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Escape The Hell of Owing 2-4 Franchise Units

district manager multi-unit franchising planning Oct 04, 2022
Hell of owning 2-4 units

When you own one franchised unit you can pretty much control everything that happens between the four walls of your store. You get to hire, train, and manage all the people, so they get to know you and you get to know them. 

Even if you lack the proper business and management systems, you can compensate by just spending more time there and making things happen.

Different story when you are a multi-unit franchisee and you own more stores. To begin with, you probably have a unit manager in each unit and one or multiple district managers overseeing those locations. 

These leaders are the ones that inspire and lead the team to execute the systems for the business's success. They also manage all the operation details so you, the owner, can focus on the strategic growth of your brand and the scalability of your profits and, ultimately, achieve the desired financial and time freedom.

  • Sound great, doesn’t it? But there’s a catch. For you to go from a one-unit job into a multi-unit enterprise, you must go through the hell of managing and owning two, three, or four units. 

Discover here what is the first step toward becoming a multi-unit franchisee.

Unfortunately, there are many franchisees out there stuck in this hell daily, without knowing how to free themselves. 

I know a vast majority of our clients come to us because they are in this position. They have great goals of true freedom and aspirations of growth, but they don't know how to get from one unit into that multi-unit dream


The challenges of small multi-unit franchisees

Why is this transition a “hell”? Because when you only have those few units, you do not have enough operational volume to hire a district manager to oversee your franchise stores. So, you can end up running one or two units yourself to save money so you can then invest and grow.

Your work hours can probably increase up to 80 hours a week, in an effort to figure out how to manage an organization with multiple units, in various locations, and grow it into a multi-unit enterprise. 

What’s worse: you are not maximizing the profitability that you could be making out of those units because it is impossible for you to do everything.

That is the hell that I'm talking about. It is absolutely a challenge to go through that because you cannot be a unit manager, a district manager, and a franchise owner successfully. It is just not possible. And it will cost you too much personally, financially, and in your business.


How to transition grow into a multi-unit enterprise

What is the key to freeing yourself from this 2-4 units hell? Creating the systems, processes, and procedures to properly manage your business, and documenting them to easily train your leaders on how to achieve each unit's success. 

This is what you should train your district manager on to make a difference in your business and results.

This will help you get into a position in which you can hire your first district manager and hand out the operations to them. 

If you are a one-unit franchisee that wants to grow into a multi-unit enterprise, my recommendations are:

  1. Define and document your processes and procedures. That’s what's going to make a difference to you.
  2. Get to that district manager level as quickly as possible. Don't get distracted along the way by the minutia of what's happening in the two or three units, because you will be able to solve that as soon as you hire a district manager.
  3. Delegate operations to the trained district manager once you add this leader to your organization.
  4. Focus on the continued growth of your organization. Start working on your business and not in your business.

Follow these 5 steps to becoming a power delegator.


Another great piece of advice I give you if this “hell” is familiar to you is to attend our Multi-unit Franchisee Masterclass. This is a free, interactive workshop where we share what are all those systems that franchisees need to have in place to make that jump and go from a one unit into a multi-unit enterprise. 

Join us at to register for the next one. The American Franchise Academy organizes this workshop once a quarter to help franchisees like yourself achieve their dreams of time and financial freedom.

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  • Are you currently living the 2-4 units hell? What are you doing to get out of there?
  • Are you maximizing the profitability that you could be making out of your units?
  • Do you have your systems, processes, and procedures in place or are you lacking these key business tools? 
  • What are your franchisee expectations?