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The franchise model may be the latest favourite among corporate groups, but it is an ancient distribution model, dating back to ancient China and the Middle ages. Local titled landholders used to grant rights to serfs for holding markets or conducting businesses in their domains. With rights, the rules came, Benjamin Franklin is credited with the first franchise agreement entered into in 1731 Thomas Whitmarsh to provide printing services in South Carolina.

The 1850s saw another swing towards franchises, when Isaac M. Singer again looked to this business model for distributing the Singer sewing machines. But, it was nearly a century later that McDonalds laid the foundation for the franchise model in the industry. These businesses have successfully leveraged franchise models to scale businesses into recognized brands.

With more than 4,000 franchise business options of different kinds to opt for, a lot of aspiring business owners seeks to join a franchise rather than seeking to start their own business from scratch.

However, franchising might have transformed businesses, but making the right choice when it comes to models and ways to franchise your business is a must.

Before investing in a franchisee, new entrepreneurs should scout for well-planned business models which provide good ROI. A question that strikes the mind of the franchisee entrepreneur is – Which business model or plan guarantees risk-free business opportunities?

Rather than relying on COFO or Company-Owned-Franchise-Operated models now, franchisors are innovating through FOCO or Franchisee-Owned-Company-Operated and FOFO or Franchisee-Owned-Franchisee-Operated models to begin their venture. The focus is on either making an investment in the brand, or running franchise-based operations at one’s risk. To expand the footprint, a franchise owner needs to choose between business models based on careful research. Choosing the right business model as per investment capabilities and experience matter. So, let’s explore the 5 different ways to franchise your brand and grow your business.

1. FOFO (Franchise Owned Franchise Operated)

This model is selected by those entrepreneurs seeking rapid expansion of business or brand presence for penetrating new markets using the help of local businesses. In this model, the company carries out the training of staff, store setup and then hands over to the Franchise to observe operations, besides maintaining standards for SOPs established the Company. From that point, operations are managed independently by the franchisee.

The franchisee is also charged a licensing fee by the Company as per agreed terms. Random, as well as scheduled SOP audits are carried by the company to ensure franchisee outlets maintain high standards. When the franchisee fails to qualify for quality and compliance audits, the parent companies either levy fines or pull out from the contract.

When the local market knowledge of the franchisee combines with the business expertise and experience of the Company, this model yields successful outcomes.

An example of these is where the franchise owns and operates the business, but regular audits are performed by the franchiser Company to ensure quality standards are met. Notable retail groups following the FOFO model include Ferns and Petals and Gitanjali Jewels.

2. FOCO (Franchise Owned Company Operated)

If you need a profitable and feasible model, you can try the FOCO model where the franchisee gets proceeds sharing without taking part on business operations. On the other end, this model rejuvenates the company’s brand by assuring quality. This is the strategy adopted by companies like Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. have adopted predominantly. As against this, the COFO model depends on individual capabilities to venture into the world of commerce as entrepreneurs. FOCO offers value for money and minimal risk for both franchisees and franchisors.

FOCO fosters a partnership model where company has the liability to yield ROI on time otherwise it ends up in loss or profit. Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with large amount of capital to invest are likelier follow the FOFO model, as the store runs independently by adhering to the brand’ standards and guidelines.

FOCO is a partnership model where franchisees invest fixed costs. Running costs are managed by the company and the franchisee yields minimum percentage or guarantee of revenue earned. This also shields franchisees from bearing capex to renovate physical infrastructure and increasing the scope of operations. Basic expenses incurred include rent, salaries or the running costs; but franchisees can invest and spend on short-term and long-term promotional activities. Liabilities for the franchisee are minimal, when this model is selected.

This model is used by Companies which seek capital expenditure reduction and faster expansion within established or known markets. As per this model, the franchise owns its business but the brand building and operations are handled by the company. An advantage of this is that franchisees can oversee the business and question companies in the event of poor performance this model focuses on a profit sharing basis where companies get a bigger profit share than franchisees.

Exclusive Brand Outlets in lifestyle and fashion retail segments or fast food chains like McDonald’s where brands operate the business, while its ownership rests with local franchise owners, generally follow this model.

3. COFO (company Owned Franchise Operated)

This model is for Companies seeking to reduce their operational expenses. This model has the Company leasing the operations of the business to the franchise to take over business operations. The company holds training sessions and SOP audits for adherence to standards. Further, the business ownership vests solely the parent company or franchiser. Consequently, the company identifies more profitable or efficient franchisees. This model is adopted by companies in developed markets where the company operates and gets a high ROI.

Businesses owned by the company but operated by a franchise for temporary lease periods are a good example of this.

4. Active Franchise

This model offers a chance for companies or franchisors to convert some of the multiple retail outlets they own into franchisees. The USP of this is that the business receives a boost, in terms of profits and productivity, while a percentage of the retail outlets effectively operate as franchisees. The companies that offer this model are a minority. Franchises take over businesses which are profitable, in this model. So the advantage comes from companies that decide profit making stores should be allotted to franchise owners. This model enables franchisors to achieve high conversion ratios. Pre-established businesses and successful units ensure franchises get better ROI on their investment. It also translates into shorter gestation models.

5. Devise your strategy

There are many franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs who see value in this business model. But not all franchise partnerships are smart investments. Prospective franchisees need to devise strategies and research opportunities they are interested in. The advice of a franchising consultant who is an expert is incredibly useful for entrepreneurs seeking the ideal franchise opportunity.

Franchise consultants know the ins and outs of a franchising industry. This serves to enable them to recommend numerous different franchises based on business profiles. Don’t blindly choose models for your franchise strategy. Instead rely on customized or tailored models for better outcomes. For this reason, choosing the right franchise strategist and consultant is absolutely essential.

Concluding Thoughts

Devising the right expansion model, one need to take the help of Your Retail Coach/YRC consultants to analyze which model is best suited to the products, services and industries where franchise opportunities are sought. Owning your franchisee or becoming a franchisor can be really rewarding. Experience the certainty of choosing the right franchise model for your needs by opting for dedicated consultants qualified in every aspect of research, analysis and in-depth understanding of the strategic franchise opportunities out there. Leverage these business models by opting for a strategic alliance with YRC and know the benefits of making an informed decision based on expertise you can trust.

PR Source from: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/yrc-details-5-effective-strategic-ways-to-franchise-a-brand-1214753.htm

 

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PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.