A Guide for Building a Design Led Franchise

A guide for building a design led franchise.

Franchising can be a wonderful thing, but how do you grow your business without risking the very things that make it great?

Here’s what I have learned about protecting your character and values as a business develops into a franchise model.

1. Ownable product: It is vital that you keep ownership of what matters. It’s your role to protect the brand and keep its character as you scale. Finding creative ways to develop consistent products and delightful experiences that communicate the essence of what has always made your business special.

2. Strong and adaptable brand: Growth needs change and adaptation. Branding that is strong at the core but open to evolution is essential. Build on a firm foundation without eroding the very elements that support your growth. Strong and flexible branding allows you to make every single interaction – spaces, places, menus, signage, packaging, website, photography, catalogues, products, illustration, social media, uniforms, lighting —say something important.

3. Beautiful and consistent design: Find ways to keep control of the brand’s aesthetic. Franchisees will want to change and adapt it but have clear guidelines and agreements so the brand’s vision stays intact.

4. Work with people who share your values: When you understand and articulate your values, you can know who shares them. Find the right people to represent your brand and they will work with you to create the right culture. Don’t make panic decisions for quick cash or easy wins if it undermines the brand or the culture you have so carefully maintained. Relationships with people who don’t share your values will be short-lived, distressing and unsupportive.

5. Humanity: Remember that people make the world go round. What makes people (including customers, suppliers, colleagues) happy? What can we do to create a culture of warmth and kindness in our franchise? Sometimes you have to let your heart rule over your head to make things happen. You only live once and you need to go for it with gusto. Don’t work so hard you fall out of love with your work; you will run out of steam, and when you do you can take stock, rest and then go again.

If you are considering franchising and you’d like to consult a real human in amongst the lawyers and accountants, book a meeting with us.