I’m sure you’ve asked yourself if you can franchise your business.

The goal of a business owner is to run a successful business.  Based on my experience, most owners have a different definition of what success means to them.   Recently, I met an owner of an IT company, and he described success as being able to drive up to a private jet with a few of his closest friends, board the jet and fly anywhere in the world.  To do this, he will continue to build his IT business one large corporate contract at a time.  We discussed if his business could be franchised and the quick answer was no.  He was the expert, he built his business through corporate relationships, bidding on contracts, and his processes for each client were not replicable – they were all unique solutions that required extensive knowledge.  

A business owner serving a customer and asking himself - can I franchise my business?

Franchising Questions

Now to ask yourself – can I franchise my business? Assuming you have a business showing profitability consistently over a multi-year period, and you and I were having lunch discussing your business, that’s the question I would ask you.  Can the processes in your business be replicated, and can this knowledge be transferred through training?  If the answer is yes, then you have the making of a franchise concept.  Subsequently, I would want to discuss the following:

  1. What are the one-time costs to get this operation off the ground (fees, equipment, insurance, supplies)
  2. Location requirements (warehouse, showroom, loading dock, office space, buildout costs, demographics)
  3. People resources to operate the business(Full-time, part-time, skilled labour, general labour, management)
  4. Support services to run the business (Accounting, legal, payroll, taxes)
  5. Marketplace – is there a need for this business?  Who are the customers?  How do you reach them?  Who are the competitors?  How is the product/service priced?

Knowing that you have a good sense of how to set up one of your locations from scratch, it now becomes a question of how you would teach someone to run this location and have them standing on their own two feet as quickly as possible.  If you’re like my friend in IT, his processes could not be replicated easily for someone new to the industry.  Is your concept teachable and replicable, and can all of this be done in 1-2 weeks?

Next Steps

This post should help get you started in thinking about your business from the perspective of – can I replicate it and teach someone how to do what I did with similar results?  Far more detail is required in building a franchise business model, but now you should have a good sense of the discussion you should have with yourself – can I franchise my business?


A good place to gather information is through an industry association like the International Franchise Association blog IFA.