What are the benefits of multi-unit franchising? See what business owners and executives have to say…
Multi-Unit franchise owners represent a unique breed of entrepreneurs. They have taken the business baton in the form of a proven system, support and training provided by their franchisor and ran with it so well that their success will not be contained by a single location alone. They are energetic and hungry to reach greater professional heights and they are able to dedicate generous focus to managing the daily operation of each location under their leadership. In this way, they continue their journey, gathering lucrative momentum and greater respect within their communities.
A study by FranData (cited by Fisher Zucker) indicates that most franchisees are single-unit operators, at 82%. However, in spite of the need for greater effort and strategy, there are distinct advantages supporting the move to open more than one location once you bring your original franchise to the place of smooth, profitable operation.
Bob Ylinen, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Northern California and Nevada, represents the number-one rated digital print, design and marketing franchisor. The Minuteman Press system has a legacy of motivated franchise owners maximizing the training, advice and support provided. In this way, they set themselves up to develop healthy, prosperous primary locations from which they can expand into a second, or more.
Bob explains the appeal of going beyond single-unit ownership with the following, “Owning multiple units can be very attractive for the owner that is looking to expand their footprint at a lower cost when it comes to a business to business type of franchise since the model can be scalable. You can operate one location as a main production facility that will be able to produce most of the products and the other locations could be operated with less overhead expense. This can allow the owner to maximize profits and potential.”
Nelson Anderson owns two successful Minuteman Press franchises located in Glen Burnie and Columbia, MD. He reflects on the grand opening of his second store and how the decision was a winning one for him, stating, “By adding a 2nd location it allows us to duplicate the success of our existing store while keeping the majority of overhead at one location, making every additional location a lean, running sales center while keeping a local presence in the community.”
If you want to go beyond one franchise location, remember to STAY FOCUSED: You can’t just invest in multi-unit franchises without the ability to keep watch over all of your locations. Prepare yourself to make managing your franchises most of your daily focus!
Richard Hornberger, Regional Vice President in Philadelphia for Minuteman Press International, points out that while franchise growth within the Minuteman Press model is NOT dependent on multi-unit ownership, the chance to expand has distinct advantages if one is ready. Rich shares, “Unlike many franchises, growing your Minuteman Press franchise is not dependent on multi-unit ownership. A franchisee may want to expand their square footage to allow for great capabilities but if they want to reach a greater geographical area, multiunit ownership is an excellent option.”
He continues, “The advantage to owning multiple units is that the owner is now seasoned in the business and is able to take that knowledge and apply it to the operation of the second location. There is less of a learning curve with more than one store.”
Make sure the timing is right before you expand: It would be counter-productive to attempt to manage three lackluster franchises that make only as much money as two outstanding ones. To get ahead and stay ahead, multi-unit franchise owners must be able to create a sustainable impetus and strong culture. The only way to make that happen is to perfect the operation of each franchise before eagerly opening another. Your franchisor can be, once again, your best friend when it comes to this kind of advisement.
Amy Steinman and her husband Joel are the owners of an impressive four Minuteman Press franchises in Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester and Vernon, CT.
Amy shares 3 reasons why multi-unit ownership is worth the extra work:
1. Branching out means greater personalized service: Customers like a local place they can go to and talk with somebody. Businesses like doing business with somebody in town.
2. Greater community presence: It also gives us a presence in the community we serve. We sponsor little league teams, soccer teams, nonprofits, and theatre companies and other local events in our towns and city with our local Minuteman Press stores.
3. Productive reach: It also furthers our reach. Rather than just being in Hartford and the surrounding towns, our reach goes from the surrounding towns in Hartford, down to Glastonbury and then over to Vernon & Manchester. We’ve greatly broadened our sales area and our market.
“Personally, I also love that I can work in different locations each day.” – Amy Steinman, Multi-unit Minuteman Press franchise owner
Amy and Joel can name numerous benefits of operating several Minuteman Press franchises that grow with hard work as well as intelligent application of the system of operations and support provided by their franchisor.
Amy continues with more, including how delegating managerial tasks to responsible team members is invaluable, “Another benefit for us is production consolidation. We have store fronts in our regions but do all of our production in one central facility. So we’ve increased our market and sales but we’ve kept our overhead and costs low. I just love going into the different shops and checking in and seeing how things are going. And, if there is traffic on the highway, I can choose a different store to go to and avoid the traffic. It also empowers our management staff because Joel & I cannot be everywhere all the time. So our shop managers really do run their own show. If their stores are doing well, it’s a direct reflection on their management. They become decision makers in the day to day operations and really take charge of their locations. It also forces Joel & me out of the stores, really, and out into the business community to market our company.”
How many units does David Pike operate? SIX. Here is advice from the owner of a half dozen Minuteman Press franchises:
David Pike is a second generation owner of six Minuteman Press franchise locations in the Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pennsylvania, which is comprised of three larger cities, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton.
Here are 4 advantages David Pike sees through operating multiple franchise locations:
1. Lower Risk of Failure
“Because we were experienced in the operation of our first Minuteman Press, the additional units of the same business allow us confidence in growing our business with a model we know works.”
2. Shared Professional Services
“We operate our business as one corporation with six separate business units. Therefore the costs for accountants, lawyers, payroll services and the like are only minimally more to provide services for your entire network of stores over the single store costs. So when you begin spreading the cost of these services over 4 or 5 locations each store is only paying 20-25% of the cost instead of the entire amount. For example if accounting services cost $2,000 per year for a single store owner, it’s likely the additional paperwork for 3 more locations would maybe cost $500 or $2,500 per year. So instead of an accounting expense of $2,000 each store would only pay 25% of the $2,500 bill or $625. Even software items like QuickBooks and Sage have shared costs across our network.”
3. Shared Employee Coverage
“Most of our staff members can work productively in any of our six locations which enables for easier scheduling to cover vacations and other missed work events. Since all of our systems are identical in each location, staff members can seamlessly step in to cover needs in other locations and keep the business operating.”
4. Dominance in the Market
“Our six location footprint shows our commitment to the communities we wish to serve. We don’t just say we cover the area, we have made a commitment with a bricks and mortar location, with a staff that works, lives and eats in the community. We find this to be an important part of our marketing story and our customers are interested in supporting our business because of it. Additionally, because of our centralized production facility, we have been able to open new locations with a much lower cost than a traditional start-up Minuteman Press. This enables us to open smaller and more streamlined operations allowing us to put stores almost anywhere and capitalize on hot new business markets.”
Ultimately, white-collar professionals, folks fed-up with corporate layoffs, and many other driven entrepreneurs are making great strides with their first franchise ownership experiences and are ready to expand. If you are among them, consider taking the baton and running further with it through the grand opening of another location. If you stay focused and gain momentum, you could find yourself leading the industry pack with your expanding professional presence.
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.