Is franchising the way to expand your business?

Your cake shop has been doing well since you started it several years ago. Orders for your baked goods have increased year on year and you are even getting inquiries from customers living outside your community. Perhaps it is time to expand your confectionery at a second or even third location. The question is whether you want to do it all by yourself, just like you have done with your original shop? Or maybe you could consider a franchise for your business and let qualified franchisees run and operate the new shops at the different locations?

Handling everything yourself obviously has its advantages as you are managing the business, supervising the staff and implementing policies to improve performance, productivity and profits. The question with this is whether you have the time to handle several shops at one time and deal with the issues that arise in each of them. It can be done if you have a reliable team to oversee the various areas such as operations, sales and marketing, administration and management. But if you have been doing everything on your own and your staff need to be supervised most of the time, it may be better to think about a different business model.

If your business has grown to the extent that your business name or trade mark has become well-known in the community or is a household name, you could consider franchising the business name and operations. If this is the model you opt for, you must be prepared to cede a certain amount of control of the business such as the day to day running and operations to the franchisee. In a franchise, you retain control of the quality of the cakes, how the business has to be marketed and the techniques used in making your special cakes. Once you are confident that you are able to take on strangers as your franchisees and trust them to bring your business to greater success, it is time to consult a lawyer to draw up a Franchise Agreement.

After some time if you have awarded a few franchises and you are created a chain of cake shops bearing your trade name, you may want to publish an internal magazine for your franchisees so that they can keep up-to-date with your values and vision. At the same time, the staff and the franchisees could share their experiences about the business. The magazine would be an effective means of internal communication. There are professional printers who can help with the video brochures as well as providing you with advice on how to make the magazine attractive for your intended readers which are your staff and the franchisees.

As an internal communication medium, the magazine should preferably be colorful with lots of photographs showing staff enjoying themselves at work and customers giving the thumbs up as they take a bite at your cakes. The magazine could serve as a morale booster with inspirational messages and articles from staff and management on various successful milestones achieved.

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