Choosing the Right Franchise

Is One Product Enough for a Franchise Business?

Is selling a single product a worthwhile approach for a business? There are certainly two sides to this question.

If you’re selling computer software and offer only one product, you can only sell one product to each customer. If a customer is happy with your product, they can’t come back and try another. If a competitor offers your product as well as additional products in a convenient though more expensive package, some customers will opt for your competitor. Expanding your offerings allows you to serve the same customer in more than one way.

Some companies get around this by selling their software as a service with a subscription price and some upgrade frequently to keep revenue coming in, but expanding the offerings seems like an obvious step.

A franchise like HQ Gastropub, though sticking to the traditional beer and burgers concept, prides itself on its extensive selection of beers, its range of burger options, and the broad variety of its potato and potato alternative sides. Giving people lots of choices and giving yourself lots of cross-selling opportunties seems, again, like an obvious step.

There are some franchises that take a different approach.

Jimmy’s Seaside Fries, as the name tells you, is a quick-service snack restaurant that serves fries. Franchisees of Jimmy’s Seaside Fries offer potato and sweet potato fries and tots, optionally topped with seasonings, in high traffic shopping malls. According to Jimmy’s pretzels are a saturated market, ice cream is seasonal, and cookies are desserts. Fries, however, are an American staple served as a side or a great snack with no seasonal limitations or strong competition.

When you sell fries as the only product of your business, you’re able to focus on producing high quality fries and charge a premium on a very low cost product.

French fries are almost always offered as a side item with other food, like a hamburger or sandwich. If someone wants a full meal, they’ll opt for a competitor in a mall’s food court that sells full meals that might also come with fries. But when someone wants a snack, they won’t pay a higher price for a full meal just to get fries. While quick-service restaurants may give the option for customers to order sides on their own, the quality isn’t as good as what Jimmy’s offers. That’s where a single product beats out mass-produced versions of their product.

Jimmy’s customers can develop a strong loyalty to Jimmy’s Fries. With proprietary seasonings and sauces, Jimmy’s offers something that can’t be found elsewhere and differentiates itself from other sources of fries as well as from other snack options.

Another example is Illy. They produce one variety of coffee out of 100% Arabica coffee beans instead of making a line of different types of coffee blends and roastings. The focus on making their product the best now means that everyday 5,000,000 people consume their lone product in 70 different countries. They’re still a family-owned company relying on the solid foundations of their single product.

Focusing on a single product and doing it tremendously well clearly can be successful. For the right person, that kind of dedication and simplicity can be a good fit.

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