ARE YOU READY FOR MULTI-UNIT GROWTH? If you want to expand, then you need to make sure you have the right brand and the right team behind you.

Author:King, Kevin

Multi-unit ownership is an attractive business model for proven franchise systems and capable franchisees alike. It presents a great opportunity to maximize brand awareness and return on investment while developing a lucrative business operation in a controlled, designated area.

From a franchisor's perspective, the question is not if multi-unit expansion is a profitable partnership, but rather when does it become one? After all, multi-unit development is only an advantageous avenue to pursue if it's done strategically and responsibly. Like a lot of things, multi-unit growth is about timing and finding the right fit.

Finding the Right Time

Before franchisors can begin thinking about multi-unit growth, they must ensure their system is prepared to support multi-unit owners. It's imperative to analyze the situation as objectively as possible and ask yourself if you have a replicable business model. Can the success that transpired from opening a few stores be repeated on a larger scale? To go after experienced multi-unit investors, you must demonstrate success with the franchisees you've started with and boast healthy unit-level economics.

Take food cost for example. As a concept in the food and beverage industry, success on a multi-unit scale is dependent on managing tricky overhead costs like food inventory. That's why we emphasize simplicity--in both our ingredients and how they're prepared. We focus on serving only smoothies and optimize the little-required ingredients we do need to make them.

Additionally, we've invested in an integrated, user-friendly POS and recipe management system that clearly indicates what and how much of each ingredient needs to be used. Universal measuring cups ensure accurate portion sizes and similar taste experiences across the system. This also significantly limits waste and chance of error for employees, who are left with little-to-no uncertainty--everything is spelled out for them.

The ability for franchisors to efficiently manage costs via well-designed systems puts them in the best position to generate good unit-level economics. In turn, simplified and healthy systems translate into a scalable operation that will attract multi-unit investors. Finding the right time means being proactive as the franchisor--building, implementing and refining the systems necessary for supporting multi-unit growth and capitalizing when those candidates come along.

Finding the Right Fit

With profitable, proven systems in place...

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