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How to Make Sure You’re Choosing an Adaptable Franchise Model

By: Bill Bradley


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Now more than ever, entrepreneurs want a crystal ball to predict which franchises will continue to thrive in this “new normal.” Unfortunately, we can’t see the future, but our decades of experience have taught us one of the most crucial aspects of long-term franchise brand success is adaptability.

So, how do you make sure you’re choosing an adaptable franchise model? It all starts with asking the right questions about each franchise opportunity.

How Long Has the Brand Existed?

One way to determine if the franchise model you’re considering is adaptable is to find out the age of the brand. Not to say that newer concepts don’t have adaptability built into their systems, but brands that have already survived recessions, industry changes and years of customer experience are more prepared to weather any storm you might experience as a franchisee.

It’s also a good idea to ask your franchise development representative how long the brand has been franchising. Some older brands are newer to franchising, while other new concepts have already dived into the franchise world. Look for brands that have more experience scaling their model and enacting systemwide improvements. Simply put, when it comes to business and brand building, experience is a good indicator of an adaptable franchise model.

How Long Do Franchisees Stay with the System?

Another question to ask your franchise development rep also has to do with longevity. In addition to asking about the age of the overall brand, we encourage you to ask for information about how long franchisees stay with the brand. When it comes to adaptability, you are looking for brands that can support their franchise owners through different stages of life and for a long time.

To find out the information you need, you might have to ask your franchise development representative a few different questions: how long has your oldest franchise been open? How long is the term of a franchise agreement, and is that number standardized for each franchisee? What percentage of franchisees sign another agreement after their first is up? These questions will give you a good idea whether the franchise model you are considering can adapt to support franchisees on a longer-term basis.

Other Questions to Ask About Adaptable Franchise Models

As anyone experienced in business (or life!) knows, it’s nearly impossible to get everything right on the first try. So, a history of change can be a good thing to see in a franchise brand. It means that the corporate team is always dedicated to growth and improvement to meet changing customer needs.

Ask your franchise development representative about the changes the brand you’re considering has made over time and if they’ve made any recent systemwide changes. As long as the brand has remained consistent in its core values, a little change can be a good thing. Plus, there are very few businesses that haven’t needed to adapt to thrive in a post-COVID era; don’t hesitate to ask about it.

Published: October 23, 2020

Source: America's Best Franchises

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Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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