Multi-Unit Franchising

Multiple Franchises: Competing, Complementary or Concurrent

cupsIf you choose to start two franchise businesses at once, you have three options:

  • Competing: start two of the same franchise, such as two Great American Cookie locations. They may be competitors in the sense that they might split the market. 
  • Complementary: start two franchises that can support one another, such as a tutoring business and a Mathnasium. This might also be two businesses with a shared market, such as a video game franchise and a pizza parlor.
  • Concurrent: start two unrelated franchises, such as a Mad Science and a Planet Beach Spa. You’re running two different businesses at the same time, but they’re unrelated.

Each option has advantages. 

Taking on two locations of the same franchise may be the most common approach. If you have the resources to start two locations at once, this can be the most obvious choice.

While opening two locations of the same franchise may in a sense be competing with yourself, it’s also sewing up a much larger region. You can catch customers at work and near home, or east side and west side people. You can present multiple locations as added convenience for all your customers, and share staff and materials between the two locations. Everything you learn in one shop will benefit you in the other shop, too.

Opening two complementary franchises is like a cross ruff in cards. Offer coupons from your tanning salon to customers at your gym and vice versa. Put flowers from your florist’s shop on the tables in your gastropub with information about your flower shop — and tuck a card from the pub into flower delivery boxes with the message, “Celebrate your special occasion with us!” Some connections are closer than others, but it’s a fair bet that any shop selling upscale clothes will find opportunities to recommend a dry cleaner.

You can probably also share expenses for local advertising, benefit from similar community sponsorships and networking, and maybe even do a little sharing of workers. The same natural partnerships that spring up in any community can be nurtured between your businesses — and without any touchy overtones of competition.

Two unrelated franchises could still share some expenses. Bulk buys on paper towels or printer paper can create savings, no matter what kinds of businesses you have. You won’t be in competition, and one business can actually feel like a rest from the other.

Another benefit of running concurrent franchise businesses is that a downturn for one can happen along with an upturn for the other. A summer camp can keep you busy in summer and give you free time in the winter — right when you need extra time for a business with a Christmas rush.

Even when you can’t predict that kind of complementary relationship between two businesses, choosing two quite different franchise opportunities makes it less likely that both will have slumps at the same time.  

Pending Request