Five Things You Need to Know Before Owning Your Education Franchise
A successful business might not always become a successful franchise. A franchise requires specific professional systems to be in place and can be replicated by franchisees. It needs to cooperate, support and coordinate with its franchisees at different levels. It is the franchisor that ensures the success of its franchisees, not the other way around. To help a prospective franchisee owner to make the right decision in choosing a franchise, here are five things that all great franchises have in common:
1. Performance Over Time as a Franchise
If a business is successful as a franchise, it will have consistently performed over the years. To find out if a business is a truly a prosperous one, consider its length of time in business, and performance statistics both as a business and a franchise. For example, McDonald’s, the largest franchise in the world[i], completed its 70 years in 2015, and has more than 36,525 restaurants worldwide.[ii] It generated approximately 8.56 billion USD in the U.S. alone from 2013 to 2015.[ii]Among the top franchises, McDonald’s is followed by 7-Eleven, KFC, Subway, Burger King, and Hertz.[i]
After gathering relevant statistics on the franchise, weigh its performance at different levels. The basic questions to ask regarding the performance of a franchise include:
- How many successful franchisees does it have?
- How many franchisees does it have in total?
- How much has the franchise grown over years?
- On what business model does it operate?
- What are its customer satisfaction levels?
New Horizons was founded in 1982, giving it more experience in the industry than the average education franchise. New Horizons began franchising in 1992 and has 300 franchises in 70 countries.
2. Training and Support
A key reason for choosing to be a franchisee owner, and not doing business independently, is the training and the support the franchise provides. However, it is important to know before becoming a franchisee what specific and ongoing support the franchise offers. A franchisor usually provides initial training by role in operations, financial management, and technical areas. Additionally, it mentors the franchisee by providing ongoing support in any area of business that the franchisee might be struggling in. This assistance proves vital for the success of a franchisee.
New Horizons English provides new franchisees the opportunity to attend an initial training program designed to help the franchisees to fast track the opening and marketing of their new business. When dealing with an education franchise, there are new skills, techniques and knowledge that are needed to ensure a higher rate of success. Upon completion of the initial training, there is then a six month project plan detailing the start-up and launch of a new center.
Part of this phase includes further training in local market for the day to day staff before the business officially launches. Clearly we believe in equipping our partners with requisite business skills before they launch. From there, we move to supporting our partners with monthly management calls, periodic on-site visits to the franchisee location, annual conferences, vast eLearning and virtual learning courses for the staff, and more. As a training company, we practice what we preach.
3. Proven Systems
A successful franchise operates under proven systems. It has effective operations and sales processes, overhead costs analysis, and marketing and management systems that ensure maximum productivity and profitability. A successful franchise can change its systems to make them more profitable. That is done to take advantage of changes in the market or to avoid risks. McDonald’s, an already established franchise, started operating under a new organizational structure from July 1, 2015.[iii] A successful franchise transfers its effective systems to its franchisees, thereby increasing their chances of success considerably.
With 300 franchises in 70 countries, New Horizons has proven its systems work in a global marketplace. The company is constantly adapting with its global systems along with other material such as its global marketing content to ensure the effectiveness of your education franchise.
4. Product Flexibility and Adaptability
Evolving external forces often demand changes in business. If a business is to keep growing amidst this change, it needs to be flexible and adapt to the changes. A successful franchise shows flexibility in their policies, procedures, structures, and products.
With changes in customer expectation and demand, it changes/alters/develops its product(s) to remain competitive. Introduction of new products is the hallmark of a growing business. A successful franchise knows that stagnation can prove fatal in a changing and highly competitive market. Therefore, to retain and grow their market share, it introduces new products/services at calculated intervals.
Introduction of new technology also causes a business to make changes. These changes may or may not affect a franchisee. However, a franchisee needs to be prepared to bring about changes in their own business, as suggested by the franchisor.
New Horizons English has developed a cutting edge English language training system for adults, and continues to refine the platform and content to assure the best of breed training systems are in place for the franchisees looking to open an education franchise.
5. Access to the Network of Franchisee Owners
The relationship between a franchise and a franchisee is based on trust. Therefore, transparency and communication is of upmost importance. A franchisor must be available for a franchisee at all times. It must have an effective system of communication (remote, field and personal) for providing support and guidance at regular and critical times. For a franchisee, this can be instrumental to its success.
Gaining access to an existing network of experienced franchisees can prove invaluable for new franchisees. Existing franchise owners can share their experience and market insights with newer franchisees, and can also share some of the mistakes made along the way.
New Horizons schedules an international conference each year to give franchise owners the opportunity to come together to learn about the education franchise in different areas of the world. The event also allows them to network with their peers, and to gain support and insights to apply for their own businesses.
Choosing the right franchise is the most important decision for a franchisee. Along with its own skills in business, a franchisee requires the right environment, support and resources from the franchise to build a successful business. Precise research and analysis can help prospective franchisee owners to choose a franchise that is perfect for them.