Hidden Opportunities for Franchise Businesses

Other paths to growth are out there—if you know where to look.

One of the best things about franchising is that it gives entrepreneurs a fairly straightforward, logical way to grow their enterprises.

For some business owners, it can be as simple as adding more locations of their current franchise. But there are other opportunities for growth, too, that might not be as readily apparent.

Multiple Units

This is where the franchisee owns more than one location of a franchise. This can be multiple units of the same brand or a few different brands. An entrepreneur who operates several locations of a pizza franchise might go into business with a sandwich franchise, for example.

Franchisees will learn many things with each unit they open. While some are unique to an individual brand, others can be applied to other brands and other franchises. For someone to own multiple units, however, the franchisor has to have at least a semi-absentee business model.


Co-branding is when the franchisee owns more than one brand of franchise, operating them out of the same location. An example of this is a car transmission franchise and a quick-lube franchise operating out of the same location.

Regional/Master Franchisee

This type of franchisee owns a larger area made up of individual franchises, but not the individual franchise units themselves. The regional/master franchisee’s job becomes that of a sub-franchisor. A person in this position will be responsible for finding the right franchisees to award their specified territories to, helping new franchisees find the right locations, getting them up and running to profitability, and growing those individual units.

The regional/master franchise is the local resource to help make the individual franchisees successful and should have a strong management background. The regional/master franchisee and the individual franchisee still have the resources from the corporate franchisor, such as training, marketing programs, R&D support and more.

Regional/master franchisees typically want something bigger than what they can get from a single, or even multiple, units. They are willing to invest more and wait longer for their return on investment.

International Master Franchisee

In this model, the new master franchisee is responsible for developing the franchise in another country. This takes special qualifications because the entrepreneur must also be very aware of the cultural differences in that country. International master franchisees may own one (or a few) units of their own, but they are mostly going to be operating in the same way the regional/master franchisee described above does.

Multiple-unit franchising can be a wonderful way to get into franchising and make a great return on your investment. Significant due diligence must be done in order to find the right franchise system, leadership, opportunity for growth and track record of success before making a decision to jump in.