Adapting your business model to become a franchise


Transforming a successful business model into a franchise is not for everyone and running a profitable organisation does not necessarily mean that it can be franchised. However, if the right mix of dedication, determination and discipline is applied to adapting an already successful business, the coffee shop can grow from strength to strength. An entrepreneurial spirit and heaps of patience are definite musts.

The great thing about launching a franchise is that you already have the experience of putting together a business plan, the sourcing of funds and general set-up of a business. However, there’ll be plenty more obstacles in the lead up to the launch of a franchise, and certainly challenges during the signing and setting up of franchisees. Through my experience, I would advise researching until you’re an expert and plan ahead until you know the scheme like the back of your hand.

Find your forte

Before even considering launching a franchise scheme, you need to consider your current business model and whether it’s established enough and competitive enough to work in such a model. Define your business and what it provides, and assess whether the service or product is required in other areas, or whether it’s specific to your current location. This can be extremely difficult for some business owners, since you need to be able to take a step back and try to view the coffee shop objectively in order to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses.

Gathering knowledge

Do your research! It took me a good two years to prepare the franchise package for my coffee shop, based on years of experience in the recruitment industry, as well as business plans, sales, budget and financial forecast, and real figures from our accounts. This is a lengthy process and must not be rushed. Take as much advice as you can get from all available sources and become an absolute expert about your business and your industry. Speak to your suppliers, advisers, customers and importantly, your current team. Attending networking events and trade shows are immensely useful for me as it enables me to draw on the experience that lies all around us. You also need to do your desk research and fully understand the areas you want to branch out into.

Be available

Starting your first franchises will be similar to having a young child to look after; one that requires a lot of attention and time. The set up of our first branch, which is in the process of being franchised, required far more of my time than I had initially expected. There will be plenty of questions from your owners, and if you want the franchisee to be a success, you must be available to provide the support required.

Transforming my business to incorporate a franchise model has certainly been a difficult and demanding task and anyone considering the change should not take the commitment lightly. However, the joy of opening a new site is fantastic and it’s exciting to see the coffee shop grow and look forward to what the future will hold.

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