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Creating a Franchise - Form Vs. Function

Franchising is a viable and effective way to build a business, brand and operating model across markets with speed and efficiency. It is has been proven to be one of the most effective and profitable business growth systems in the world over the past one hundred years. In the United States alone, the franchise marketplace produces over $1.5 trillion in annual revenue. There are over 1 million franchised business locations in the United States and over 4,000 franchisors. It is as "proven" as an expansion vehicle can get and has literally epitomized American consumerism.

So why is it that some businesses just don't make it as a franchise and can't get a brand off the ground while others seem to not be able to lose? There can be lots of reasons, some of them have to do with just plain luck, but many of them are tangible and can be planned for. The same can be said about the athlete with loads of talent who can't make it past highschool athletics vs. the average athlete who works hard and makes it to the big leagues through sheer focus and hard work to beat the odds - there was probably luck involved, but one just flat out prepared more and worked harder at it.

To begin, there are two sides to a franchise as to whether it can or should be sold - Form vs. Function. The first is in relation to how "Good the business looks" on the surface and to the untrained eye of a franchise buyer considering the investment in a particular franchise business. When considering whether to franchise a business, you need to consider both the "face" of the business in addition to the value of the operating system.

How do you make a business look appealing as a franchise?

1. Have some style - put time, effort and thought into your brand, don't choose the first logo your web designer offers, create something you are proud of.

2. Have a brand! You can't sell yourself, the business needs to have a personality, message and value proposition that is evident and clear in how you have positioned your company.

3. Show it off - Have a website that looks pretty. It seems simple, but the average franchise buyer doesn't waste much time if they aren't seeing something that catches their eye quickly in evaluating the franchise model.

4. Make sure to have materials that show off your business, brand and concept to both the franchise buyers and the consumer....yes, the franchisee will want to see the materials you use to market and sell your services or products.

The Function of the business is's the meat of your operation:

1. How does your business make money and if you offered the concept as a franchise could someone else make money doing it?

2. Is it something that can be replicated through systems and procedures that you have proven in practice with the business?

3. Is your service or product needed more than your ability to provide it to the customers in your market or others?

If the business is profitable and you have something that can and should be replicated in new markets, franchising is a very real possibility.

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About the Author

Alan George, Franchise Marketing Systems
41 Arborwood Drive
Burlington, MA 01803

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