global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

Why now is the time to take your franchise international

Why now is the time to take your franchise international

Six compelling reasons to take your brand overseas, from affordable real estate to advanced technologies.

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

For many brands, international expansion has been put on hold over the past 12 months.

However, now is the time for businesses to weigh up the benefits of entering markets where COVID-19 is under better control. Brands that look to get ahead of the curve and take action now could see immediate growth, especially where their products and services provide solutions to COVID-19 challenges and there’s little competition in new markets. So, here are my top six reasons why now is the perfect time for your franchise to expand overseas.

1. Businesses need to spread their risk

COVID-19 has made managing a business increasingly difficult, so spreading the risk in this ever-changing economic landscape has become vital to increasing the chances of success. For many, international franchising could be the answer.

Businesses are suffering the backlash of COVID-19 and businesses in the U.K. and Europe have also been dealing with the added fallout from Brexit. They face challenges such as a rising cost of goods, an exodus of European workers causing staffing costs to rise, and reduced disposable income for consumers. Because of this, there’s little surprise that many businesses don’t want to rely on putting all their eggs in one basket. Franchising in international markets can reduce these businesses’ dependence on the potentially unstable market they’re already established in.

Through international expansion, businesses spread their risk in a number of ways. By exposing them to new markets, it increases the franchise’s customer base and brand awareness. Businesses can also benefit from favorable regulations in other countries, protecting themselves against the risk of weakening domestic markets and significantly expanding their overall growth potential.

2. Franchising is more attractive than ever to prospects

2020 was very much a year for job losses. In fact, the most recent ONS statistics show that there are currently 1.72 million unemployed people in the U.K. alone, up 418,000 on the same period the previous year. With other countries across the globe following this trend of unemployment, an increasing number of people are looking to start their own business or considering ways to generate a stable income.

However, because new business start-ups have a far higher failure rate than investing in a franchise, there’s no surprise that people are more eager than ever to commit to a proven business model. Franchising’s flexibility and potential for a steady income is an incredibly attractive proposition for prospective franchisees who are eager to invest their redundancy pay and take back control of their lives.

Companies that franchise in new countries now will expose themselves to a huge, and expanding, market of potential franchisees with an excellent work ethic and good business acumen. On the flip side, franchises looking to expand internationally will be an attractive proposition for these potential franchisees searching for businesses who have proven they can step up to the mark and power on through when times get tough.

3. Technology helps franchises cross borders

Before the pandemic, businesses were lucky to have face-to-face contact with their international franchisees five or six times a year. Now, thanks to technology and with working remotely being so well accepted, the ability to start up, communicate with, and manage new franchisees has been made easier than ever before.

When running a franchise, there are always two things you wish you had more of: time and money. The forced adoption of technology like Zoom into everyday life over the last 12 months allows you more of both by giving you the option to talk with franchise professionals and potential franchisees at the click of a button, saving you thousands of pounds in travelling costs. Webchat services also allow franchisors to provide a more superior and streamlined support service to their franchisees in other countries. A franchisor can now deliver training online and converse with franchisees face-to-face on a more regular, albeit virtual, basis.

It’s true that you need substantial in-country research and data before you commit to taking your franchise brand into a new market. I’ve regularly traveled all over the world to conduct this type of research for clients. Whilst I may not be able to make it out to other countries for on-the-ground research, technology allows me to communicate with experienced franchise professionals in-country who are available to do that initial market research for you. For instance, The Franchising Centre has franchise associates in 123 countries who can advise you on locations best suited to your business. So, by taking advantage of the technology available, the options for you to research new markets are wide open.

4. Franchise brands have shown their adaptability

Many franchises have adapted over the past 12 months by providing services and products online. Using almost 100 per cent online service provision and product retailing is a new route to market for many franchise brands, something that franchisors had not fully exploited before. By providing more accessible online services, franchises expanding internationally have the potential to grow a larger global customer base, which can be harnessed by local franchisees.

When setting up a franchise in any new country, franchisors map the places where there is a large potential demand for their services so that franchisees have the capacity to build a profitable business, which ultimately means that certain areas with less demand may not have a territory allocated. With more online provision, franchisees can gain customers in those areas that may have previously lost out.

“Brands that look to get ahead of the curve and take action now could see immediate growth, especially where their products and services provide solutions to COVID-19 challenges and there’s little competition in new markets”

5. Considering countries where COVID-19 is under control

The decision on which countries to move into when you expand internationally is not always simple. Franchisors often favor those countries where they speak the same language as their home location. So, a franchise in the U.K. may initially focus on the U.S.A., Australia and Canada. But in recent times, entering a market where COVID-19 restrictions are minimal is a serious consideration.

Countries such as China, New Zealand and Australia, where the pandemic is largely under control, have certainly become a hot topic of conversation for those franchisors preparing to expand. This is when an in-country specialist can be worth their weight in gold. They can tell you what cultural aspects may benefit or hinder the growth of your brand in that new market or whether the population density will leave you a limited opportunity for territory sales versus the cost of market entry.

6. Real estate has opened up

Due to the shakeup of commercial property in the majority of countries, resulting from a COVID-19-led recession, there’s a glut of real estate available for unit-based franchises. So, now is the time to take advantage of the real estate opportunities in other countries where the pandemic has caused property to open up and prices to drop.

“By providing more accessible online services, franchises expanding internationally have the potential to grow a larger global customer base, which can be harnessed by local franchisees”

Finding affordable locations for franchisees to launch can often be the first stumbling block when entering new markets. Now is the time to take advantage of your buying power as a franchise brand. For brands that use sterling or dollars, you may find a strengthened position to buy or negotiate the leasing of real estate in countries where the currency has weakened significantly since the pandemic began.

As markets begin to open back up, it’s clear that international travel will take a little more time to resume. For franchisors who take this time as an opportunity to forge ahead rather than putting expansion on the back burner, you’ll find that fortune favors the brave.


Farrah Rose has over three decades of international franchise consultancy experience, winning the Contribution to International Franchising award at The Global Franchise Awards, hosted at the IFA Convention 2020 in Florida. She drives the international expansion of The Franchising Centre through her 73 international franchise associates covering 123 countries.

Global Franchise Meets.

An inspirational new web video series where we meet the business leaders and influencers in International Franchising.

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button


Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.


We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.


Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.


We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.


We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.


This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.


Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at


By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.


If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page


If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: