You’ve already grown your company through franchising and now you can’t ignore those organic leads that have found their way to your site asking to open a location in Saudi Arabia. In general, the sale of an international franchise is about the same process as to a domestic franchisee. But the implications that come with international franchise growth are what really means changing your business model as you branch out into other countries. How do you go about this process without losing control? How do you maintain the integrity of your brand while franchising globally and train, support and manage while integrating new cultures, demographics and countries? There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking to franchise internationally. If managed correctly, international franchise growth is an amazing opportunity, in fact, many of the world’s largest brands are growing internationally at a more rapid pace than they are domestically.
Recruiting Global Franchises
How do you start recruiting others to market and sell your brand? How do you get the word out there and create effective campaigns targeting international growth? It all starts with your recruiting plan and defining who you are targeting and where. Make your recruiting appealing to others in the global market, understand what the international franchise community wants, what carries value for them and how best to communicate with these franchise buyers. Generally speaking, master franchises or master licenses are the preferred candidate for international franchise growth.
Training and Support
Understand that for your franchise to succeed in other nations, you’ll have to have an amazing training and support system in place. Much like the telephone game, your message weakens as it is passed down the line and certainly when you change environments with new countries and regions. Build technology into your training and support which will allow for effective virtual support. Get ready for travel and plan on having boots on the street in the franchisee’s markets for some extended time in order to really facilitate successful launches in these countries. This will help your new franchise owner to be successful in the brand from the moment they start and keep the relationship strong moving forward. Offer a support team dedicated to their start-up and beginning so that they can become a great ambassador for your brand and confirm that the brand is being managed appropriately. There are countless success stories of international franchise growth, all of which required amazing training and support programs. Be sure that everyone from the owner down to the customer service representatives have solid training and support throughout.
Maintaining the Brand
It can be difficult when you go across the world to maintain the brand you have set forth in your own market. Be sure that everything that is being used from fliers and advertising to the buildings and location all keep the brand that you have set forth with the same integrity, images, look, feel and quality that got your domestic business where it is today. Make sure that any and all products imported or used in the operation of the business are of the standard and quality that people have come to know and expect from your brand. It doesn’t take much to completely diminish the brand you have worked hard to build with poorly executed management of international franchise growth.
Understanding How and Where to Franchise
One way to understand how and where to start sending your global franchise is to work with a company that can help you with the market trends and analyze consumer data to know where your industry is seeing growth. My advice, don’t look at the developed markets, look to the up and coming markets like Qatar, Zambia, Eastern Europe and others where growth is exponential. Developed markets such as Europe and Canada may be opportunities but certainly wouldn’t present as much upside as areas like these. A good source would be international marketing or business consultants based in those regions to support a good understanding for those markets. They can assist you in making the right choices on where there’s a definite need for your product or service and where you might flourish. You do not want to just randomly send your brand to other locations. You want to be sure that there is a demand for your supply when franchising out. It can be difficult to know the best locations but with the help of a solid franchise company, you can make that right choice easier.
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