Entrepreneurs looking to make quick profits and big earnings from franchise ownership will naturally be drawn to multi-unit ownership. Franchisors will do as much as possible to encourage multi-unit ownership, but the launch of a successful multi-unit business is a very delicate balance.
Franchising Times has been writing a lot about some of the specifics of multi-unit ownership in recent weeks. They’ve recently published a worthwhile story around the issue of flexibility in the sale of multi-unit franchises. Flexibility is critical in these relationships. The franchisor will want to ensure that the business is run strictly within the parameters of its vision. On the flip side, the multi-unit franchisee will insist on a certain freedom commensurate with his/her investment.
How the issue of flexibility is dealt with will often determine the failure or success of the venture.
The multi-unit franchisee is a different beast from the single unit owner. Rightly, I think, they will expect a readiness from the franchisor to negotiate. But, as the author of the story writes, their investment should not enable them to alter the vision of the franchise brand.
“Multi-unit owners have more financial flexibility, site selection flexibility, development schedule flexibility, operational flexibility, and marketing flexibility but should never have brand flexibility.”
Those on either side of the franchisor/franchisee divide will take a lot from this story, which breaks down the flexibility issue in terms of finance, site selection, development schedule, operation, marketing, branding and communications.
Multi-unit ownership may be the way forward, but it’s not without its pitfalls. This story will help you avoid some of them.