5 Things to Consider Before Embarking on Multi-Unit Franchise Growth
Finding success as a franchisee is a very exciting time in an entrepreneur’s life, and when many arrive at that stage, they begin to turn their thoughts to the next phase: growing a franchise. For many, the next stage is multi-unit franchising, but there are both risks and advantages to this type of growth.
Specifically, there are five major things any franchisee should consider before branching into multi-unit franchise growth, and today’s discussion will be dedicated to the questions you should ask yourself before embarking on the venture.
1. Will Your Franchisor Provide the Necessary Support?
Multi-unit franchise growth isn't a simple task, and it’s essential that you have a strong support network behind you if you're going to take on the task. It’s integral that you know that your goals align with the overall goals of the franchisor, because that’s the best way to ensure you'll have their full support. Moreover, it’s also helpful if your franchisor has resources and policies in place to support multi-unit owners, such as discounts, perks, and additional training.
2. Are You Confident in Your Management of the First Unit?
Success at one franchise location doesn’t guarantee the same at another, but it’s integral that you perfect your methods and strategies before ever considering growing a franchise into a multi-unit empire. Before you think about expansion, you must be able to confidently say that you’ve perfected a high level of operation at your first unit. However, if and when you do decide to expand, it’s integral that you do so slowly, and not open a new unit until all the previous ones are operating optimally.
3. Do You Have the Skills to Transition to Multi-Unit Ownership?
Similarly, are you confident that your skills are broad and versatile enough to translate to multiple units? You may have mastered the role of owner-operator at one unit, but the skills you'll need to be a successful fleet captain aren't the same. Just remember: there’s only one of you, but being in charge of multiple locations means double the work, double the employees, and a whole new range of tasks and partnerships to manage.
4. Do You Have the Right Team Behind You?
Without the right team, it will be impossible to successfully grow your franchise, because it’s essential that you have people you can rely on to shoulder more of the responsibility once you take on more. Your time will be split between multiple units, so the personnel you have in place must be responsible, reliable, and as passionate as you are.
5. Will the Time, Effort, and Money You Put in Yield a Decent ROI?
Finally, before you make a decision to open multiple units, it’s important to ask yourself if there's still room for improvement where you are, because it’s a much more prudent idea to run one ultra-successful unit than it is to run two average ones. Purchasing a new franchise isn't cheap, it requires a great deal of resources, and it takes time to turn a profit, so you must first ask yourself if there's still more profitability to gain from your current endeavour.
Finding success as a multi-unit operator requires that you already have the right operational strategy in place, the right people behind you, and the skills and support to grow. Managing one unit is a very different creature from managing multiple ones, and growing a franchise starts with perfecting the business you already have before moving on to multiple units.