Growing a franchise

You can expand your franchise business by increasing sales, targeting a different market sector or running a similar franchise in a different area.

Guide

3 min read

1. Overview

If you already run a successful franchise business, you may feel you are ready to expand.

This guide discusses the issues that you will need to consider before and during expansion. It helps you assess whether you are ready to grow your business, examines the advantages and disadvantages of growing, and looks at other issues such as risk management

2. Are you ready to grow your franchise?

There are several important issues to take into account before growing a franchise, such as funding, potential structural changes and the process of due diligence. You should involve your franchisor in all decisions and make sure you have their approval before going ahead.

Expanding a franchise usually involves increasing the areas in which the business operates, which will probably involve payment to the franchisor, or to the holder of an existing franchise you want to take over.

If you're going to grow your business by acquiring an existing franchise, you will need to look at the new business in detail and undergo the process of due diligence. Apart from checking the financial condition of the business, you will need to assess its growth potential, where you can make improvements or efficiencies, and how you can protect yourself and your existing business from any liabilities.

Due diligence can be an extremely complex process and you may benefit from getting professional help from financial advisers, auditors, or a specialist acquisitions consultant.

Find out about other things to consider when you're thinking about growing your business.

3. Advantages and disadvantages of growing your franchise

Advantages

The main reason for wanting to grow your franchise - apart from the satisfaction of building up your business - is that you should become financially better off. Additional sales lead to additional profit and if you retain this in the business, your franchise will be a saleable asset in the future.

If you grow through acquisition and buy an existing franchise, you have the benefit of acquiring a business that is already established. This means you will not have to pay start-up costs or raise finances to acquire new premises.

A larger business is more secure and additional turnover and profit can provide access to better deals for office equipment, vehicles and other business purchases. You should also be able to tap into existing market information to facilitate the growth of the business and boost turnover and profit.

Disadvantages

If you're happy with your business as it is, and you can foresee a reasonably successful future, you may not wish to grow.

Although a bigger business can make more money, mistakes can be more costly and you may face increased pressure and stress.

You must also check that your franchisor is happy for you to expand and that there are no restrictions in your franchise agreement - otherwise you could be putting this in jeopardy. You may want to get specialist advice from a solicitor who is accredited by the British Franchise Association.

4. Franchising support and networks

Expanding a franchise business is a major step to take, so you may want to get additional support and advice

The British Franchise Association (bfa) is a voluntary, self-regulating body forUK franchising businesses. The association provides a range of information, including links to franchisors and professional advisers.

Your local Chamber of Commerce can provide support and advice, as well as networking meetings for businesses of a similar size and in similar business sectors.

The trade association for your business sector can also offer advice on expanding your business.

Business Gateway can give you advice on growing your business. Call us on 0300 013 4753.

Get the support you need right now

You can connect with us through the contact form, call us or contact your local Business Gateway office

Contact Us Find my local office

You might also be interested in

Is it time for a Brexit rebrand?

When it comes to tackling the Brexit conundrum as a business, the best form of defence is a good offence, writes Chief Officer of the Business Gateway National Unit, Hugh Lightbody.

Prepare a business plan for growth

Every successful business regularly reviews its business plan to ensure it continues to meet its needs and responds to variations in the market, the economy and customer base.

Strategic planning: the basics

Creating a strategic plan is a key component of planning for growth. It will help prepare a realistic vision for the future of your business and in doing so can maximise your potential for growth.