Most prospective franchisees will choose to open a franchise opportunity that is previously known to a local community. However, there are occasions when certain franchisees become the first to launch a certain venture in an area, presenting unique opportunities and challenges.

Instant brand recognition is one of the primary advantages of investing in a franchise versus an independent small business opportunity. But when launching in a community that has relatively little knowledge of the company and its offerings, franchisees will have a number of concerns, including whether success is even possible.


"What happens when you take a local brand and try to expand it outside of the area in which it's known? Will a franchise concept with regional flair truly work in a different part of the country? And what are the pros, cons and challenges that await such a pioneering effort?" Sara Wilson writes for the website AllBusiness.com.

An instantly recognizable name brand is not the only piece of the franchising success puzzle. Franchisees receive a high level of support, and this includes choosing a location that has demonstrated a need for the quality product or service they are looking to offer.

Franchisors are not about to throw away money on units that are bound to fail in their chosen communities. But if franchisees have done demographic research and targeting and found that a local area is lacking a certain concept, the rewards could be great.

"The advantages are that you will get in on the ground floor, and if the opportunity takes off, you will reap the highest returns," Mark Siebert, CEO of management consulting firm iFranchise, told the source.

Furthermore, franchise consultant and author John Hayes added that opening a unit in an uncharted community could give a franchisee leverage in negotiating franchise royalty fees, territory size and additional services and perks from the franchisor.

However, success is not guaranteed. Franchisees will have to overcome numerous obstacles, such as consumer education, Wilson writes. This will entail explaining a company, its products and how they are relevant to consumers' lives in that specific community. Doing so, she continues, will require time, effort and money.

Franchisees who are still nervous about being the first to franchise in an area may want to consider waiting until someone else tries out the concept. However, business is nothing if not risky, and deciding to wait could result in missing out on a big opportunity and, potentially, even larger profits.

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