Globalization is quickly shrinking the world marketplace, and investing in a franchise concept at home and taking it international is easier than ever before. Sign franchise opportunities like Signarama are an excellent example of the flexible type of business model that’s ideally suited to overseas expansion. If you’re interested in franchising internationally, here is some helpful advice on how to proceed:
Decide Whether Master Franchising Is Right for You
Instead of single franchises or area development agreements, many franchise companies use a master franchise partnership to facilitate international expansion. As a master franchise licensee, you’ll develop a flagship franchise location in an agreed-upon international location, and then you’ll have the ability to grow and expand by selling franchises and collecting royalties in that country.
Look for a Franchise Company with International Expertise
There are a number of variables involved in establishing and operating a business internationally, so it’s essential to partner with a knowledgeable franchisor that can help you navigate all sorts of challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, country-specific regulations and legal issues, unexpected costs, and the logistics of running a business in a foreign country. Some of the key criteria to look for are:
- A presence in multiple countries around the globe.
- A thorough understanding of the intricacies of international franchising.
- A strong support system for current master franchise partners.
- Assistance for new partners with sales, technology, and research.
- The ability to provide advice about fine-tuning the concept and brand for the local market.
- Assistance with creating financials, franchise disclosure documents, and sales agreements.
- Help with developing procedures, operations, and marketing material.
Choose a Franchisor with a Good Track Record
Partnering with a stable, well-established franchisor is important for both you and your potential foreign franchisees. Doing your own due diligence before you invest with a particular company can help ensure that viable franchise candidates can easily verify the franchisor’s track record in the United States when they’re going through the process.
Understand Local Franchising Regulations
Each country has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the buying and selling of sign franchise opportunities and similar businesses, so you’ll need to gain a thorough understanding of the regulations in the specific markets you’re considering entering.
Learn What’s Required to Protect the Brand
Early in the expansion process, you’ll need to learn about the procedures and processes involved in protecting the brand with copyrights and trademarks to reduce the risk of complicated legal issues developing once you get established.
Consider Cultural and Social Differences
Depending on the country in which you plan to operate, you’re likely to find some social and cultural norms that are different from those in the United States. To avoid future problems, you need to know these nuances and make any needed adaptations to how you interact with prospective franchisees, your marketing strategy, and even the products themselves.
Get to Know Your Target Market
When you’re choosing a market to enter, do ample research to determine if the brand you’re considering offers a product that’s needed and wanted, if the economy is healthy and mature, and whether the necessary infrastructure and logistics are in place to support the concept. This is essential because you’ll need to be able to demonstrate to candidates interested in sign franchise opportunities that the model can compete and thrive in their local area.
If you’re ready to learn more about international sign franchise opportunities and master licensing, contact us today at Signarama.