands on for their training and mentor them directly ensuring the model worked and allowing me the opportunity to make any necessary amendments.
I’m thrilled to say, that the first franchise was a success and I’ve continued this approach establishing 10 offices across the UK.
How do you manage franchisees?
I wanted my franchisees to be invested in the business and feel that we were working together as a team.
I meet with all my franchisees annually to discuss best practice, to share successes and set the agenda for the year ahead.
Day-to-day I’m always on the phone and emailing the team to ensure they feel supported.
As part of the franchise package they get access to mentoring from me.
Thinking of becoming a franchisee or franchising your own business? Join my Facebook group Why I Can…! where I’ll be sharing the story of my franchises and their experience. Alternatively I offer a FREE Discovery Call and would be delighted to discuss your ideas with you.