What is franchising in strategic management?

What is franchising in strategic management?

Franchising is a popular business model that numerous companies across the globe have adopted. But what exactly is franchising in strategic management, and how does it work? Let’s dive in and explore this intriguing concept.

Defining Franchising

Franchising is a business model where one party, the franchisor, allows another party, the franchisee, to use its trademark or brand and a proven business system in exchange for a fee. This model benefits both parties as it allows the franchisor to expand its business with minimal financial risk while the franchisee gets to operate under a recognized brand with a proven business model.

From a strategic management perspective, franchising is a growth strategy. It allows businesses to expand their operations and reach without the need to invest heavily in new outlets or stores. The franchisee bears most of the financial risk and responsibility for the operation of the franchise unit, while the franchisor maintains control over the brand and the business system.

Types of Franchising

Product Distribution Franchising

Product distribution franchising is similar to a supplier-dealer relationship. The franchisees sell the franchisor’s products directly to the public. The automobile and soft drink industries are good examples of this type of franchising. The franchisor controls the brand and development, while the franchisee handles the distribution.

Business Format Franchising

Business format franchising is the most common type of franchising. In this model, the franchisor provides a full-fledged business model to the franchisee, including the products or services to be sold, the marketing strategy, and the operating systems. Fast food chains like McDonald’s and Subway are examples of business format franchising.

Key Elements of a Franchise

A franchise agreement typically includes several key elements. The franchisor provides the franchisee with a proven business model, training, and ongoing support. In return, the franchisee pays the franchisor an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties. The franchisee also agrees to operate the business according to the franchisor’s standards to maintain brand consistency.

Another crucial element of a franchise is the franchise territory. This is the geographical area in which the franchisee is allowed to operate. The franchisor typically grants exclusive rights to the franchisee to operate within this territory, preventing other franchisees from the same brand from setting up shop in the same area.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Franchising


Franchising offers several advantages for both the franchisor and the franchisee. For the franchisor, franchising is a cost-effective way to expand the business. The franchisee bears the cost of setting up and operating the franchise unit, reducing the financial risk for the franchisor.

For the franchisee, operating under a recognized brand can attract customers and generate sales. The franchisee also benefits from the franchisor’s proven business model, training, and ongoing support, reducing the risk of business failure.


Despite its advantages, franchising also has potential drawbacks. For the franchisor, maintaining control over the franchise units can be challenging. A franchisee’s failure to maintain the brand’s standards can damage its reputation.

The initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties can be substantial for the franchisee. The franchisee also has limited freedom to change the business, as they must operate according to the franchisor’s standards.

Franchising as a Strategic Management Tool

Franchising can be a powerful strategic management tool. It allows businesses to grow and expand their operations without significant capital investment. Companies can leverage franchisees’ capital, local knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit to drive growth and profitability by franchising their business.

However, successful franchising requires careful planning and management. The franchisor must develop a proven business model, provide adequate training and support to franchisees, and maintain control over the brand and business system. On the other hand, the franchisee must be willing to operate within the franchisor’s system and maintain the brand’s standards.

In conclusion, franchising in strategic management is a complex yet rewarding business model. When executed correctly, it can lead to significant business growth and success for both the franchisor and the franchisee.

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