FranchiseYourBusiness.com wants to take the franchise discussion a little more global this time. What does it take to be successful in marketing your franchise business internationally? Geographic expansion is a huge advantage for businesses because it’s one of the most logical ways to scale operations.
Tips for Success in Taking your Franchise to the Global Market
- Choose the Right Franchisees: As we often mention on this blog, you cannot afford to ignore the selection and training elements of franchising. There are services that specialize in selecting franchisees in other countries. It’s also a good idea to have somebody who can be a business ambassador and bridge any language or customs barriers you might encounter.
- Be Aware of Regulatory Environments Overseas: You probably already guessed that not every foreign market operates under the same regulatory conditions as the United States. Specifically, this means that you’ll need a good grounding in everything from patent laws, employment laws, ingredient regulations, taxes, and much more. This is another key reason to invest in experienced legal counsel.
- Get the Supply Chain Right: This is especially pertinent given the amount of ongoing supply chain shortages we’ve had in the past year and more recent challenges to the global market. It’s no longer a given that your franchises will be able to exchange goods and supplies efficiently. Even when transporting everything was easier, pre-pandemic, shipping timing and delivery was one of the most difficult managerial tasks for expanding companies.
- Advertising Can Be Different (but exciting!): Harking back to the regulatory concerns, you may need to tailor your marketing agenda more carefully for some locations abroad. Some advertising slogans just do NOT translate and others can be unintentionally offensive. MSA Worldwide gives an alarming example of what would happen if KFC used “finger-lickin' good” in China. Well, that would be telling Chinese patrons to “eat your fingers off.” There are plenty of other subtle examples of this kind of problem. Think globally and choose your advertising copy carefully and with respect for different cultures!
- Take Care of All Possible IT Hang-Ups: Tech problems are aggravating enough in the U.S. Just imagine how many IT network problems you could have in other countries. The Internet may be worldwide, but that doesn’t mean every region (particularly in the third world) will be perfectly congruent with our IT systems. This is another issue that illustrates the necessity behind strategically hiring certain niche experts (lawyers, IT professionals, accountants, etc.) once you expand your franchise network.
FranchiseYourBusiness.com thinks you’ll find lots of value by considering the implications of international franchising. It’s much more common than you may have realized. Even a small country, like Honduras, has more than 70 international franchises doing business in its major cities. That says nothing of the rest of the world. Successful entrepreneurs know they should consider geographic expansion whenever possible.