The term, “master franchise” is typically associated with international growth, although a master franchise system can be operated within the U.S. One way to view a master franchise owner is by thinking of them as a mini franchisor within a foreign country or province; providing operational support, training, additional business development guidance, and franchise sales for that province, country or area.
Master franchising has operated somewhat before in the U.S., but is still more prevalent internationally, mostly because it enables a franchisor, wherever they may be based, to partner with companies or groups of investors that are native to that specific country and have developed business infrastructure for growth. These master franchisors are able to seek appropriate franchisees in that country, and continue to offer support that is direct and timely, while still keeping the brand constant overseas. There are some franchisors who have operated through master franchisors in the US by market or state, but this method is becoming less common and is no longer considered a best practice or common method of domestic expansion. Local support by the franchisor domestically is more widely considered a preferred operating method by both the franchisor and franchisee. When a franchisor does not have international operations established (thereby making it cost prohibitive to provide real time support), then the Master Franchise model becomes a viable option for growth abroad.
Later this year, FirstLight Home Care will be launching its brand into Canada. While we still have tremendous growth opportunities in the US, we are beginning to look toward an international plan this year and for many years to come. We are tremendously excited for the national and international opportunities that lie ahead. For our Canadian expansion, we will seek both Master Franchisees and Area Developers.