Thursday, October 12, 2017

Breathing New Life To Your Business

By Armando O. Bartolome

You are attending to your business when you noticed that you have been getting inquiries via e-mail or letters from people asking if you are offering a franchise of your business. Upon verification with your staff, you find out there have been people who dropped by the office asking the same. You begin to wonder and ask yourself why you are receiving such inquiries. This scenario is not uncommon nowadays. Oftentimes inquiries like these begin to increase that the businessman or the staff may just give a flat 'No' for an answer. Such an answer, however, may spell a lost of opportunity.

So why do you get these inquiries? Simply put, people see a potential in your business and would like to partake in it. This happens to many growing business. In fact, may companies who never thought success in franchising was possible are realizing the business advantages that come with it. For readers who own businesses, take heed of the following advice for it’s not too late to explore and make franchising work for you.

If one takes a look at the business districts in Makati or Ortigas, one easily notices the proliferation of coffee shops. They are everywhere, and always filled with patrons no matter what time of the day even if they are spitting distance from each other. Better check out the convenience stores open 24/7. Amazing one need not walk a great distance just to pick up a few grocery items. How about Laundromats? They too can be found in every area to offer dry cleaning facilities. Pre-schools? Hair Salons? Spas? Business Centers? Internet Café? Courier Services? Car Repair? TV Repair? A lot of businesses offer similar services but notice how each company would differ from the way they project their business. These companies have taken time in studying their business concept and are now successful in establishing numerous branches via franchising. Perhaps it’s about time you as an entrepreneur need to pause, take a piece of paper and pen and review your concept. In analyzing your concept, compare it from the time you first thought of it to the present. Is there any uniqueness to it that will draw your market? Think about why would people patronize your business.

A strong suit of a good business is the ability to expand and put up branches. The latter is an exact copy of the original store. Ever seen a McDonald’s outlet? Upon entering and facing the counter, look at the far left and you will see the French fries maker, at the center will be the pass thru window where food products are displayed, far right will be the soft serve ice cream. Most of the 32,000 outlets worldwide do carry such layout. In fact even in their façade there will always be the tall pylon sign with the big letter “M” or better known as the Golden Arches. Replication, however, is not just confined in the physical design of the business. It also covers how the services and products are brought to the customers. Many franchisees may have put up a branch or two. Spreading beyond five units may be cumbersome for the owner to manage, as he or she worries if his/her supervisors or managers are doing their jobs or merely waiting for the favorite dates in the calendar: the 15th and 30th. In franchising, it’s actually the franchise who manages the branch. Having invested money for the franchise, they cannot afford to be clock-watchers—they have to immerse themselves with the business, hands-on. Find out if your business can be easily taught and managed.

For a business to succeed, it needs to be profitable. There are times when a business may not be profitable simply because there are weak spots which need to be plugged. Products, for example, have to be reviewed for its profit margin and contribution to the total sales. One advantage of franchising is seeing a business have a healthy payback. In general, out of five years in a typical franchise set-up, the investment should have been realized within 12 months to a maximum of 24 months. It is a must for the business owner to do pencil pushing and see how profitable his business is. Remember both owner and franchisees are to make money, as opposed to unilateral profits.

Franchising can only succeed if you have fortified the foundation of your business. It is pathetic to see how some business owners’ jump-start the franchise process without even looking at their present status. They immediately grant franchise to parties only to discover there are too many things, which need to be improved. It shatters the brand and dream of the entrepreneur, as well the hard earned money of the poor franchisee wanting to have a business too. Done right, your business will expand to various places and even beyond the Philippine shores. You will have franchisees who will be proud of having your business. I salute those companies who began micro and have turned into global entrepreneurs. The franchising as an option in breathing a new life to your business?

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