The benefits of multi-unit franchising are well known by now: more cost-efficient marketing and advertising campaigns, greater access to the economies of scale, the ability to buffer underperformance in one location with great performance at another location, and much more flexible staffing options.
Franchising insiders counsel against expanding too quickly or when you’re not quite ready, though the economy of scale and marketing benefits entice many franchisees to do so anyway.
To gain the benefits of leveraged buying power, staffing and training efficiencies, and greater negotiating power and control over your expansion via area development agreements that come with expanding and embracing multi-unit franchising, you have to be financially, professionally, and even emotionally prepared for the commitment.
Taking advantage of these benefits means expanding from an owner-operator model with a single franchise location. This requires appointing overseeing managers to ensure the smooth operation of multiple locations. To do this, you need to assess your own professional skillset and work on creating a strong support team at all of your locations.
Many of the traits that make great single owner-operator franchisees—characteristics like coachability and willingness to listen, a strong work ethic and a willingness to (at least initially) put in a few more hours, and a dedication to delivering stellar customer service and bringing all of your interpersonal skills to the fore—are still necessary qualities for multi-unit franchisees today.
The profitable franchise landscape is changing, and multi-unit franchising ownership is becoming the norm. An incredible three-fourths of restaurant franchisees are signing on for a multi-unit development agreement.
Lenders and franchisors typically love dealing with franchisees interested in multi-unit expansion because it implies only good things.
It betokens that, for instance, that particular franchisee has ready access to liquidity, has previous franchising success, and can draw on a wealth of connections and support systems to expand his or her franchising acumen and experience even further in the future. Before expanding to multi-unit ownership, however, you’ll need to ask yourself some tough questions.
You’re obviously looking for the easiest way to enjoy multi-unit benefits like streamlined training, co-branding opportunities, and economies of scale while remaining faithful to the franchisor’s vision and your own professional goals.
The simplest way to accomplish all of these goals is to focus on solid recruitment and operational efficiency at all of your locations. Focusing on recruitment facilitates a self-sustaining atmosphere in which the manager’s job is greatly simplified.
This automatically streamlines the overseeing manager’s job. Having said that, you should still consult metrics to find out which managers and management styles are working best for which locations.
To effectively make the journey from the owner-operator model of single ownership to owning multiple franchise locations, you really have to ask yourself whether you’re comfortable delegating tasks critical to the day-to-day success of your franchise locations.
A profitable franchise owner of two brands under the Global Franchise Group banner—Pretzelmaker and Great American Cookies—admits that he’s “still learning” to be a multi-unit franchise owner and negotiating the challenges of delegating the critical details of operational success from afar.
In light of the fact that ping-ponging among three—let alone ten or fifteen—franchise locations can be straining, you might want to consider multi-brand ownership in the same location (for example, a mall or outdoor court) to increase your ability to keep up with day-to-day changes at your franchise locations.
To learn more about how you can become a multi-unit franchisee of Marble Slab by expanding a profitable franchise, don’t hesitate to download our free franchise brochure today!
Marble Slab Creamery’s rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down and recommends it as a prime franchising opportunity for entrepreneurs with management skills. To learn more about franchising with Marble Slab, call 877-639-2361 or fill out the online contact form.
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