The Middle Spoon

The Middle Spoon

The Middle Spoon is a specialty cocktail, light fare and dessert bar which was founded originally in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The concept was designed to offer a cozy, warm and intimate setting for primarily female clientele.  The menu, atmosphere and entire personality of the Middle Spoon was created to make an excellent venue for events such as company lunches or dinners, date nights, girls nights out or just an after dinner treat for a dessert and a drink in a romantic setting.  The Middle Spoon was an immediate hit with the Halifax crowd and the first location took off with a bang and became a Nova Scotia favorite.  The original location was enormously successful, but the opportunities for growth were limited given geographic location of the original store.  There were opportunities to open maybe two more stores in the Halifax, Nova Scotia market, but outside of this, there were limited markets for expansion considering the long distance between markets.  The natural evolution of the expansion strategy.      


In 2015, The Middle Spoon decided to franchise the model in order to scale from a single location to new markets in both Canada and the U.S.  The Canadian franchise decided to hire Franchise Marketing Systems to develop the brand and create the franchise model.  Franchise Marketing Systems team of consultants, led by Chris Conner, worked with The Middle Spoon to create a market strategy and develop a plan for how to scale the model.  What was particularly intriguing about the Middle Spoon model was that the market was generally open for both dessert and high end cocktails on both the consumer and franchise side of the business.  The Middle Spoon brand needed to be transitioned to the U.S. from a branding, business model and operating concept standpoint to effectively.  The franchise strategy was designed to offer a single, multi-unit and area developer franchise platform which could provide options for both owner-operator franchisees and larger, well capitalized franchisees. 


Franchise legal work was handled by a franchise law firm who created the FDD, Franchise Agreement and handled the legal work needed to launch the franchise system in both Canada and the U.S.  Franchise Marketing Systems then created the operations manuals, training programs and franchise development platform needed to support the new franchisees as they came on board and opened franchise locations.  The documentation was wrapped into franchise operations manuals and training classes by FMS consultants and documented to deliver support and training.  Then Franchise Marketing Systems creative team put together the brochures, presentations, franchise website and other materials to be used to promote the Middle Spoon Franchise Offering. 


The first two franchises were sold in Canada and the first U.S. franchise was sold in Sugarland, Texas outside of Houston.  Sugarland was considered one of the best markets around Houston as it exhibits the key characteristics of what makes an ideal market for Middle Spoon.  Sugarland has great demographics, higher income levels, has a focus on family and is made up of a large population of people with higher disposable income levels.  The menu for Houston was redesigned to focus on a wider range of lunch and dinner offerings to accompany the dessert and drink offerings ( ).  Sugarland, Texas also has a lower level of dessert and cocktail lounges making the Middle Spoon offering even more attractive. 


The concept opened at the following address:

Sugar Land Town Square

15911 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX


For more information on The Middle Spoon Franchise, visit the corporate site:


What Impact the Tax Reform has on Franchising.

What Impact the Tax Reform has on Franchising.

The upcoming tax reform is certainly catching everyone’s attention and has been front and center in the news.  The question is how will this tax reform affect the franchise and small businesses in the U.S.  The wide sweeping repeal of tax law has what most business people would consider extremely positive potential effects on the business community and as a result positive effects on the consumers.  The thinking is that more money in people’s pockets equates to more spending more job growth and more opportunity for everyone.  Regardless of political stances, this formula sounds very good in theory.


Unlike many of the personal tax exemptions which will expire in a few years, most of the business reforms are permanent and will have lasting effects.  Corporate tax rates today vary from 15% to 39%.  For this reason, many businesses in certain cases refuse to expand and increase their profitability with an increasing tax burden.  This is also the supposed reason why companies like Apple refuse to bring their profits into the United States and keep funds overseas in more tax-rate friendly environments.  The new corporate tax rate is set at a flat 21% rate which makes for an attractive way for businesses to invest in their business growth and expand their businesses in the U.S.  In addition, Trump has suggested that he will work towards a one time tax credit for companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google to bring these funds back into the United States and invest in business, jobs and other economy-boosting elements.  Read more here on Apple ( )   


With this drop in the corporate tax rate, in order to keep uniformity between personal and business rates, there is a 20% deduction against individual tax rates.  There are limitations on this deduction based on income levels, but the end result is a significantly greater degree of attractiveness for individuals to start a business and take the first step into entrepreneurship.  The threshold limit of $315,000 for married couples filing jointly is most likely above what the large majority of these small business owners make in income meaning that the tax code is simplified and more understandable.  What many maybe don’t realize is that the majority of business growth in the U.S. is through what is defined by the SBA as Micro-companies.  These are businesses with 10 employees or less, they are typically operated by a person who works in the business every day.  This trend started in 2014 where the number of new businesses in the U.S. finally turned to growth whereas in the decade before the number of new businesses shrunk considerably.  This new tax reform should drastically increase this trend with more entrepreneurship and more job creation.  The SBA presents that an estimated 67% of all new jobs created since the recession have come from these small firms.  ( )  Once again, this new tax reform only supports and should expand this trend of new hiring and business growth. 


And how does this affect the franchise market and what impact will these tax reforms have on the franchise industry?  The short answer is that all effects seem to be very positive.  Franchises by nature are generally in the small firm category and would be considered owner operated in most cases.  This tax reform will create yet more incentives to invest in a franchise and open a business.  The traditional value proposition of a franchise investment remains the same where a new business owner benefits from business plans, training, support and a proven model, but in the end the franchisee is still a small business owner.  Only time will tell how much of an impact this tax reform has on franchising, but most perspectives, this should be an excellent starting point for a strong growth curve in the franchise market. 

What is Your Value Proposition?

What is your value proposition?

For companies doing business to business transactions this is the single most important question.  If you can’t explain–in three jargon-free sentences or less–why customers need your product, you do not have a value proposition. Without a need, there is no incentive for customers to pay. And without sales, you have no business. Period.


The Value Proposition checklist: What are your Value Propositions?  It’s important for customers to understand the value of an offering and its associated RETURN.


There are 3 general propositions:  Make Money, Save Money and Avoid Risk


Here are a few variations of the general propositions:


  1. Increased revenues or profitability
  2. Faster time to market
  3. Decreased Costs
  4. Improved Operational efficiency
  5. Integrating operations globally
  6. Enhancing customer loyalty
  7. Increased market share
  8. Decrease employee turnover
  9. Improved customer retention levels
  10. Increased competitive differentiation
  11. Faster response times
  12. Decreased Operations expenses
  13. Increased sales per customer
  14. Improved asset utilization
  15. Faster Collection
  16. Reduced Costs of Good sold
  17. Minimized risks
  18. Additional Revenue Streams
  19. Increased Market share
  20. Improved time to profitability
  21. Increased billable hours
  22. Reduced cycle time
  23. Increased inventory turns
  24. Reduced direct labor costs


To bring value the must be a return.  Once a value proposition can be delivered there should be associated Tangible and Intangible returns. For each value proposition describe the hard and soft return and any math to provide a monetary valuation of the return:



1) Increased revenues or profitability


Tangible Return:



Intangible Return:


2) Develop the calculation

Create the math then create the Return Calculator


3) Use these three rules when creating your value propositions, and you’ll discover the difference between preference and parity”

  1. Put it in context. What really gets customers interested is “hearing about clear, unique benefits that address their business needs. (not your products offer)

Sometimes this is called: What’s in IT for ME?

  1. Show it in contrast. “If your prospects … can’t see themselves eliminating challenges and positively changing their strategic agenda … you don’t have a value proposition. “Value lies in the contrast between the pain and the gain.”


  1. Prove it with corroboration. When you’re trying to get prospects to care enough to choose you, it’s important to create “proof points” to corroborate your solution on two levels:

First, develop points that will corroborate or “turn up the heat” on the problem (cite industry stats, for example).

Second, use proof points to “corroborate your claims to be able to solve the problem in a meaningful way” (think client success stories).


Franchise Marketing Systems is always willing to help create your value proposition.   ROI selling is an expertise we provide, and part of our channel expansion capabilities.


Contact Us Today!


In 2009, the electronic medical records industry space was going through an explosive growth time period due largely to the stimulus program instituted by President Obama.  This program was developed to support the medical community becoming a technology supported industry and allowing the medical community to communicate with one another more effectively and avoid costly medical mistakes when one medical provider is not communicating with another.  Over $19 billion in federal stimulus funds were released to the medical community in 2009 providing that the medical provider brought in a qualified EMR system to their practice.  Each provider was able to receive up to $44,000 in stimulus funding for their adoption of an electronic health records platform. 


With this movement, came a wave of new technology and EMR systems which provided electronic record keeping, scheduling and most importantly interactivity between the practices and providers allowing each of them to communicate with one another and know what the other one is doing.  This connectivity is largely what the Federal Government wanted with the stimulus program to avoid duplication of prescriptions, incorrect diagnoses and other medical decisions which impact the overall cost of healthcare and endanger the American Public. 


The medical community by and large was confused, didn’t understand which systems were the best choices, how to implement the systems and who to trust in this massive wave of change.  With the large number of options, it was even more difficult for a medical provider who was dealing with a significant change to begin with and now had a multitude of brands presenting to them as being the best option.    With this change, Costco realized that there was an opportunity to get into the EHR business and help by providing a trusted brand who could provide a genuine solution.


Costco originally opened in 1983 and found early success focusing on the value-driven, warehouse retail model.  Costco has sold virtually everything including coffins, cars, groceries and much more.  With such a wide range of goods and enormously discounted pricing, the Costco model expanded quickly to over 700 stores in 8 countries and today is the second largest retailer in the world behind Walmart.  With such a large base of members and a solid brand reputation, the EHR integration made sense.  To do this, Costco developed a strategic relationship with Etransmedia and Franchise Marketing Systems to design, build and market the territory sales franchise model that would support the growth and development of the new product integration. 


Because EHR’s were still very new and medical providers wouldn’t necessarily buy the product in a true retail format, the business model required that we had sales agents who would work around stores and market to the members in that area.  Franchise Marketing Systems developed a strategic plan, conducted market research in the medical services space and developed the marketing and sales channel for recruiting new sales team members.  In one year, the network expanded to over 200 independent owner operator sales agents who were marketing and selling the EHR platform for Costco and Etransmedia.  This growth and interest in the model were driven by both the brand recognition of Costco and the excitement around the EHR stimulus incentive.


For more information on how to develop your distribution model or franchise a sales territory, contact us:

Ultimate Fighting Championship Franchise Sells for $4 Billion

If you hadn’t heard already, “watching people beat one another mercilessly” has just set a record for the most valuable sports franchise transaction in history at $4 Billion.  The franchise generated just over $600 million in revenue in 2015 and has shown consistent year over year growth in revenue as the franchise has quickly gained in popularity.  UFC is a privately owned franchise and was owned by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta who both became very wealthy with the successful sale of the franchise brand. 


How does the UFC franchise generate revenue?  Pay per view business makes up the largest source of revenue, a $700 million TV deal with Fox television, Over Top Platform offers a monthly membership program for global events held on the channel and then royalties allow the UFC franchise to also monetize the franchise brand through product sales.  Bellatore is the second competitor in this space who is owned by Viacom. 


As consumers, we see this every day, the athletes are become more significant in sports notoriety and becoming main stream athletes with basketball, football and baseball.  Mixed martial arts has taken the main stage for viewers and audiences around the United States.  One can see the amazing transition UFC made from a once cult following to main stream America by looking to the sponsors which include Bud Light, EA Sports, Harley Davidson, Reebok and other large name brands. 


So why did the sports franchise work so well?  It comes down to the power of a brand and the consistency of a solid business model.  Good marketing, branded products, strategic relationships and a solid business model lead UFC into being a global franchise brand.  The market grew and the established network allowed the franchise to grow exponentially.  Today, UFC broadcasts in 156 different countries.


The UFC Franchise will be purchased by WME-IMG which is a talent agency/sports marketing conglomerate owned by a group of private equity firms.  Clearly again, another sign that the UFC brand had made the transition to main stream.  Although the comparison isn’t pure in that other franchises are single teams and the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a league, the transaction has been billed as the single largest valuation for a franchise sale ever recorded.  This would put the UFC Franchise ahead of other valuable sports franchises such as the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Manchester United. 


For more information on how to value franchise businesses, contact us:


Atlanta Franchise Expo – Franchise Marketing Systems Pavilion

Franchise Marketing Systems will be sponsoring the Atlanta Franchise show held at the Cobb Galleria on September 24th and 25th.  The Atlanta franchise show is consistently one the best attended franchise shows in the Southeastern United States.  This show generally draws between 1,200 and 1,500 franchise buyers and will be typically 80 – 100 franchisors exhibiting their brand.  The FMS Pavilion allows new franchisor brands to exhibit at this show as an extension of FMS at a discounted rate.    


Franchise tradeshows continue to drive performance in franchise marketing and sales channels for most brands in the U.S. and offer the benefit of a face to face meeting with candidates at the show.  Franchise show leads will generally close at double the closing percentage of online franchise lead generation.  A good booth presentation combined with a face to face presentation allows a franchise brand the best possible opportunity to convert a franchise sale.    


Atlanta is a key market for franchising and boasts some of the largest franchise brands headquarters along with having a strong influence on the entire Southeastern U.S. franchise market.  The Atlanta franchise market is a hub for growth and many times serves as a center for opportunity in both the Southeastern U.S. and the entire Southern United States.  Much of the growth in both the general economy and the franchise market place has been focused in the Southern markets.      


Franchise Marketing Systems has chosen to sponsor this year’s franchise show as a way to provide a way for brands to generate more awareness at a stronger value for this important show.  Franchisors that qualify for the FMS Pavilion will benefit from the following:


          Discounted entry opportunity*

          Additional advertising for any exhibiting brands both outside of the show and inside the show

          All brands will have premium positioning within the show floor to maximize exposure within the tradeshow

          You would exhibit with other FMS associated brands to leverage group selling and marketing together at the show

          5 x 10 booth for only $1700* (regular booth fee is $2795)

          Franchise Marketing Systems will be available on site to support and assist with any needs!


*Conditions apply -Call for details

More Show information:

Show Information

Cobb Galleria Center

2 Galleria Parkway

Atlanta, Georgia 30339



Saturday, September 24, 2016   

10am – 4pm

Sunday, September 25, 2016

11am – 4pm



Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10.

Tickets will be available to purchase online 2 weeks prior to the show.

Military personnel receive free admission when they present ID at the ticket booth.


Contact Information

Contact The Franchise Expo at 905-477-2677 or 1-800-891-4859. Cobb Galleria Center is located at 2 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia, 30339.


The show will be a great opportunity for brands to target buyers throughout the Southeastern U.S. and drive new franchise sales in the region.  For more information on how to take part in the FMS Pavilion, contact us or the show management.

The franchise show also offers a wide range of networking events and workshops designed to provide attendees with content and information related to franchising and the industry overall.  Christopher Conner, President of Franchise Marketing Systems will be conducting a workshop on How to Make the Transition from Employee to Franchisee in addition to How to Franchise Your Business. 


Contact Franchise Marketing Systems – Charles White –  

Contact National Franchise and Business Opportunities Show – Michael Hyam  –


Does Franchise PR work?

You’ve probably heard the terms franchise public relations or PR and you’re wondering if it’s something you should consider to support the growth of your franchise brand and sell more franchise units. What is franchise PR and does it actually work as it’s intended? From our experience in the franchise development field, we have found that Franchise Public Relations can be an enormous asset to a franchise brand’s growth or a significant waste of money if managed incorrectly. Take a look below at what this really and truly consists of and see how it can work for your franchise growth.

What is Franchise PR?
Franchise Public relations as it pertains to your franchise sales campaign is where you have the marketing and exposure through media sources, third party articles and relevant sources that provide credibility and exposure for your brand. The difference between traditional public relations work and franchise PR is that franchise work focuses on messaging and media which are relevant to an entrepreneur or potential franchisee and the good franchise PR available is able to convert these views to franchise leads. There are great franchise PR resources out there, it’s a matter of finding the right partner and right group to deliver your PR needs. Franchise PR starts with a solid plan, message and then takes consistent, aggressive execution. PR can be done in small amounts by just about anyone, but to truly drive results, it takes a professional group to deliver results. Good franchise PR groups have connections, contacts, systems and processes that provide for significant and consistent PR results. Franchising is a huge marketing and sales business that is focused on finding the great leads you need to close the deals at the end of the day. Examples of good franchise PR for Franchise brands include the following The Patch Boys ( and Zaniac ( In order to drive results from Franchise PR, you need to get in front of as many potential franchise owners as possible and a sound Franchise PR plan is critical in order to execute appropriately.

Why Franchise PR?
Public relations for your franchise offers a variety of benefits to you and your brand name. First it is improving your credibility and the total validation of your brand when people see the franchise written up in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur or other relevant franchise publications. It is drawing attention, in a good way, to what you’ve done and how your brand is growing every day. It gets the name out there so people have the chance to see what it is all about and why they should be joining in on the franchise as a whole. A good solid PR plan can get you in front of the right people at the right time to truly close deals and sell more franchise locations. This not only helps your bottom line; it is also helping to get your brand in a variety of places that you can’t always be. If your PR plan is working as it should, you’ll see growth by gaining solid partners in the brand business.

How do you Execute Franchise PR?
Once you have a solid plan in place and you understand what you want to say and who needs to hear it, you need to know how to communicate your message to the appropriate resources. This process generally takes professionals who have worked the Public Relations channels in the past and know how to approach the market in order to drive contacts and get as much exposure as possible. Relevant PR exposure includes sources such as Inc. Magazine, Franchise Times, or even Entrepreneur Magazine, but certainly includes smaller marketing channels which are related to business and entrepreneurship. These places can then spread the news about your franchise option even farther than you could have ever dreamed possible.

The key is having a good solid plan. Most franchise owners feel lost when it comes to developing their own marketing and PR plan. That is why we recommend working with a solid Franchise PR company that can help you to get your plan in place. By working with a top-notch firm you can be assured that your information is getting into the hands of those who can make things happen. They are getting your information and PR into the hands of the ones who are actively looking to buy franchises.

Consider working with a top quality Franchise PR firm that knows the ins and outs of the public relations field. They can help you develop a plan that gets you in front of solid leads where you end up closing more deals than losing them.

For more information related to Franchise Public Relations work, contact us:

Why Pay a Franchise Fee?

Why Pay a Franchise Fee?

So you’ve decided to look into businesses and are considering buying a franchise instead of starting your own business without the guidance and direction of a franchisor.  The first question you most likely have is why pay a franchise fee and add additional expense to your start up investment in the new business? Maybe you’re asking yourself what the franchise fee is for and why it is necessary for you to pay it. There are many benefits to the franchise fee and what it offers you and in most business decisions, the old saying “it takes money to make money” certainly holds true with the franchise fee as well. Take a look below at the many benefits you receive when you pay the franchise fee for your new location and I think that if you are considering the right franchise with the appropriate value proposition, a franchise fee is a valid expense for a new business start up.


Resources available at Your Fingertips

When you pay the franchise fee it is for a wealth of resources right at your fingertips. Part of the beauty behind a franchise opportunity is that it is already proven to work and should have validation behind the business model. It has a business model in place that is proven to be successful and now they are sharing this with you, in effect you should be getting a blueprint for success with a good franchise model. The resources you gain for your franchise fee include items such as initial training, support, guidance and ongoing coaching needed to be successful in your new business venture.  If you compare the expenses of hiring a qualified business consultant to support your growth, generally they are in line with the cost of a franchise fee.  In addition, you gain rights to the trademarks, patents and intellectual property the franchisor has that you want in your new business.  Franchise fees can also provide some tangible items such as software, technology, marketing materials and other aspects.   


Training and Support

Although you will now own your own business, you do need training and business support for the franchise location in order to receive the benefits of franchise ownership versus general business ownership. This is another benefit you receive from your fee paid is the time, effort and resources spent on your behalf to train and provide you with the expertise needed to shorten the learning curve in your new business. You will receive training for everything from the back office operations to the frontline customer service policies and procedures. You’ll learn everything there is to know about running this franchise and also your employees will be thoroughly trained as well.  Good franchises will have a solid ability to transfer ownership of expertise and will effectively “train the trainer”.  You also receive ongoing support after the opening of your franchise to help you see continued success in the location.


Dedicated Support

The franchise fee also allows you as the business owner access to resources that are set up and dedicated to your continued success in the ownership of your new location. Having support when you’re starting out in a business is very important to your success. Paying the franchise fee gives you that critical support you need to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Your franchise fee goes for so much more than just buying your way into the company. Do not think of it as that. It is the key to having the support you need on an ongoing basis. This support makes it possible for you to see success in all you do with the company. You’re embarking on a brand new journey and it is a great road ahead with the support you receive from the brand you’ve chosen.


If you’re thinking of going into the franchise business, remember that you have a world of opportunities out there. Be sure that you check into the franchise fee and how much it will be, but don’t gauge the value of the franchise fee until you understand what comes with the franchise and whether the services offered warrant the fee requested. Many times you can incorporate the franchise fee into business loans such as SBA loan.  We recommend speaking with other franchisees of the system you are considering and ask them point blank whether they feel the franchise fee was worth the expense.


If you are considering franchises and looking into different franchise models and would like to better understand why you should pay a franchise fee or what franchise fee makes the most sense, feel free to contact us for support and franchise consulting:


Why do Flooring and Construction Service Franchises Do So Well?

There are many reasons why a franchise system performs well for franchise investors, financial potential, marketing mechanisms, market potential, training tools, market demand and others that would drive demand for a particular product or service. The market niche that has seen considerable growth in recent years though is the construction services segment, which would include market categories such as flooring franchises, roofing franchises, light reconstruction franchises and other ancillary fields such as blind installation or interior decorating franchises. All of these categories can be a bit reliant on the housing sector, but most of them have found ways to diversify into the commercial side of the business which provides stability and certainly increases the market potential for any of these services. But why in particular have these segments and the construction services franchise market done so well?
1. Lower initial investment – the average initial investment for a construction service franchise is typically $75k-$150k to open for business, whereas a restaurant or retail franchise will generally be a $300k or higher initial investment which means much more overhead, higher debt structure and costs that sometimes make the investment prohibitive to begin with. Franchise Marketing Systems has seen this growth take place with a wide variety of different franchise brands within this category of the market:
a. Disaster Restoration services and reconstruction – Restoration 1 – – this brand has expanded considerably and done very well during the recession. Focus on doing work in mold, water and fire remediation scenarios.
b. Blind installation and repair services – Bloomin Blinds – – this brand has performed exceedingly well throughout many of the new markets they have expanded into. The key is a balance between repair work and new blind sales.
c. Xpedite Coatings – this is an epoxy flooring franchise model that provides services to both residential and commercial customers. The business model provides coatings and flooring installation services to customers throughout the U.S. –
2. Higher Profit Margins – these construction service franchises offer much higher profit margins than the majority of the franchise systems in more traditional market segments. A profit range of 25-35% is not uncommon in these businesses depending on what revenue stream you are measuring. Because of the high potential profit margins, the return on investment potential is significant allowing for a franchisee to realize a 100% return in only one year of business in some cases.
3. Generally lower levels of competition – most of these categories within the construction services franchise market space offer much less competition than the rest of the franchise market. They many times are fields where the competition really has not developed a brand and certainly doesn’t have the model, systems or infrastructure to scale for growth. When a franchise model comes into these market segments, they have significant advantages over the rest of the field and are typically able to take market share quickly from mom and pop competitors.
4. Ability to go get the work – where traditional fixed location franchises will be either made or broken with the success of their location, Franchise Marketing Systems has seen success in the construction services franchise segment through franchise models where the franchisee can go get the work and find their business. All three models mentioned above, Restoration 1, Bloomin Blinds and Xpedite Coatings all have business models that include marketing systems which drive leads through a variety of different marketing channels feeding the franchisees with new business and creating opportunity throughout their market place.
For more information on construction franchise models and how to franchise your business, contact us:

When is the right time to franchise your business?

As a business owner, you see, hear and learn new things about your business, the industry and the dynamics that are inherent in a business model. As a franchise consultant, interviewing businesses to help determine when to franchise a business, it typically is easy to recognize how long someone has been at the helm of their ship. There is an evolution of a business owner as they achieve a powerful balance of industry experience, leadership over their business and a keen understanding for the variables which play a part in their business’ success.

Early stage entrepreneurs are drinking from the fire hose and taking in information about the business model at an enormously rapid pace. Their excitement, enthusiasm and energy around what is possible is contagious, fun and always enjoyable to be around. These entrepreneurs typically are not ready for franchise growth as they haven’t figured out the business model and created a solid system which would allow for duplication. Our recommendation is to always start the franchise discussions as early as you see an opportunity for growth, even in this early stage of business development. The planning and strategy can begin early and certainly presents a greater opportunity for the business to succeed in franchising at a later date.

Maturing business owners have been operating the business for two or more cycles and are seeing patterns in their business. They understand the seasonality of the business, employment trends, customer purchasing habits and effective marketing campaigns. Much like a recent college graduate, they are typically excited about the opportunity for growth, but the world is also beginning to present the reality that there may be limitations to the business and good decision making will play a role in how successful the business will be. These business owners could be in a position to consider franchise expansion, but are also still focused on driving profitability and maximizing revenue growth. They would have the ability to write a good franchise operations manual, but there would still be questions throughout the document because every stone had not be turned over.

Businesses that reach adulthood and full maturity are typically three or more years in most cases and have generally maxed out the profitability of a single unit. The business owner is starting to now think outside of the box….how do I replicate this in more than one instance in order to cover more markets and generate more income? Franchising has become a strong consideration along with additional company owned growth, partnerships and new technology. The business is still growing, but at a slower pace and the leadership sees that doing the same thing over and over again won’t continue to grow the business at the desired pace. Mature business owners have become better coaches….they hire slowly and fire quickly and can look at the battlefield with a strategic eye as opposed to being reactive to every day action. The systems and processes are in place that allow the leadership to take a vacation and step away from the business without having a coronary. The ability to teach, train and replicate the business model are a reality and the opportunity for growth is constantly being evaluated.

Many business owners do nothing outside of their day to day management and enter what I have come to refer to “the bored business owner”. Life just isn’t as exciting as it used to be, there is no challenge left in the day as the business owner has seemingly dealt with, overcome and managed every issue the business could present. The business has grown, contracted, expanded and shrunk in some cases several times. Hard work and just pushing the model more with sheer will have grown the corporate business to it’s limits and the operating model is capable of no more. These business owners are sometimes driven to franchising to add excitement back into their professional lives. They want to be bigger than an operator and leverage their experience. In other cases, they may have waited too long to drum up the energy or will to move things forward and take on another endeavor such as franchising. A business owner recently explained that he was going to drop his franchise platform and sell his successful painting business of 23 years in order to start a food concession stand. It seemed like such a shame to not leverage the business model, track record and brand credibility he had built, but the fight was gone and he had apparently just lost interest in the business entirely.

My advice to most business owners considering franchising is that there rarely is a perfect time to consider franchising a business. The variables that should drive this decision should be profitability, systems, market opportunity and people. What can push timelines forward and make franchising a viable option earlier in a business’ lifecycle is the market itself, if people are asking for franchises and the demand is there, the franchise strategy should be considered more seriously. Regardless of what stage your business is in, start the franchise discussions early in order to have a solid plan for expansion in place.

For more information on when to franchise your business, contact us: