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What It Takes to Multi-Unit Franchise

The dream of starting a business can also come with the weight of independent ownership, which franchising alleviates by providing a system built on supporting those who partner with the brand.  Each franchise system has its own specific ways of interacting with and supporting franchisees and operating even one franchise is a formidable responsibility, let alone multiple locations.


Be Dedicated to Personal Development & Your Brand So what about multi-unit operation?  Obviously taking on the task of running various business locations and doing so successfully involves a concerted commitment and experience that justifies such an investment.  Primarily though, a firm belief in the brand and concept are essential, which makes for an impassioned franchisee willing to do what it takes to make their investment work, while showing other staff members and team leaders how to do the same.


What if you’re interested in multi-unit operation and you know you still have a lot to learn?  Then most likely you’re quite normal.  In fact, though many multi-unit franchise partners come with at least some management experience as franchisees, learning how to operate multiple franchise locations always requires humility and progressively acquiring more and more knowledge, like most things in life.  Some franchise partners start with two or three locations and gradually increase based on their specific desires, financial status, and obligations.


Having what it takes to run one or two locations doesn’t necessarily mean success with multiple units.  Though existing qualities and abilities may be worthy of applause, franchisees stepping into various unit operation quickly learn that their current talents must expand into their new and more complex role overseeing a larger territory of locations.  This requires flexibility and endurance.


Know Your Franchise System & Network Opportunities Whether or not your chosen franchise business system provides dedicated support for multi-unit franchisees is something to consider prior to expanding.  Does your franchise offer discounts for opening more than one unit and is training for staff of multi-unit franchisees provided?  How much of the onsite training process will you be responsible for?  Does your experience level as an existing franchisee warrant investing in other locations if you will be expected to work closely with staff for training purposes in new locations?  Preparing oneself to fill in the gaps where a franchisor may leave certain elements in the franchisee’s hands is essential.


Does your franchise brand feature any recognizable support network between franchisees or offer events where networking can readily occur?  Finding and networking closely with other franchise operators is advantageous for investors that are looking to expand with a concept that provides limited support.  By seeking to partner up with successful franchisees, whether single or multi-unit operators, multi-unit franchisees can implement what’s working for others to benefit their own locations.  This means learning from the successes and experiences of other system wide franchisees to train yourself, your teams in different locations, and implement a structure that you can most comfortably rely on.  By becoming familiar with other franchisees and how they operate their businesses, new skills for multi-unit management can develop.
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