Why Buying in to a Proven Franchise Brand Entering a New Market is a Smart Investment Decision
There are a lot of decisions to make when looking into buying a franchise and there’s quite a bit of uncertainty involved with each one. Franchising gives owners a large amount of autonomy and flexibility over their business, yet it also creates major questions in how to develop the best path to success. From paying the initial franchise fee to hiring employees to marketing your product, there are many important choices to be made.
One of those considerations should not be whether the franchise you are purchasing will be a viable and successful one, particularly if it is new to your market. Presumably, you are investing a significant amount of money and time into this venture, so you want to make sure you are aligning with a proven brand with a track record of success.
OpenWorks, one of the nation’s leading integrated facility services franchises, is a perfect example of an established brand making rapid inroads into new markets around the country. The company has quickly added franchisees and clients in each new city, as both parties recognize the advantages of selecting a company with a stable foundation.
Why are they attracted to OpenWorks? There are several reasons.
Founded in 1983, the company has provided customized cleaning solutions for a wide range of facilities and offices for more than 30 years. It has grown to 330 franchise locations in eight states from Florida to California, servicing nearly 2,000 facilities each year. In addition to our environmentally “clean green” program to give businesses a clean, safe work environment, last year we added additional services such as landscaping, electrical and plumbing to help meet the extensive needs of each facility we serve.
When franchise prospects look to companies like OpenWorks, they know they are signing on with an organization that has an established history and presence in other areas throughout the country. That is important insurance for them to know their financial investment, and chances of future success, have a solid foundation built over many years and multiple locations.
I am very proud to say that OpenWorks has recently experienced unprecedented growth, adding a record 69 new franchise locations and expanding into the Northern California and Denver markets in 2015. We have added new markets in Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Austin and San Diego this year with eight more planned for 2017. I believe our long history and established presence across the country have created opportunities for us in these new markets.
When successful franchises expand into new markets, they do so knowing their concept will do well in that area. After achieving long-term success with a proven business model, OpenWorks strategically targets new areas to expand in which we feel will give franchisees and the company the best opportunity to prosper. Some of the factors we consider are the economic strength and growth of the area, the number of facilities (private schools, walk-in medical facilities and mid-sized businesses) that OpenWorks specializes in serving, and a strong pool of potential franchise candidates in the market.
OpenWorks has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine and several industry publications across several categories, including America’s Top Business Opportunities, America’s Fastest Growing Franchises, Best Low Cost Franchises, Top Home Based Franchises. It is also a certified member of multiple national organizations such as the BSCAI (Building Service Contractors Association International), CMI (Cleaning Management Institute), BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) and IFA (International Franchise Association).
Just as franchisors do their research to determine if their business will be successful in a new market, prospects should also decide whether they will be able to be profitable when selecting a franchise. We can say that when you buy into an OpenWorks franchise, you are purchasing a nationally acclaimed brand with more than 30 years of experience and success. A record of stability offered by proven brands not only positions new franchisees to benefit in the long run but also provides peace of mind along the way.
Many established franchises have some built-in advantages such as staffing and training to help business owners starting off in a new market. OpenWorks has regional directors in each city who are familiar with the market and prepare franchisees with everything they need to be successful. We have also recently implemented OpenWorks Academy, an online training program to provide ongoing instruction and development for all employees throughout the system.
Some franchises also have a network of clients across the country with offices in multiple markets. These established relationships can help attract additional business opportunities with existing local companies when starting in a new region. OpenWorks partners with large corporations such as Pepsi, UPS, The Gap and FedEx in some of our established markets such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. These relationships can help open the doors for business in new markets with these companies and others who have worked with us.
There are a lot of unknowns when starting a franchise in a new market and unfortunately, there are no guarantees a business will flourish. However, choosing an established brand has many advantages that will greatly reduce your risk when buying a franchise and give you the best opportunity for long-term success.
David Bosley is Executive Vice President of OpenWorks, a leading national commercial cleaning and integrated facility services franchise. He is responsible for business development sales, operations and franchise maturity projects for OpenWorks. His expertise includes corporate strategy and leadership, business development, strategic selling and operations.