Posted on Nov 01, 2011
10 Tips to Help You Expand Your Franchise System Internationally
Going global with your franchise is a big step so how do you know you’re ready? Follow the steps in this checklist from Bill Edwards of Edwards Global Services before you take the plunge into international franchises.
1. Take the long view.
Going international should be a strategic decision. Senior management must be willing to build a solid foundation for a successful international business on an ongoing basis, not just to make a couple of deals for the initial fees.
2. Start with a plan.
Establish a business plan with achievable goals and a realistic budget for international development. Don’t jump on leads until your plan is in place.
3. Protect your brand.
Apply for trademarks early—before you start to market in a country. And don’t ever let a candidate do it for you!
4. Clearly define your market and competitive advantage.
Candidates must be convinced that your business can compete in their marketplace with a new and different concept. The better you know the new market, the better your negotiating position with potential partners.
5. Establish a good track record at home.
Viable international candidates will do their own due diligence. If they don’t want to know how your business is doing and has done in your home country, they’re not good candidates.
6. Have a documented system for each country.
Your training, support and marketing programs must be based on a business model that can be transferred to another country and culture.
7. Set up an Intranet.
It’s the most cost-effective way to manage your organization and provide international training and support. And it’s accessible 24/7 in any time zone.
8. Be ready to monitor and enforce your business systems.
Get system standards and reporting processes in place and follow through just like you do at home.
9. Do your due diligence.
You must know who you are dealing with to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. There are services available to help you find all the details you need.
10. Borrow some experience.
Experienced target country advisors could help you minimize mistakes in market entry. They can also help conduct due diligence.
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