When a small business begins growing quickly, one option the owner has is to convert his or her concept into a franchise and open more locations. Once you make the decision to franchise your business, the next step is to attract franchisees to help you grow even more.
"A good product or service and a concept that a lot of people are interested in will lead to a successful franchise," said Eric Newman, executive vice president of the Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits chain. "Once you find a model that can be reasonably executed, you can do a lot with it."
Bojangles' is well versed in the art of growing a franchise. The quick-service fried-chicken restaurant was founded in 1977 in Charlotte, N.C., and opened a second location one year later. By 1984, there were 200 Bojangles' restaurants, and there are now more than 575 locations, including three outside the United States. [How to Turn Your Startup Into a Franchise]
Although Bojangles' U.S. presence includes just 10 states and the District of Columbia, growth has really picked up in recent years, with a new location opening every single week. Newman shared the following tips for achieving rapid franchise expansion:
Expand your "home base." Before you try to open franchises outside your immediate area, build up your share of the market you're already in. If you fully penetrate your home market first, you can gradually grow your base and expand outward from there.
Allow for organic growth. Accepting large sums of investment capital to build more locations may seem like an attractive way to expand your business, but Newman warned that this artificial growth could hurt you in the long run. Build up your brand and reputation, and let your business grow organically, even if it takes a little longer at first.
- Perfect your business model. Use your early franchise locations to test out and perfect your concept. Do you have a great product with wide appeal? Is your business scalable and economically feasible? Will it work in other locations? The success or failure of each individual location can help you answer those questions and figure out what needs to be tweaked to guarantee future success.
Originally published on Business News Daily.