A FRANCHISOR DISCUSSED FRANCHISING AND ISSUES THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN FRANCHISING A BUSINESS
As a franchise lawyer who spends a large amount of time assisting experienced franchisors with the various stages and steps of franchising a business and also being a managing member of my own franchise company‚ I am always looking to find experience and advice about franchising a business to share with my clients. My goal in gathering and sharing information about franchising is to provide our clients with more than just legal knowledge during the franchise process but rather to also offer them business knowledge about the in’s and the out’s of what has worked for others who have been through the franchising process themselves. Recently‚ I had the pleasure of speaking with Kirk Lance‚ the founder and franchisor of Aprisa Mexican Cuisine‚ a Mexican restaurant that offers high-quality Mexican food in a fast-casual dining experience.
The Aprisa Mexican Cuisine restaurant definitely incorporates an interesting concept and Kirk shared some great insights into what it was like to franchise a restaurant. Although Kirk has franchised a restaurant business I believe the experience he shared with me during his interview can be beneficial to start-up franchisors and established franchisors in any industry. Some of the interesting and helpful points shared by Kirk‚ included:
Choose an Experienced Franchise Lawyer – Kirk stressed how he believes it was critically important to hire a franchise lawyer when franchising a business instead of any other type of lawyer. He said one thing that someone once shared with him that helped him understand the importance of hiring a franchise lawyer for the process of franchising his business was “hiring a lawyer who is not a specialist in franchising is like visiting an ears‚ nose and throat doctor for a brain tumor”. Kirk also placed importance on hiring a franchise lawyer who is experienced because not only do they understand the legal side of franchising but they have often been around franchising long enough to offer insight into the non-legal side of franchising.
Create a System that Can Be Duplicated – Kirk mentioned something regarding this topic that I believe is essential for a franchise to remain consistent‚ that you should be able to take yourself (the founder of the business) out of the equation and place someone else in (a franchisee) and the product and service stay the same. Essentially‚ Kirk believes you should a well created franchise system should be so well established that franchisees will all have a consistent product without any difficulty. Personally‚ I believe your business systems are what will make your franchise which is why I when working with clients who are franchising a business we try identify the exact business systems early on in the franchise process.
Do Research Prior to Franchising Your Business – During the conversation Kirk suggested that business owners considering franchising their business should consider:
- What makes the business you own successful? Is it the procedures and systems you have put in place or is it your own expertise that is causing the business to succeed? If the business could not be equally successful with you removed from the equation then franchising may not be the right expansion model for you;
- Be prepared to give up a piece of control. Even though‚ ultimately‚ franchise disclosure documents and franchise agreements are in place you are still dealing with people with different personalities and ways of doing things.
- Realize that franchising can be a lot of work. If you want good results you have to put in the work.
In addition to the great advice offered by Kirk‚ there were quite a few things that I was impressed with when speaking with him. Kirk has set up a unique system that focuses on low costs for his customers but without compromising what is most important to his business‚ quality of food. Due to his low cost store model using containers he is able to pass on the quality food to the customers of Aprisa Mexican Cuisine without raising costs. Another thing I found beneficial was Kirk’s strong emphases on making sure his brand was replicable. The valuable lesson here is finding out what it is you need to attract clients and what will cause them to have a great experience no matter which franchise location they visit. This causes profitability for both the franchisees and the franchisor.
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with Kirk and learn about his experience as a franchisor. To listen to the interview and obtain a complimentary copy of the interview on CD‚ links and a complimentary order form are listed below.
- Listen to audio Podcast between Franchise Lawyer Charles Internicola and Franchisor Kirk Lance;
- Order a complimentary copy of the transcript and the CD of my interview with Kirk Lance;
- Order a complimentary copy of my book‚ “The Franchise Formula: A Guide for Franchising Your Business in the New Economy“; and
- Read “How to Franchise Your Business: Part 1 – The Basics“
NOTE: Thanks to Kirk Lance and the great staff at Aprisa Mexican Cuisine. Also‚ please note that as a franchise lawyer we cannot and do not recommend franchise investments or the investment in a particular franchise opportunity. This interview and the information that we are sharing is intended to provide insight for those business owners who want information about franchising their business.