Many Franchisors ignore the thought of Foreign Expansion, believing that their U.S. market poses more than enough challenge. They reason that their hands are full just trying to ward off problems in this country, much less taking their concept to foreign shores. But BEWARE. If your franchise is successful in the U.S., you can bet there are foreign competitors looking at your concept to replicate it overseas. In fact, if you look at the website for “Hungry Jack’s” in Australia, you will find it looks familiar to the “Burger King” concept in the U.S. They even have a “Whopper”. Years ago, an enterprising Australian company snapped up much of the “Burger King” concept. After a successful run without Burger King being able to stop the replication, the company is now part of the international Burger King Corporation.
Franchising is booming overseas! There are new foreign franchisors springing up every day. Just like U.S. franchisors, foreign franchisors are looking to expand in the U.S. A good example of this is occurring in the restaurant field – Hispanic eateries are coming to America. Their initial in-road is to capture the Latino immigrants in this country. But ultimately, all these chains aim to compete with U.S. restaurants for mainstream consumers.
For the U.S. Franchisor, global markets may prove much more accessible than in earlier years. Finding information about retail trends in international markets has a multitude of websites which can provide franchisors with a vast assortment of information.
Today’s technology enables Franchisors to respond quicker than ever before. When an inquiry comes in from overseas, do you have a plan to respond? More often than not, U.S. Franchisors attempt to react and end up in a quagmire trying to dig their way out of legal and cultural differences. U.S. Franchisors should welcome the opportunity to expand overseas. In addition to building BRAND awareness, it opens new untapped markets and, with the recognition your company will receive, it also opens new doors in this country.
Don’t wait and be caught flat-footed. Start now to develop a plan and begin evaluating the viability of going overseas. From the legal standpoint, Duell Law will help you look at the different methods of franchising when going international. Next, we help you review foreign laws and work with you in developing a legal plan to make your overseas launch successful and not a regrettable one. After your legal plan is in place, we will work with you and your team to evaluate the financial and personnel resources necessary for your launch.
A Franchisor’s vision that started in this country can make the same impact overseas by laying a solid foundation through proper planning.