Think your business has what it takes to make it as a successful franchise? Not so fast! First, make sure that you have thoroughly covered all of the items on this list:

·       You need a good business concept.

Essentially, your franchise concept needs to be unique, interesting, and possess long-term potential. Your concept needs to span fads and evolve into trends. A fad is a short-term event. A trend, on the other hand, holds the potential of having a long-term influence on the future of a market. It needs to be appealing to both consumers and potential franchisees.

·       Systemized standards for franchise operations must be in place.

These standards include things like policies, procedures, and other types of standards that will be used at every franchise location. The system includes guidelines of how to set up and properly run each franchise. Usually, the system is communicated through an operations manual.

·       The system needs to be transferable.

Franchise systems don’t always require new franchisees to have experience in any particular industry. The franchisor must be able to teach their franchisees how to successfully set up and run the business through the system. The transfer of these detailed guidelines takes place through the initial and continuing training programs and through the operations manual. If there are parts of the system that require special skills, it may still be possible to franchise your concept, but potential franchisees will be limited to those who possess these skills.

·       Your concept needs distinguishing features.

Every franchise needs a clear identity within their marketplace. This identity includes consistent visual branding throughout logo, website, printed materials, & signage, staff uniforms and performance standards, location aesthetics, and consistent franchise values expressed through marketing and advertising.

·       Protect your identity.

Take the necessary steps to protect your franchise identity. All important trademarks and service marks should be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to ensure important legal rights. Part of this process will be to investigate who else might already be using the same or similar names and logos.

·       Protect your system.

You should also protect your intellectual assets. Keep your proprietary information confidential. Require confidentiality agreements and non-competition agreements with anyone who has access to your confidential information. Claim copyright protection for key documents, training videos, and recordings.

·       You must possess in-depth experience executing your business concept.

You should have experience in setting up and running the same business that your franchisees will. Operating experience is important for several reasons. It demonstrates the viability of your concept, helps you refine your concept and system, and gives you more credibility with franchisees.

These are just a few important items to consider before starting a franchise. Follow Design the Planet, and visit our blog page for more in-depth information for experienced and prospective franchisors on other important franchising items, such as:

• Brand Improvement

• Marketing Plan

• Profitability

• Training Program

• Management

• Liability and Legal Compliance

• Naming Issues

• Dysfunctional logos