YOU’RE GOING GLOBAL. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

YOU’RE GOING GLOBAL. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

Quite a lot, if you don’t roll up your sleeves and prepare, says Justin Livingston, VP of Global Development for Coyote Ugly

International expansion is not for the faint of heart. The opportunities are almost limitless when you expand beyond your borders but for every great opportunity, there is great risk. As an increasing number of Franchisors begin looking to position their brand for global domination, it’s important to be properly prepared and to understand what might possibly go wrong. It’s exciting to think of taking a home-grown brand and expanding to a global audience of potential franchisees but international expansion is a path riddled with obstacles and for those who don’t make these necessary preparations, it can be a treacherous journey.

Consider for a moment what it will take to become a global concept. Dropping a brand that has been successful in a familiar home market onto a new market with an alien culture is fraught with dangers. Your level of preparedness will be key to your success. Every one of your assumptions should be tested as you enter the world of international expansion.

I’m going to expand my concept internationally; what could possibly go wrong?

The first question you should be asking yourself is “why am I doing this?” Expanding your brand to other countries is exciting but it should be part of your company’s plan and overall strategy.  The very idea of going to far-off lands and exploring other cultures is a romantic one, conjuring up fantasies worthy of a sequel to Around the World in Eighty Days. There are many reasons to take a brand international, access to the massive world-wide consumer market, long-term diversification of revenues for the company, strengthening the brand and lessening the impact of a specific market’s economic fluctuations being just a few.

How hard could it be to protect my brand internationally?

This one is likely the most important point and most commonly overlooked. Your brand and your Marks are all you have. Protecting them should be priority one. By granting an international franchise agreement, you are allowing your brand to be represented in a market you don’t fully understand in a location you will likely visit far less than you do to monitor your locations domestically. 

There are many things you need to do to protect your brand, ranging from ensuring your Marks are registered in every market, developing an agreement and operations manuals that protect what’s most important, and finding a franchisee partner who will be a good steward of your brand. Once you have the systems in place, execution depends on finding the correct franchise partner and system of franchising. Decide early on what’s important to your brand; what are your non-negotiables? Be sure you are ready to take every precaution to protect your identity through training, processes, contracts, and ongoing oversight of your brand.

My brand works great in my home market, how different could other markets be?

You have a brand and system that works in your home market so it must work everywhere else, right?  What could possibly go wrong?  The biggest problem with ‘everywhere else’ is that it’s not your home market. There are cultural differences, language differences, religious differences, traditional differences, even landscape and weather differences. Each and every one of these and the hundreds more can impact how your brand is received.

How will your brand translate into the market? Will the local culture embrace your brand? Do your points of differentiation mean the same thing in this new market? Do your brand’s common practices violate any cultural norms of the potential market? Franchising history is full of concepts and products that have failed abroad due to their name, product delivery, or even their core business practices. Do your market research, talk to local consultants and/or government agencies to see what pitfalls may lie ahead. 

Assuming that you can enter any market without sensitivity to local needs will set your brand up for certain failure. This knowledge is vital to prioritize which markets to target and where to begin the search for the right franchisee. 

I have a great team to help me go international, but how much of their time could it take?

A common mistake in making the leap abroad is trying to do so solely with your current resources. You may have the dream team but just because you have an amazing veterinarian, doesn’t mean you should go to them when you have a toothache. It’s a bad assumption that your star domestic marketing person knows how to market your concept abroad or that your logistics person knows how to source or sail your product to foreign markets. Serious brands hire serious folks for international expansion, which takes time, planning, and full buy-in from management and ownership. 

What will happen if your team goes abroad to open a location? What will that diversion of focus do to your existing business? What are the needs you don’t even know you have yet? Seek help and advice from those who have done this and hire or assign one key player to oversee the international program.

How much of my resources could this take?

The assumption that you have “enough” resources can be a costly one. International franchise expansion takes a team of experts and if not planned for, the resource drain could obliterate your core business. There are many costs associated with international expansion before you even get to the starting gate. To be well prepared, you will spend money on legal council both in your home market and target markets to check franchise law, brand protections, and likely some market research. International expansion is exciting. Staring at a world map, the possibilities seem endless. 

When executed thoughtfully and with patience and purpose, it allows for long-term success. The world is as small as you make it, but success depends on cautious, informed, strategic growth.  So, “what could possible go wrong?”  The answer is a lot. International expansion is complicated and international growth consumes a lot of time and money, but the rewards are unrivalled. In the words of the great explorer, David Livingstone, “I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

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

  • 0800 Pizza

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

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

WHAT DO WE USE YOUR INFORMATION FOR?

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.

HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?

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.

DO WE USE COOKIES?

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.

DO WE DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO OUTSIDE PARTIES?

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.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

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.

CHILDRENS ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

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.

ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY ONLY

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

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at globalfranchisemagazine.com/terms-conditions

YOUR CONSENT

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

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

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

CONTACTING US

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: subscriptions@aceville.co.uk