How long does it take to franchise a business?

How long does it take to franchise a business?amanda-jones-1106318-unsplash-300x200 How long does it take to franchise a business?

Three strangers could meet in a pub this evening and launch a new franchise brand tomorrow – there’s no one to stop them. My guess though would be that it might not be a very good franchise. Furthermore, the franchise community probably won’t take them seriously. When we’re asked how long does it take to franchise a business these are the factors we end up discussing:

A mature franchise model

Franchising works best when a business model has already been developed. That development period doesn’t necessarily have to be a particularly long time. It just needs to be long enough that a brand owner knows all the facts to replicate it in another location. Over time you will have also ironed out all the wrinkles in the formal. So if you can look someone in the eye and tell them all they need to do to replicate your business then franchising is worth consideration.


It’s true that you won’t be taken too seriously should you launch a franchise after say 3 months of operation. There is a certain comfort to an established company. The key factors we look at is how well developed the model really is. Do you know all the pitfalls, peaks and troughs? A 3-month-old business still has much to learn. A 3-year-old business has proved its viability. Maybe you also need to learn some basics such as what affects Winter has over Summer etc. A franchisor launching after several successful years knows a lot more – generally speaking!

True ownership

Owning your brand matters. Part of our work in determining how long does it takes to franchise a business is looking at intellectual property. It’s amazing how many companies don’t own a trademark. Hey – someone else might own it! Wake up, check that you’re not trading with someone else brand first! Use Limes intellectual property service or you can find out for yourself by contacting the Intellectual Property Office to find out.

Getting ready

Preparing the business to become a franchise brand takes around 8 weeks at the outset. There are lots to do, in fact, around 30 different elements go into a new franchise launch. Some are legal agreements, some are Operational Manuals. There’s a lot of marketing to create too. A prospectus, advertising, and a whole host of decisions that can take time.

So, how long does it take to franchise a business?

Recruiting the network can take several years. As a result, get comfortable because this might be a long ride. It might be an uncomfortable ride too if you haven’t ironed out all those wrinkles we referred to earlier. A franchisee expects that you have already got an efficient and refined business, and maybe surprisingly to you, they might not share your enthusiasm. A professional and slick recruitment effort needs to be undertaken. Franchisee recruitment is not easy. It’s a delicate “sell”, pitched as a partnership between franchisor and franchisee. To recruit 100 franchisees you might need 10,000 leads. So it takes time, maybe years in fact. Above all else, all good franchisors need to be able to turn down people with a fat cheque if they aren’t the right type of candidate.

Lime has substantial experience of long term planning for franchisors. Our consultation is free of charge, so give us a call on 01274 662001 and we’ll be happy to discuss the potential of your own business based upon brands we have worked with before.

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