Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine 2013 Buyer's Guide - Page 9

MULTI-UNIT NEED TO KNOW Buyer’s Guide and infrastructure. And, of course, signing multi-unit or area development deals also means dealing with fewer franchisees to sell more units. Franchisees seeking a new franchisor partner look for pretty much the same: a solid management team, strong unit economics, a well-known and respected brand name, and an opportunity to develop a territory over the long term. Taken alone or together, there are many reasons that inspire successful multi-unit franchisees to seek out additional brands: GEOGRAPHY. staff. With a strong infrastructure in place, a multi-brand franchisee has a built-in advantage in building brand awareness in their territory and more easily, rapidly, and successfully penetrating their market with a new brand. TRAINING AND RETENTION. With two or more brands, a franchisee can offer employees cross-training, flexibility, promotions, and a clear growth path as their “ operating systems differ and must remain separate, sometimes elements of one can be applied to another, or to internal operations at the franchisee’s home office. The same holds true for marketing programs, recruiting methods, training, HR, and every other ingredient of franchising success. Keep them separate to maintain compliance, but look for areas to adapt good ideas across your organization. Franchisors seeking new multi-unit partners are looking for a proven track record managing multiple units, relevant industry experience, positive cash flow, strong unit economics, and a solid management team and infrastructure. Adding a new brand can be the perfect path to continued growth in their region for a single-brand multi-unit operator or area developer who has built out their territory, or for a franchisee of a brand with no local opportunities to build more units—without having to travel to new or distant locales. Familiarity with the territory and the dynamics of their market, combined with local connections and a solid grasp of local real estate, developers, and zoning requirements is a real home-court advantage. FINANCING. A successful track record with one franchise concept demonstrates your ability to lenders who can help you launch that next concept. Thriving multi-unit franchise operators typically have high net worth, extensive contacts, and access to financing to open successful units quickly. These are powerful assets to have. Your existing operation and the value of your real estate can help you acquire a second or third concept, without putting a stranglehold on your cash flow. INFRASTRUCTURE. Multi-unit franchisees with their own accounting, human resources, and other internal departments often have excess capacity. Adding brands can take advantage of that capacity, growing profits without expanding the home office skill sets improve. This helps in attracting and retaining top talent as you build your organization, always a challenge in any business. And with better-trained employees, unit economics improve. ECONOMIES OF SCALE. Once an organization attains a certain size, several things get easier and, often, less expensive since you’re “buying in bulk”: marketing and advertising, supplier costs and services, administrative and back-office functions, and more. For example, one vendor may be able to service all your equipment and, as a result, offer you a more economical rate. CO-BRANDING