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Other’s experience. How does a franchisee become a franchisor?

By the fall of 2021, according to analysts at Franchiza.ru, interest in franchises has increased by almost a third compared to pre-pandemic times. That is how much the audience of their potential buyers has increased. Alexander Sharapov, President of the Guild of Managers and Developers and President of Becar Asset Management, spoke about the construction of franchises in Russia.

Franchising has turned out to be one of the most interesting business models for starting a business in Russia, especially in the last year and a half. And this is quite understandable: the share of those who want to work only for themselves and reduce possible risks is growing.

Amid the global economic recovery, sales of franchises may show excellent growth at the end of 2021. Already today the Russian Franchise Association estimates the contribution of the franchises to the country's economy in 2.1 trillion rubles, or 2% of GDP. At the same time, the number of people employed in the industry grew by 14.3% - up to 1.6 million people since the beginning of the year to autumn. Considering related industries, this figure may be even higher.

But many people make the big mistake of thinking that buying a franchise will bring them instant profits. This is far from it. A franchisee can only achieve success by being proactive and constantly learning. Knowledge is the main thing you can get from a franchise - it makes it easier to get there.

Every year the franchise should bring something new: learning opportunities, new programs, and so on. There should be something to keep the partnership going for years and decades. Like fitness - it's not enough just to go to the gym, you have to exercise all the time, and best of all, with a trainer.

When we started developing the hotel business in Becar, we decided to develop our own hotel brand and open franchised hotels at the same time. Now, for example, we are completing the Ramada Encore by Wyndham, the first one in St. Petersburg, and we opened the first Best Western hotel in Moscow in the summer. Both companies have training, but Wyndham has stricter requirements - you have to agree on almost every detail, right down to furniture design. By buying franchises, I am making money, and by selling them, I am aiming to expand my market presence.

We've been in the real estate market for a long time - 30 years, and during that time we've managed to accumulate experience, make a lot of mistakes, and lose a lot of money. If before the pandemic we only thought about it, this year we decided that this will be the main way of our development. After all, if you look at it, this is how global corporations develop: they own literally 1-2% of the properties they manage.

Now we developed several franchises that we brought to the market not only in Russia, but also in the former Soviet Union. The next step is to offer them in the Asian and European markets, and in the future, in the United States as well. We are ready to franchise both co-working and data centers, our hotels, our management company Becar Exploitation and DAKO cleaning.

If you do gradation of franchises on the degree of interest from potential customers, the greatest interest now we see our cleaning company DAKO. Also, many are interested in YouCo co-livings and lifestyle brand We&I by Vertical. There are a lot of talks about GrowUp co-working spaces as well. Of course, all the franchises vary greatly in terms, but we try to make them as effective as possible for many companies.

To sell one, two, three franchises - that's not what we want. We want to sell them by the hundreds and thousands. That's why we try to make their terms fit as many companies as possible. Many people right now are focused on gaining emotional and social capital, but are not ready to spend the time to rack their brains and break their spears trying to build their company. It's significantly easier to buy a franchise, which explains their popularity. Global knowledge, local experience* - this is the main slogan, which is also very important for the development of franchises. Our global knowledge, earned over the last 30 years, will start to work perfectly with the experience of local players. If everyone is happy, we can develop long-term cooperation with many companies.