How to Franchise
By: Kevin B. Murphy, Franchise Attorney, MBA - Mr. Franchise

THE FRANCHISE STRATEGIC PLANNING PHASE  

A successful franchise development program begins with a solid plan - a foundation for franchising. The long-term goal is to establish balanced, integrated, successful business relationships with qualified individuals who support the company's goals and image.
Creating an enduring relationship requires a comprehensive strategy that addresses all aspects of the franchise endeavor.  

The starting point is a detailed analysis that covers:

  • Identifying profile characteristics of who will be the best franchise owners for the particular business.

  • Competitive positioning to make the franchise stand out from the other 3,000+ franchise companies.

  • Geographic scope - where and when will franchises be sold.

  • Analysis of the company's organizational strengths and weaknesses relative to franchising.

  • Identifying the appropriate franchise organizational structure as well as staffing requirements and responsibilities.

  • Structuring the franchise relationship for a balanced, win-win scenario.  

What should emerge from this detailed analysis is a specific strategic plan and framework for guiding virtually all franchise efforts. Despite the long-term importance of the franchise planning step, too many emerging franchise companies enter franchising with no plan or planning - other than "let’s try and sell a lot of franchises." They rush through (or neglect entirely) the strategic planning process, thereby creating future franchise litigation land mines that are ticking franchise lawsuits waiting to happen.  

Often, this is because they only utilize the services of a franchise consulting firm or franchise attorney, where little or no attention is paid to critical strategic planning, operational and organizational issues. Normally, these firms draft "boilerplate" franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements and franchise operations manuals based on a questionnaire completed by their client, who is presumed to have made all strategic decisions. The franchise documents are presented, along with an invoice and a handshake - hardly the ingredients for success in the new business of franchising.   

Next - THE FRANCHISE DOCUMENTATION PHASE  

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