Q.

What skills are necessary to become a successful multi-unit franchisee?

Author: Brain Duckett

answered by Brain Duckett

Chairman of The Franchising Centre

Brian Duckett writes:

More and more franchisors are realising the benefits of allowing franchisees to take on more than one unit. In some cases, it’s even a requirement that the franchisee plans to do so right from the start.

Most of the skills required of a single-unit franchisee will also be required by a multi-unit operator, because they still need to have first-hand experience of how to do everything within in a unit.

However, once those jobs start to be delegated to others, the multiunit franchisee needs many more management skills.

That means personal management of all aspects of the business, at least until the organisation grows to a size where other managers can be brought in. Additional premises have to be selected and fitted out; more marketing will need to be done; additional staff will need to be recruited, trained and retained; and the extra investment and cash flow implications will need close financial management.

A caveat here is that there have been many examples of successful singleunit franchisees who have proven to be incapable of running more than one outlet or territory. They were great doers, but poor managers. One plus one unit does not always add up to two times turnover or profit, but will often need more than twice the effort to be successful.

Brian Duckett is chairman of The Franchising Centre, part of the world’s largest network of specialist franchise consultants.

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