Built to Last for Endurance: Strategies for creating long-lasting franchises that grow at the right pace.

Author:Rippey, Ted
 
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Building a lasting franchise is a test in organization, research, preparation and learning from best practices. We've both worked with franchised brands for most of our careers. Whether you're building a franchise from a handful of prototype corporate-owned stores, or looking to grow via greenfield development across an entire region, there are a few lessons we have learned from launching these different franchising programs.

KNOW YOUR BUSINESS MODEL INSIDE AND OUT

To build a lasting franchise, you need a proven business model--a business in a box--that can be replicated with as little variance as possible. With Take 5 Oil Change, we had a large base of corporateowned stores (nearly 300) and during decades of building and managing Take 5 locations, we were able to identify what metrics drove success in real estate, training, operations and marketing. You don't have to have that many corporate stores to know what drives success, but having some helps you get a true sense of the model and how it will work in various environments.

SOLIDIFY THE NUMBERS, BE REALISTIC

Franchises are investments, so you need to be able to answer three key questions about your business's economics: 1, How much does the business cost? 2. What is the cash flow at maturity? 3. How long does it take to ramp up?

Taking a hard look at these three data points of your business will also determine how competitive you'll be compared to other franchise opportunities.

ESTABLISH MEASUREMENTS FOR SUCCESS

Having a successful franchise model will attract franchisees, so defining what "success" is will be critical. We are big proponents of data. Begin measuring everything about your business, whether it's the time customers wait for their oil change, the ticket time at a restaurant, online reviews, average spoilage, etc. At Take 5, we were able to showcase data from hundreds of locations over many years--metrics directly correlated to success. We found that our most successful locations also had the fastest oil change times. This metric plus many others are published in an online dashboard for our store managers and franchisees to use and monitor. Having access to this dashboard allows for real-time decision making; plus, being able to showcase the dashboard to prospective franchisees helps cement the notion that you've built a turnkey business model for them to follow.

IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL FRANCHISEE

Next, identify your target franchisee. Are they a multi-unit operator with a high...

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