Franchisors seriously considering international expansion will be interested to read the musings of Franchise Direct CEO Sean McGarry in a recent online interview.
Sean was recently interviewed by the always-topical Daily Franchise News website. The interview touched on many topics, including how to launch a successful international franchise operation, especially for food franchisors, who are certain to encounter various cultural culinary differences. Sean also discusses some of the work Franchise Direct does in linking franchises with financial investment.
An excerpt from the interview is included below.
Q: What are some things franchisors must do to guarantee the growth of their concepts on an international level?
A: Initial research is critical when looking at international expansion. Franchisors will have to deal with a different language in many instances and must ask themselves several questions that include: Do you have someone at the corporate office who speaks the language fluently? Or do you have consultants that have the linguistic expertise to work with local franchisees?
If you are going to appoint a master franchisee, time and resources must be put into the process. If you get it right, you will have made the most significant first step into expanding in an international market. On the other hand, if the process is rushed, it can put a company back years expanding into that specific market.
As part of the initial research, have a staff member spend some time on the ground building a profile of the international market. This includes the market’s potential for your franchise and how you should approach it. If you decide, based on your research, that a master license is how you are moving forward, look at ways to limit risk. If expansion should not work out, devise a back-up plan—determine how can your franchise move on from it and who you should appoint as a back up to operate the territory. When choosing that master license, you must also ensure that there is commitment to your franchise and that achieving growth is the primary objective.