A-B-C Strategy For Success

Ireland's most experienced franchise consultant Gordon Patterson explains his A-B-C strategy for success in franchising.

Franchising your business can result in failure if you do not follow a carefully structured programme. Following an exploratory discussion and having been satisfied in principle that the business concept is sound and franchiseable, I implement my A-B-C strategy for success.

The A-PhaseOn-site Evaluation of Client's Business Concept

Meeting Objectives:

  • Full appreciation of core/related business activities
  • Securing data on the entire business method
  • Securing relevant financial data
  • Brainstorming ideas on possible franchise structure
  • Understanding client aims plus management resources
  • Securing data for a franchise development programme

We will then undertake the agreed work programme over a three to four week period. This generates an Action Document comprising detailed guidelines for franchising the business.

Action Document:

  • Key conclusions for successful franchising
  • Why franchising is the best route
  • Key elements and itemised costs of franchise package
  • Recommendation on licence fee to be charged
  • Financial projections for franchisee areas
  • Critical assumptions underlying these projections
  • Type of franchisor support structure needed
  • Ongoing fee structure between franchisor/franchisee
  • Operating manual requirements
  • SWOT Analysis on franchising the business
  • Recommendations and ideal plan of action

Another client meeting would follow to present and discuss contents, and so clarify the best way forward. The A-Phase produces an outline skeleton for structuring the franchise. B-Phase then puts flesh on the bones.

The B-PhasePreparing the Infrastructure

This second phase generally takes several months, adhering to a work programme established in the A-Phase. We work with clients and professionals to prepare the infrastructure.

B-Phase Work Programme:

  • Intellectual property rights protection
  • Finalisation of support services
  • Finalisation of franchise package
  • Preparing P&L accounts/cash flow forecasts
  • Fixing initial and ongoing fee structure
  • Producing an attractive franchise prospectus
  • Producing the operating manual
  • Producing the legal agreement
  • Designing franchisee training programme
  • Finalising corporate image elements
  • Strategy for recruitment leads
  • Procedure for handling franchisee recruitment
  • Documentation for banks, lawyers, franchisees etc.
  • Producing the Information Memorandum document

In this vital implementative phase, we work with specialist franchise solicitors, trademark attorneys, accountants, PR practitioners, corporate design experts and other professionals to ensure an attractive and professional franchise offering is created.

    B-Phase Objectives:
  • Credible and professional corporate image
  • Clear and inviting franchise prospectus
  • Legal agreement fair to both parties
  • Operating manual for entire business method
  • Territories benefiting both franchisors and franchisees
  • Professional information memorandum for franchise clarification

After the B-Phase, the new business format should be ready for a professional and confident launch as an attractive franchise.

The C-PhaseBeginning Recruitment

This involves marketing the franchise to secure quality prospects -consolidating this initial wave of franchisees is vital to later recruitment.

We therefore stress the importance of allocating the franchise to parties of the right calibre rather than those just waving big cheques. The key is helping clients design eye-catching advertising, which portrays the opportunity accurately and effectively, in order to attract quality franchisee leads.

Generally, my clients use The Franchise Magazine or The Irish Franchise Magazine, which if used correctly they find excellent mediums for generating quality responses. The combination of advertising, editorial and use of the central database has enabled many of my clients to shape the franchise networks they have today.

Having generated enquiries, we show the management team how to invest time and patience in handling them correctly, for it is all too easy to invest in promotions and then mishandle the enquiries - for example by using ill-informed call handlers, answer machines or sending out promotional material full of mistakes.

Our in-depth experience of the industry helps clients to avoid the common mistakes at every stage and move on steadily to enjoying the benefits of successful franchising.