Can my business be franchised?

We get asked for help a lot from people wanting to know how to franchise a business, when they don’t actually have a business!  Franchising should not be used as a testing ground for a new or unproven business idea but instead as a way of expanding an already successful business. It is therefore vital that you have an established existing business that you are running successfully before you even consider franchising it. 

Before you start asking how to franchise your business, you need know if your business is “franchiseable” as not all businesses are.  A business that has franchise potential will have the following:

Credibility – your business must have an excellent track record, an experienced management team and local public acclaim. Your business should be registered and capable of being developed into other locations in Ireland and possibly further afield.  

Profitability – your business needs to be able to generate sufficient gross margins to allow you to pay your franchise fees and make money.

Uniqueness – your business should have a USP (unique selling point) that allows it to differentiate itself from your competitors. Your competitive advantage should be sustainable and allow your business to compete in the Irish market and even international markets.

Demand – your business needs to be one that would be in demand no matter where it was located. There is no use it doing well in a major shopping centre or on a busy high street in a big city, if it cannot be as successful in a small town or less prominent location.  Your business model needs to be one that has demand and staying power and is not just a fad.

A developed set of skills - your business needs to be defined step-by-step by a set of systems, procedures, expertise, skills and know-how.  All of this is what would form the operations and procedures manual.

Transfer of skills – you must have a business model that has a transferable set of skills i.e. you must be able to train franchisees lacking experience in the sector to operate your franchise business within a reasonable period. They are not able to start operating the business without having the necessary skills, and it would be impractical for them to be in training for too long.

Affordable – your franchise must be affordable to your target market.

Read more on how to franchise a business