International franchises have become one of the fastest-growing franchise areas as the world recognizes the benefits of franchising and franchises look to expand globally. Before buying an international franchise, be sure to read this article. Plus, take a look at our featured international franchises.
International franchising offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the potential of the rapidly expanding global marketplace.
Potential franchisees reap the benefits of business systems with proven profitability in foreign markets, as well as the security of working with a franchisor who has already addressed the sometimes complicated issues involved with doing business outside the U.S.
In theory, nearly every franchise holds international franchising potential. But in reality, not every franchisor offers international opportunities to its franchisees. There are a number of reasons why a franchisor may or may not engage in international franchising. First, not every product or service is capable of earning a profit in foreign markets. Some products and services are well-suited to American consumers, but fall flat internationally.
Also, international franchising requires a certain amount of infrastructure and expertise to be effective. It takes time to adapt the franchise to foreign markets and to build the relationships that will be vital to the company's franchisees (e.g. relationships with suppliers). Therefore, many franchisees may have plans for international expansion even though they don't currently have any locations outside the U.S.
Other franchisors, however, have successfully plunged into international franchising and regularly offer international opportunities to qualified business owners. Below is a list of Entrepreneur's top five international franchising opportunities for 2005.
Points to Consider
- Franchisors offer their franchisees a great deal of assistance in establishing their new businesses abroad. However, the success of your business will still largely depend on your ability to turn a profit in a potentially unfamiliar business environment. Do your research and make sure you are up to the task before you opt to go international with a franchise.
- Many international franchisors find it helpful to partner with someone who is familiar with doing business in their franchise's host country. Talk to your franchisor about locating potential partners for your franchise.
- Subway Franchises. Subway has realized incredible success in the U.S. for more than thirty years. In recent years, they have also achieved success by selling their products internationally. At the present time, the company has approximately 18,000 U.S. franchises, 2,000 Canadian franchises, and more than 2,700 more in foreign countries.
- Curves Franchises. Founded in 1992, Curves has made a name for itself by offering fitness centers for an exclusively female customer base. They have also made an impact in the world of international franchising. In 2005, more than 10% of their franchises were located outside the U.S. The company currently boasts 7,800+ U.S. locations and an additional 1,500 in Canada and other foreign countries.
- Quiznos Franchises. Quiznos is another company that is demonstrating the global potential of sub and sandwich franchises. With almost 3,000 locations in the U.S., Quiznos has more than 325 locations abroad.
- Kumon Math & Reading Center. Kumon is unique among franchises in that it began not in the U.S., but Japan for the purpose of advancing children's math and reading skills. Since its inception in 1958, Kumon has expanded its reach to North America. Currently, the company has 1,600+ franchises in North America and a staggering 21,800 locations internationally.
- KFC Franchises. KFC is yet another example of an American franchise that has embraced the global marketplace. A traditional favorite among U.S. fast food consumers, KFC has aggressively pursued international financing. In addition to its many North American locations, KFC has more than 5,000 international locations.
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