In my 30-plus years of experience helping people to expand their concepts through franchising, the bottom line question is often “How to franchise your business?”

When discussing how to franchise your business, a few people have asked me why they can’t just get hold of another Franchisor’s materials and copy them.

  • It is highly unethical, if not illegal, to take someone else’s work product.
  • If you simply copy another company’s program, you have learned little — if anything — about how to franchise your business.
  • If the company you have chosen to copy made mistakes, you will be making them as well.
  • Taking the easy approach to how to franchise your business can put you in a weak competitive position. You haven’t distinguished your program from existing franchise opportunities. Why should someone invest in your franchise if it offers no benefits over established, proven franchise programs?
  • Copying someone else’s program rather than understanding how to franchise your business teaches you nothing about how to operate the franchise company.
  • Franchising is a detailed, ongoing legal and operational relationship that typically extends for 10 to 25 years. If you properly complete the franchise development process – the how to franchise your business process – you will better understand your responsibilities as a Franchisor and your Franchisees’ responsibilities.
  • The better you understand how to franchise your business and the franchise relationship, the more successful your Franchisees are likely to be. Having satisfied, successful Franchisees promotes the sales of more franchise locations and more revenues for you as the Franchisor.
  • If you learn how to franchise your business from a professional, such as a franchise consultant, you will have resources to which you can turn when questions arise.
  • There are many aspects of the Franchise Disclosure Documents that relate to business decisions, not legal issues – What is the right Initial Franchise Fee? What should the service fee be?
  • How long a training program is needed? What is the size of the territory? Copying how to franchise your business from someone else does not necessarily give you the best answers to these business decisions.

For these reasons, we recommend when determining how to franchise your business (better yet, should I franchise my business?), you retain a franchise consultant to help you create the most attractive, effective franchise program possible.