As your franchise business continues to do well in the local market, there may come a point that you will consider if it’s time for you to branch out internationally. Achieving on-shore success with an efficient franchising model and a great team of partners may make you think that replicating it overseas should not be a difficult thing to do. However, the international market is a whole new playing field, with a new set of rules and a more diverse group of players. Before you franchise your business on a global scale, you may need to consider a few important factors.
Having the thirst for global domination is a good thing, but you should know what risks your franchise business could be facing when you venture out to a new geographical area. Look into the market landscape and pay great attention to its economic and competitive climate. Doing this will help you assess if the competition in the new area is too high or near saturation, which may make it hard for new players to thrive and be successful.
Technology and travel both have enabled businesses to increase brand awareness to a wide audience. Entering a new market will be easier if you have an established name. This is why you should focus on solidifying your foundation and building a good reputation at the local level before you push for international markets.
On the other hand, choosing to set foot in an area where customers are not yet familiar with your product or service, especially if what you’re offering is something new to them, may have success potential. If you decide to go this route, you might need to invest in a marketing and education campaign so you will be able to build demand for your brand.
Expanding your business in an area close to where you are is a good place to start. International partners may need more guidance and training during the initial stage of franchise management. Being close to them helps make communication easier and reduce the challenges that can be posed by time zone differences, logistics barriers, travel time, and other costs.
Culture and Language
Understanding the cultural norms, both socially and professionally, of the area that you plan to make an expansion in is important. This will help you know what adjustments you have to make so you can conduct your business and avoid cultural faux pas.
The same goes for language. Expand your business in an area where most of the people speak the same language. This will facilitate better communication, transfer of knowledge, and simplify training programs.
Legal and business requirements vary from one country to another. Having a thorough understanding of the laws and restrictions covering taxation, customs, import, export, and other related regulations will help you conduct your business appropriately.
International franchising is a tempting option. But, for your franchise business to be successful you need to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to increase the chances of you and your prospective partners to make it big in the business.