Perfect for experienced operators, multi-unit franchising could be the best route for entrepreneurial investors
Anyone who is in the franchise sector or has looked into an opportunity knows that franchising is particularly resistant to economic changes, and boasts a high success ratio - with 97 per cent profitability.
These are reasons why banks and lenders are so keen to help fund budding franchisees, knowing that with the right brand, franchise businesses are resilient and can go on to generate significant revenue.
But you may not know that franchising offers the opportunity to build an expansive business through operating multiple units.
But what is multi-unit franchising? It is where franchisees operate multiple franchise businesses at once; this can be multiple offices of the same franchise brand, or a number of different franchise brands.
Many who progress into multi-unit franchising have already achieved success in their primary franchise venture, and realise the potential in owning and operating further franchise businesses.
Within the same brand, multi-unit franchisees are able to operate the same business model at multiple sites - carrying across their knowledge and experience to bring their services or products to a new franchise territory.
Also, multi-unit franchisees are able to benefit from economies of scale, helping make costs lower as your business grows larger. You can centralise operations and personnel, lowering costs and easing organisation.
With ownership of different franchise brands, multi-unit franchisees benefit from bringing their understanding of the franchise sector, as well as their business acumen and success, to a new business - sometimes within a familiar territory or a new one altogether.
Many who choose to invest in multiple franchises often pick complementary brands. Skills gathered from running a franchise in an estate agency may lend well to a property investment or management franchise. The same can be said for someone running a nursery or childcare franchise, their skills may lend well to a teaching or personal development franchise.
Often, multi-unit franchisees focus on management franchises or opportunities where they aren’t required in the day-to-day running of the company and can instead take a wider view - utilising their business management skills rather than sector-specific skills and be able to run their business, taking a step back from the day-to-day work after initial set-up.
But franchisees should be careful when looking into opportunities, as some brands may not allow you to purchase another franchise brand, or to purchase a similar franchise within the same sector. For example, investing in rival franchises.
Home Instead, the UK’s leading home care franchise, has been operating in the UK since 2005. We have a number of multi-unit franchisees across our network; many of whom see the market potential in an ageing population, but all of whom are passionate about spreading their quality homecare services to the wider population.
Suhail Rehman has built up his Home Instead multi-unit franchise enterprise, currently owning five offices across Scotland. He runs his offices through a centralised management team, being able to focus on the larger picture whilst his team focus on the day-to-day running of the businesses.
Now employing over 300 staff and delivering home care services to hundreds of older people across Scotland, Suhail is operating a multi-million-pound business - having built a profitable, multi-unit enterprise which is continuing to grow and develop.
Suhail is a great example of how multiunit franchising can allow you to grow a profitable, successful, large business. He has built a respected, trusted network of offices across Scotland which are not only delivering our high-quality home care services to people who really need them but also creating a large, profitable business which has a huge scope for further growth.
We are proud to have franchisees who have gone on to buy a number of units, expanding their businesses which in turn enables them to care for more people.
We guide our franchisees who are thinking about multi-unit ownership through the steps, helping them to expand their enterprise. If we don’t think it is right for them, or they haven’t shown enough dedication to the brand and our mission, we won’t allow for multi-unit expansion they have to be a right fit and really want to champion our brand, as well as grow a sizeable business.
A growing trend in the UK
Multi-unit franchising is becoming more popular across the UK, with many enthusiastic entrepreneurs recognising the growth potential in a franchise business.
It is great to see a rise in multi-unit ownership across a number of franchise brands, including our own. It is reflective of the quality and strength of your brand - showing franchisee’s trust and belief in your mission, so much so that they dedicate huge amounts of time and investment to spreading your services far and wide.
Ruth Brown is the director of business development for Home Instead UK.