Should I Think About Franchising Internationally?
My family owns and operates three ice cream shops. We’ve been in business for two generations and each shop is profitable. We’ve been approached numerous times to franchise, but have not moved ahead. Now a close friend has asked if we’d sell him the franchise rights to operate in his country. He is very successful in his own business.
This interests us because it might allow us to train his team and not have to worry about ongoing support. As I said, we’ve studied franchising in the U.S., but know nothing about doing it outside of the country. Any thoughts?
Franchising In The U.S. & Internationally Are Very Separate Issues
You’ve got a lot to consider. First, your current business is profitable and you have three different locations. So, you’ve proven that you have a method, a process, for doing business. Those are two enormously important franchise considerations. In fact, if your question had to do with franchising in the U.S., then we’d say, go ahead and take your thinking to feasiblity. However, you’re faced with a whole different set of issues.
You can find a wealth of information here that can help you determine how to move forward with franchising. For starters, read our section on franchising a business. That will help you with decision making. But even there, you’ll be challenged with general questions, not issues specific to international franchising.
Now to the answer you might be looking for. Franchising, while potentially a highly profitable method of distribution, takes time, patience, people and capital to do it right. And, of course, even doing it right does not guarantee a successful venture. If you were open to domestic franchising, our advice would be to start as close to home as possible. But you want to skip that step. So, as attractive as it may sound, it’s probably fraught with more dangers than rewards.
Franchising internationally sounds like big business, and it can be. But in reality, and particularly for someone without a franchise background, it’s a giant headache you may want to avoid.