Pros and Cons of Local vs International FranchisingJanuary 18th, 2018 by Helen Doron English
Considering a local franchise versus an international franchise? Take some advice from a global leader who started as a home-based business.
“What if…?” Many businesses have started with a moment of inspiration. But not all have succeeded. Having made the transition from a home-based business teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL), to an international leader in educational franchising has shown us what it takes to make this business work on a local as well as a global level.
Been There, Done That
Local businesses that have morphed into a franchise operation and maybe even expanded nationally may have accumulated a lot of knowledge, but they are still a local business at heart. The business model may not transplant well to a neighbouring country or even another continent. By contrast, an international educational franchise has “been there and done that.” They’ve successfully adapted to varying cultures with diverse values. And their proven track record will give you a competitive edge.
Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When it comes to educational franchises, “one size fits all” simply doesn’t work. While product offerings need to be relevant in a wide variety of markets, they also need to be agile enough to adapt to local needs. Customer expectations can be vastly different. Localization requires flexibility and a degree of sensitivity. Conversely, successful local initiatives can be adapted to fit global marketing strategies. What’s needed is constant communication. It’s about more than keeping an ear to the ground. It’s about keeping an open mind.
Sharing Outside the Box
As a franchisor, you’ll benefit greatly from the accumulated knowledge and hands-on experience gained by your peers. It helps you “think different” and strengthens your chances of success. Being able to compare notes on what worked — and what didn’t — can be the tipping point that steers you to a successful launch, adopt a winning marketing strategy, or helps you weather tough times.
Global Can Be Personal
Some are put off by the idea of an international organization. Are they going to be a small cog in a very large wheel? Having started as a “Mom and Pop” concern has made us very aware of the challenges new businesses face. And it’s made us equally aware of the benefits of the network. That’s why we’ve put a focus on building community and sharing knowledge. A strong community supported by a multilingual and multidisciplinary team ensures a very personal approach to a worldwide business.
Remember, no matter how big your business grows, it still remains personal. It’s still about you. Is educational franchising your passion? Is the franchise you’re considering signing up with aligned with your vision and values? Answer that question and you’re well on your way to making your dream a reality.
Vice President of Business Development