What is a multi unit franchise?

Once you start looking into franchising as a way of balancing work and family life, you start uncovering terms you may never have heard before. Here we take a look at ‘multi unit franchising’.

Multi Unit Franchising


The world of franchising can be a fun and rewarding one, but at first sight it can be a little confusing. Here’s some quick info about unit and multi-unit franchising to help you start narrowing down the options.

What is a unit franchise?

A single unit franchise is what we normally understand as a franchise business. It’s where someone buys the licence to start up a single business in a new area.

For example: you see a cleaning franchise for sale on the workingmums franchise directory at an affordable cost. You speak to the owner, get on well, and proceed to set up a cleaning business in their name in your location.

Multi unit franchises

A multi unit franchise is therefore a situation where the franchisee decides to set up more than one franchise business.

Perhaps you have already established your franchise business, and things are going so well that you decide to buy a second unit from the franchisor and start up in a neighbouring town. You’re now a multi-unit franchisee.

Becoming a multi unit franchisee requires deeper pockets, as you will need to purchase a licence for the second business. But, because you have already got the back office systems and procedures in place, you can save some costs through not needing to fully duplicate this.

Finding a multi unit franchise for sale

Because the majority of franchise business opportunities focus on single unit franchises, it can be difficult to specifically identify multi unit franchise opportunities. But most franchises suit a move from single unit to multi unit.

If you think this is something you’d like to aim for in the future, have that conversation with the franchisor as part of your initial discussions.

They can make sure that they hold off from selling further franchises to people in your area, to
give you the space to expand.

Advantages and disadvantages of a multi unit franchise

If you’re looking to expand your business network, it makes better sense to run a multi unit franchise than a number of single units.

You already know the market and systems, and it is less demanding to start up a second, identical business than start from scratch. The downside is the cost – you’ll need to purchase another licence.

Franchise costs vary widely by business type, however. It’s definitely hard work to launch a franchise, but multi unit franchise owners feel that the return is well worth it.

A growing opportunity

Statistics in the franchising industry are very positive. Last year, 60% of franchised units turned over more than £250,000, and more than 710,000 people are now employed in franchising.

Multi unit franchising is on the rise, too, at 36% of all franchise businesses. This is a 7% growth since 2015.

If being your own boss appeals to you and you like the idea of adopting a proven and successful business model, take a look at our franchising pages to explore the options that might suit you. You’ll never look back!

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