Next global stop: ranking franchise-friendly countries.

Author:Duckett, Brian
Position::INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 
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Experienced international operators will also know that there are many other things to consider such as local taxes and business practices, currency transfer regulations, specific local laws and the local culture. In amongst all that comes how "franchise friendly" the local regulatory regime may be.

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One of the most important aspects of developing an international marketing plan, for any business whether or not it is in franchising, is deciding which countries to target once the offer package has been properly prepared. Many business owners have come to me saying "We've decided to go international. How can you help?" When I ask which markets they would like to be in, the answer often comes back "anywhere and everywhere." To me that suggests the project has not been properly thought through, and is perhaps being considered for the wrong reasons. Apart from anything else, the costs of marketing the opportunity, other than via the Internet, to "anywhere and everywhere" are prohibitive--as would be the time cost of processing all the enquiries, often from completely unqualified prospects.

Good practice starts with selecting those markets which have the most potential for the product or service to offer; after which we move on to those which will be the easiest to service and support--so geographical location and common language come into play. Experienced international operators will also know that there are many other things to consider such as local taxes and business practices, currency transfer regulations, specific local laws, and the local culture. In amongst all that comes how "franchise friendly" the local regulatory regime may be.

With franchising now said to be operating as a method of doing business in more than 140 countries, one may think that just about anywhere could be considered "franchise friendly", but franchising itself is developing in many of the "developing markets" and as governments start trying to understand it, laws and regulations get drafted, often out of ignorance rather than malice, which adversely affect the operation of franchising. I've known franchisors to say "That's the master franchisee's problem, not mine," but that's hardly the right attitude, particularly if those regulations mean the continuing fees will not be flowing back to the home country. Tracking the passing of laws and the current situation in 140 countries would be an impossible task, other than for a law firm with offices...

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