With international expansion is a thorough preparation is essential. A franchise that wants to exploit opportunities abroad, have to deal with differences in language, culture and regulatory environment. Also specific aspects such as governance and external expertise are particularly relevant given the specific characteristics of franchise.

The process needs a high level of commitment from top management. If franchise organization deals with this is the right fashion international expansion offers real additional value, even more than can be accomplished in the home market

Cultural differences

Part of the preparation process deals with difference in values and cultural differences abroad. Franchise brands need to be able to deal with different communication styles and need to be skilled enough to be able to communicate with other cultures. To give you a flavour of how Europe differs in business culture; the South of Europe is highly hierarchical. Leadership is here based on power. People are what they are, by their birth, gender or age, but also by network and training. Status is not acquired by what is performed, but is assigned to. Unlike in Northern European countries. This also applies to building relationships or to create trust. In some countries there is less business talk, you will learn to know each other first and lays the Foundation of mutual trust. So you need to take the time for appointments, and not expect you again soon. The favourite location to do business is therefore often restaurants or cafe.

You are in franchise for the long term. So be prepared to be negotiating for a long period of time in some countries. You will find that entrepreneurs in some countries are less entrepreneurial then in others. To understand this, you need to delve into the specifics of these cultures. Thus giving yourself a better position to do business.