Top tips for multi-unit ownership

Multi-unit franchise ownership is a path to sustainable success in the franchise world.

Top tips for multi-unit ownership

Multi-unit franchise ownership is a path to sustainable success in the franchise world. It involves owning and operating multiple franchise locations – whether with a single franchise brand or across several. Given that about 97% of franchisees have reported turning a profit for more than two decades consecutively1, it’s no wonder that this route is particularly appealing for those looking to invest in and grow a business. Chris Wyle, a multi-unit franchise partner owning eight Pitman Training territories, delves into some first-hand tips from those with experience in multi-unit ownership to guide those considering their first steps in franchising or those looking to expand their current business portfolio.

You’ll likely have heard the familiar adage that there’s strength in numbers. For me, I also like to remind myself that the speed of the leader determines the pace of the pack. Team members who excel demonstrate to others what’s possible, sparking their drive to aim higher. This naturally raises productivity and standards of work. It’s not just about higher performance, though. An outstanding team consistently delivers top-notch results and exceptional service, contributing to the business’s reputation and fostering trust with its customer base.

In the education sector, customer service is paramount. Satisfied students often turn into repeat customers and can even become advocates for the business. By having a well-trained, motivated and customer-focused team in any sector, franchisees can foster loyalty, freeing them to concentrate on strategic initiatives and high-level decision making. The need for a capable, reliable and adaptable team that can evolve with changing market trends, technologies and customer preferences is the main tip I would share with anyone thinking about multi-unit franchise ownership.

Tomás Finneran, who runs multiple Pitman Training centres in Ireland, highlighted the critical role of customer and community prioritisation as we discussed our top tips for successful multi-unit ownership. He noted the significance of understanding your business’s lead time, the period it takes from initial investment to full operation. This readiness includes ensuring your team is fully prepared for increasing footfall and enquiry levels. Opening when all systems are at peak performance is crucial, as positive customer experiences drive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Tomás also underlined the power of local marketing in complementing an established franchise brand. “Understanding your target market, leveraging local advertising opportunities and actively engaging with our prospective students are essential activities,” he explained. Effective local marketing generates positive referrals, further enhancing the franchise’s reputation within its community.

Recent entrants to the multi-unit franchise journey, Dip and Neil Khakhria, have opened a second Pitman Training centre. They would advise those looking to develop a multi-unit portfolio to focus on the importance of data-driven decision making. They stressed the importance of careful monitoring of financial performance before expanding. “Setting clear metrics and analysing data allows you to assess the effectiveness of your strategies, initiatives and investments, leading to continuous improvement and course correction when necessary,” said Neil. Their approach to data analysis helps them identify patterns, trends and correlations that guide business strategy and process optimisation.

Multi-unit franchising offers significant opportunities for growth, expansion and increased revenue potential. By leveraging the strength of your teams, prioritising customers and community, and adopting data-driven decision making, you can maximise your multi-unit success.

1The British Franchise Association (BFA) and NatWest survey

Chris Wyle
Chris Wyle