Increasingly, the world is becoming a smaller place. In franchising, we’ve seen an evolution overtime in which the best global brands continue to expand by seeking access to new markets. To succeed on a global level, franchisors need to find the right partners; whether they are looking for well-connected and capitalized master licensees, or experienced area developments.
But critically (and often overlooked), a growth-driven franchisor’s team must also include business partners that can help the company in three areas of expansion: international consulting, international legal expertise, and franchise development in a foreign market.
As much as finding the right franchising partners, this partnership of supporting professionals is crucial to the growth of any business venture. Successful franchisors and their franchisees have deployed a strategic partnership model to grow, build, and conduct their businesses domestically.
This classic franchise relationship continues to expand as a method of distribution and manifests itself in different forms, ranging from mutually cooperating to invest in each franchise project, to mutually sharing knowledge and ideas between both franchisor and franchisees.
Franchisors know the importance of great franchise partners; globally successful franchisors know it is important to look for the right partnership agreement that benefits both parties – and that having highly experienced advisors is important to that process.
Benefits of international franchise growth
Access to new markets
One of the most appealing aspects of potential international franchise growth is the ability to access, in a smart and well-managed manner, the entry of a franchise into new markets to create risk-managed expansion, and increase financial value and brand awareness within those markets.
Having experienced advisors, such as a law firm with global presence or a franchise consultant with large international reach, is critical. Franchise system growth occurs not only on a planned, but often on an opportunistic basis. Franchise companies should work with advisors that can support their goals virtually anywhere the right partners and opportunities present themselves.
Increase your customer base and brand awareness
Through a franchise agreement, your business could grow its customer base in markets that, in some locations like the United States, may offer greater growth and profit opportunity than your domestic market as customers are drawn to great products and services.
Benefits of revenue, growth, brand awareness, and increased profits come to those franchise companies that can execute well developed and well executed franchise programs in foreign markets.
Access to knowledge
Franchisors need a wealth of knowledge, and that knowledge comes in part from a working partnership with an experienced international firm on the offering and your international franchise agreements.
The right international consulting firm has deep expertise in taking a concept to foreign markets and, in some markets, can attract the correct franchise master license partners. This gives your franchise company the opportunity to grow and learn from your professional and experienced advisors’ perspective. All that knowledge can be put into use to possibly improve your current operations and further build your current franchise business in the future.
“As in most complex things, there is no substitute for ‘real world’ experience”
Professional partnerships increase your organizational knowledge, expertise, and resources available to make better growth decisions and to help you reach a greater audience. It creates an exciting and profitable way to set your franchise business apart from your competitors.
Enhance your franchise’s credibility
The right business partnership will enhance the credibility of your franchise and the influence of your company. When franchisors and their international partners share the same goals and vision join forces, the influence and strength of each organization grows and builds your brand equity.
Increase long-term value and stability
The goal of all businesses is to remain relevant and to meet both their franchise growth and business goals. Having the right franchise advisors and partners gives you access to more new markets, talent, knowledge, innovation, expertise, and investment.
It increases profitability beyond the potentials of your current markets. The right franchise and business partnerships make your organization better and enhances your offering. This is how your company remains relevant and helps your business to achieve its objectives and results.
All businesses – for both those companies who are franchising and those companies considering doing so – need to look for the ‘right’ advisory partnership that complements their activities to further move their business forward.
If franchisors, regardless of category, view the international franchise model as a smart way to expand their business, then it’s reasonable to expect that your company should be able to use the franchise business model to gain the benefits that come with a well-aligned franchise partnership.
Factors to consider in choosing an advisor
Smart business leadership
Whether a company, an entrepreneurial business owner, an established franchisor, or a business considering franchising, you must consider, before signing an advisory agreement, that not all advisory agreements execute as planned.
Some franchisors have generated significant problems for themselves by working with inexperienced or misaligned advisory that fail to bring the right resources and real-world experience to a franchise growth project.
“The right business partnership will enhance the credibility of your franchise and the influence of your company”
Trust and respect
When starting a relationship with advisors to your international franchise business, the secret to the success of every future franchise partnership agreement is based on honest communication, real trust, and respect.
You must be able to trust the experience, their ability to support your organizations decision making, advisors’ ability to understand your vision, and competence of your advisors.
As in most complex things, there is no substitute for ‘real world’ experience. You need to ask yourself whether you would be comfortable if you were on the other side of the franchise relationship and transaction with the law firm and consulting advisors that are representing your business and brand?
You need advisors that have been ‘on the ground’ in the markets that you wish to develop. You should consider whether you are buying services from an individual or working with organizations that can bring a team to your business opportunity. This becomes even more critically important as your programs gain momentum and you may need to scale your global growth and can work in multiple markets, simultaneously.
Before starting a partnership, your advisors should know exactly what each advisor does and how they can align. They should create alignment, to the benefit of your proposed growth program, to help you set goals, and to work with you and each other on a cost and operationally effective basis to meet the market, franchise unit, revenue, and profit goals and objectives of your business.
Similar values and shared goals
It is important to form a partnership agreement with franchise partners whose corporate goals and values complement your own. The same is true in your relationship with your advisors. Partnering with franchise and business advisors that don’t share primary objectives may lead to conflicting vision, values, and goals. This creates risks for the project and can create conflicts between the firms.
While master licenses and franchisee relationships can have their difficulties, businesses can gain infinitely more when they choose to partake in franchise relationships. Companies have leveraged the distinct advantages that come with international franchising to grow their businesses.
If you’re not considering franchising, especially in this dynamic, global growth market, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity. Regardless of how successful your business is, the right international franchise partnership can take it to even greater heights. The right franchise advisors can help make that happen for your company.
“A growth-driven franchisor’s team must also include business partners that can help the company in three areas of expansion: international consulting, international legal expertise, and franchise development in a foreign market”
How do Akerman Law and Summa Franchise Consulting help with international franchise growth?
Akerman provides legal services, from entity formation to offering documents, and franchise document and agreement support.
Franchise strategy, financial and project planning, development of manuals and materials – along with comprehensive franchise development (sales) services are offered through Summa on a fee structure that is substantially based on franchise development outcomes rather than being solely fixed fee, in the United States.
The offered methodology aligns advisors with franchisors and focuses everyone’s efforts on achieving outcomes and performance for your international franchise program. Our goal-setting methodology helps organizations achieve ambitious goals by bringing together individuals and teams in all partners, guiding them to meet our clients’ goals with quantitative clarity, which leads to synergy and success.
Currently, the companies are jointly working on franchise projects in the U.K., throughout the E.U., MENAT and the G.C.C., Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and in Canada.
At a Glance Summa Franchise Consulting
Main HQ: Arizona, U.S.A.
At a Glance Akerman Law
Locations: 24 offices across the U.S.