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Ben Ross | Propel Ventures Co-FounderDec 21, 2021 8:08:28 AM4 min read

Why a franchise model is perfect for product partnerships

Being first is so often the key to success. And in highly competitive, fast-moving segments — like retail or hospitality — it’s easy to see a pattern among those at the head of the pack. 

The market leaders are often franchises.

By their very nature, these businesses can move quickly and set up shop before any of their competitors can gain a foothold. And once they’ve captured the hearts and minds of consumers, they’re more likely to hold onto them. 

Perhaps you’ve seen an opportunity to let a third party bear the torch for your business in new markets but found the risk outweighing the reward? In our work, we see too many engineers and innovators shy away from entrusting delivery partners. Some believe that the only way to maintain control over quality and scope is by keeping a tight rein on their operations. 

Still, you can’t ignore the need to accelerate. Here’s how you can embrace franchise fundamentals to accelerate while maintaining critical control.

Learning from the franchise model in scaling product development

The Propel Ventures strategic development model has been designed to help innovators effortlessly scale. We do this by leveraging the very approach that has proven so incredibly successful for fast food giant McDonald’s.

We’re not exactly making burgers here at Propel Ventures but we admire McDonald’s for being undisputed masters of scale, able to deliver consistent quality across almost 40,000 restaurants worldwide.

Even with different teams at each restaurant, you can walk into just about any McDonald’s, anywhere, and expect the same service as you would back home. Importantly, the business has managed this incredible reliability even though the vast majority of McDonald’s workers are not actually McDonald’s employees. 

The key to success is the franchise model, underpinned by Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) — a set of predefined processes, norms and rules adopted by franchisees across the world. These SOPs provide scalable confidence to the head office. They know that, no matter where a burger is being flipped, it’s a perfect representation of the McDonald’s vision.  

But the franchise model hasn’t only proved successful in fast food.

One of Australia’s most recognisable real estate brands, LJ Hooker, has over 600 franchise offices across the country. Swarovski’s “Retail Partners” ensure that the jewellery giant has a respected presence in most major markets. Clarks shoes in the UK are probably worn on the feet of most school aged children because — you guessed it — the business’s semi franchise structure delivers consistent quality and reliable service across the country.

These businesses have all, at various points, accelerated growth to a level that many of us can only dream of. But it is possible to learn from their success.

Embracing The Propel Way™ to scale

If you’re looking to scale, expand into new markets or accelerate innovation, then your best bet is letting motivated partners take up some responsibility. And with a partner like Propel Ventures, you’ll maintain control and quality even as you outpace your original expectations.

That’s because we work almost like a franchisee of your development team. In the same way that McDonald’s head office defines the experience and sets the quality standards, you — as the franchisor — set the strategy, design system and quality standards for your next big development. Propel Ventures then manages the day to day running of the project within these boundaries.

However, you can expect much more from Propel Ventures than you would a franchisee with The Propel Way™.

A true product partnership

Many development partners operate purely as body shops, seeking to fill gaps in existing teams with their consultants. While this can greatly boost a business’s capabilities, it can also place strain on existing internal delivery leadership. More people to manage means more investment and time. Taking this approach, if you double the delivery team, you also have to double the leadership team.

That’s why Propel Ventures’ franchise-like approach when it comes to product partnerships is so powerful. You can expand your delivery team without taking up more of your internal teams’ bandwidth, all while benefiting from consistency and reliability through the standards you set.

When you choose us as your development product partner, you’ll be gaining access to product and delivery teams that are already formed, trained and ready to perform. That means faster time to productivity, less pressure on your internal leadership team and more peace of mind.

We can also test your concepts against real-world conditions, providing insightful feedback that will help you better align with customer expectations. Beyond simply taking your ideas out into the world, our experts can help you iterate and improve. It’s a smarter way to scale quickly and hit the market first while retaining control over your breakthrough ideas.

If you’re looking to accelerate your product and dreaming of becoming the McDonald’s of your industry (or the LJ Hooker, or the Swarovski), then let Propel Ventures take some of the workload off your shoulders. Let’s discuss your concept and start planning for explosive growth and sustainable success.