Feature Cover-page-0_3.jpgMulti-Unit Franchising is when a franchisor takes on more than one operation in the same territory. Once a franchisor becomes comfortable in their position with one franchise, they may consider purchasing more to multi-manage.

Once a franchisor is established and able to step back from the day to day operations of a unit, it could be an easy profit increase to consider multi-unit franchising. It’s important to ensure that your current business is successful and running properly during peak times before moving forward with another investment.

With technology connecting us globally, it’s a lot easier for one person to run a few of the franchises from their home. Easy access to all location makes it feasible and creates a work life balance. Franchisors can phone in and check on many businesses across the region, without having to be on the road day and night.

Before picking up another franchise, one most take a lot of things into consideration. It would be wise to contact another multi-unit franchisor to get a personal assessment of their experience, how they have adjusted and the challenges and successes they have experienced. This firsthand experience may be worth noting before jumping into a multiple franchise situation. Though it may seem easy to handle, it may not be what you want for your work life balance.

A franchisee should do some research to see how other franchises of this brand have fared with multiple units. Can a territory of your size carry more than one franchise of this sort? Has it been successful in similar populations and communities? There are a lot of resources one could avail from to help support their decision making process, including the franchise's online presence. If the  company has a stable online income within your area, creating another location may not be applicable in your territory.

Do you provide children’s products? If so , are there enough children in your community to have more than one service? These are a few of the specific details that only a current franchisee may be aware of through experience.

You recognize your business’ abilities better than anyone else and it has to be visualized as a bigger supplier in a relatively same area. You have to ask yourself the same questions you asked the first time around, but with more experience and firsthand knowledge.  Sometimes this can be blinding for some franchisees, who do not consider the facts or conduct the research; an arrogant approach will not allow for success.

Of course, a lot of information and support is provided directly by the franchisor. Before setting up a location, they will likely consider a lot of the statistical influences of your area and a lengthy discussion should be considered before moving forward in any capacity.

Multi-unit franchises are more common nowadays and constantly on the rise; multi-unit operators now control 54 percent of all franchise units.  Though it’s a trending business move in the franchise field, one must consider if a new unit would damage its current functioning business before upgrading. Of course, it is wise to wait until your first operation is functioning completely on its own without your presence.

Talent is a big influence on the ability for a business to function without its owner. If you notice in your location there is a large turnover and talent seems to be one of your weaknesses due to location, then it may not be wise to invest in a similar franchise in the area. Top talent would allow a franchisee to trust in his or her employees and allow them to run the business when they are not available. Research how your current talent has been functioning and consider whether or not you believe creating a successful team for another location is a possibility.

Relationships and experience can be a benefit for a franchisor invested in multi-units. If you have established yourself within your community, you can take advantage of the opportunities your relationships have created.  Real estate agents, vendors, consumers and suppliers in your area may allow for easy growth in your location. These relationships can help you establish a wider presence more easily than a new developer in the business.

Franchisors also enjoy the idea of handing off a unit to someone already well versed in their brand and operations. It’s comforting and less risky when a franchisee has provided results and profits within their territory. A current owner will not waste their time with coaching and support, they are already prepared for a lot of the process. Plus they may now only deal with one source of contact for a territory, which makes it easier at the head office location.

There are some franchises that prefer multi-unit franchises if you are a first time investor and have plans to grow in the same brand. The restaurant market has been successful as a multi-unit operation; in fact 76% of franchise restaurants are multi-operated.  Restaurants brands are well-recognized and franchisors have a good sense of whether or not a new one in the same region will provide profit. One that is well established and holds a hefty brand can easily locate within a community and become as successful as another unit.

Multi-unit ownership is rising in the franchise field and can not only increase profit and success, but with the right variables lead to a better work life balance. With the proper research, environment, support and understanding, a franchisee could run multiple units with ease.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After receiving an English Degree, followed by a Journalism Diploma, Gina Gill became a freelance journalist in 2008. She has worked as a reporter and in communications, focusing on social media. She currently works as a community information officer with Epilepsy Society, while pursuing her writing career at the same time.