The Canadian franchise industry is vast, generating around $68 billion annually, according to the Canadian Franchise Association. Within that industry, you'll also find the multi-unit owner, someone who owns more than one location of the same brand, different brands or a mix of both.
While the success and excitement that comes with solid franchisee work and a good brand can tempt you into investing in more, you've got to know if you're ready for it. There are risks and rewards involved in opening a second unit, so here's what you need to ask yourself before you buy that next store.
Are you big on the details?
Generally, when you open a second location, you'll be bouncing back and forth between both stores. This will make it harder for you to immerse yourself in the daily operations details. If you're comfortable with just seeing the big picture from each store, you'll be fine in this arrangement. However, if you're detail-oriented and enjoy having a pulse on all that's happening in your business, you'll have trouble running two locations at once.
You also need to be comfortable delegating tasks to other people. You can only be in one store at a time, and there are only so many hours in a day.
Are you in the right franchise?
The various franchise brands across Canada have different setups. Some systems are designed for multi-unit ownership, but others are not. If your franchiser, for example, prefers to have the franchisee in the store each day, it's probably not suited for multi-unit owners.
If you're in a franchise that supports multi-unit franchisees, get specific investment information for additional stores. Some franchisers offer discounts and other incentives if you own more than one unit.
Are you staffed properly?
Since you can't be in two places at once to help out, your first unit needs to have proper staffing so you can deal with opening the second one. Once the second location is open, it also needs solid staff to keep everything running smoothly. Your manager, in particular, needs to be someone you can rely on and feel confident delegating tasks to. If you're set on a second unit but are having staffing issues at your first store now, wait until you've got the first location sorted before trying to open another one.
Multi-unit franchise ownership in Canada can lead you to even more success as long as you're ready and willing to handle what's involved. Carry out an honest evaluation of yourself and your current situation before you commit to another location to ensure it's the right path for you.