Viable Markets for Expansion

As a franchisor, finding viable markets for expansion is always a priority. At Men In Kilts, we are expanding internationally and already have 6 locations in Canada and 5 in the US. Every market sold needs to meet certain criteria – is there a demographic for it? A need for the services? What is the likelihood of success in the first year? Second year? And ten years down the road? Potential franchisees also need to consider these things before they start a Men In Kilts franchise or any franchise in general.

With each market there are certain things you, as a potential franchisee, need to take into consideration:

Where will your target market areas be?

Are there enough people to market your business to? What are the demographics? Is the income average high enough to be able to afford your product or service? At Men In Kilts we need to look at the number of households in the area, what the average income is, how many businesses there are in the city, what is the size/structure of families in the area, etc. Ultimately you have to determine if there is enough business out there for you to win over to justify starting up a franchise in that particular area.

What are the unique selling points of your product or service?

What makes you different from your competitors? Is it cost, customer service, brand name, reputation, community involvement or something else? For Men In Kilts it’s the kilt that makes us different and it is likely the reason first time customers hire us, but it is our level of customer service that keeps them coming back. Our brand, uniform and logo are also recognizable and have many advantages over the local one man show. We also offer a Clean Guarantee which ensures our customers are happy with our work. Our technicians are insured and at some locations bonded, so this ensures home owners are protected and the work is completed at no risk to them.

Who are your competitors?

Is there room for this type of business in the market you are considering or is the territory already inundated with companies offering the same type of services? You also need to consider who your indirect competitors are. Direct competitors in our case would be other companies that provide window and exterior cleaning, but indirect competitors would be stores that sell window cleaning supplies, or rent pressure washers. You need to look outside the box and take into consideration all those who could have an impact on your business.

Is there a need for this service?

If you don’t have any direct competitors you need to think about why. Why is no one else offering these services? Is it because there is no need? Is it because people in the territory you are considering aren’t willing to pay for these services? Just because you don’t have competition doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. Sure you might get all the business, but how much business is there really to get if no one else has thought about offering this service in this area before.

A great article from whichfranchise.com says,

“You need to make sure that your product/service will meet the needs of those in your area and/or if there is a requirement for it. No point in starting an umbrella distribution company in Spain, though it could have great potential in Glasgow or Manchester! City centres may not have the same potential for a number of franchise opportunities as the suburbs do, and vice versa. Would there be a great demand for e.g. pet walking, landscaping in a city centre, and would ink suppliers and residential cleaning companies meet the needs of those in a small village.”

And lastly,

Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

Make sure you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your product/service. How can you use your strengths in this territory? How can you overcome any weaknesses? How can you take advantage of all opportunities? And how do you stop any potential threats to your business?

Buying a franchise is a big decision and for many people it’s considered a big risk. Just because you are buying into a proven system that works, doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to make it successful. The above items are a few of the many things you need to consider to lead you on the path to success.

For a list of all the locations Men In Kilts is looking to expand into go here.

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