Once you’ve gotten the hang of franchising and expanding your business, international franchising might seem just as simple as opening a business in your hometown. But there’s more than a few things you need to think of before you jump in head first.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know:
Why? In short: Because it’s easier and your franchisees have a better understanding of the local culture, economy, laws, and market.
Unless you’ve seriously studied a foreign market, lived or grew up there, and stay in touch with popular trends, economics, and politics, you likely know a lot less than you think you do about the market in which you’re hoping to expand. And you can’t figure it all out on Wikipedia.
People in different cultures are, you know, different. We don’t need to really explain that. But it might be easy to think what’s popular in your country or region might be popular in another, and without doing your fair share of market research (among other types of research), it will be hard to succeed.
Plus, there are different laws and regulations (for example, trademarks in one country don’t always hold up in the next), and without a thorough understanding of those, you could be breaking a law or getting completely ripped off.
Plus, there are different fees, and often a master franchisor can charge a bit more for international expansion, if only because of territory fees and/or differences in the economy.
We’ve explained master franchising before, but it’s a safer bet to let someone who knows what they’re doing and is ingrained in the culture, politics, economics, and law of the land handle the subcontracting in your international market. It’s a convenience you’ll be happy to make a trade for.
Before doing all your research and carefully selecting your master franchisee(s), you need to make sure your company is stable enough for expansion – especially away from home.
Do you have a repeatable model that sets up franchisees for success? For example, what is your training and support structure like?
At Senior Helpers, we invest in our franchisees through our Senior Helpers University training program and endless resources and support after opening your franchise to be sure that you remain successful and have what you need to succeed.
You’ll also need a strong brand identity, but you can’t assume that because something is popular at home that it will thrive in another market. Still, using your identity and reputation, you can create a product that locals are craving to be brought into their communities.
Being able to do this domestically is a good foundation to build on before looking across international borders.