Franchise Exit Strategies: Knowing When To Move On

Investing in a franchise can be an exciting venture, offering the promise of entrepreneurship with the support and structure of an established brand. However, just like any business, there may come a time when you need to consider a franchise exit strategy. Knowing when to move on is crucial for your financial well-being and professional growth. In this blog, we’ll explore the signs that indicate it might be time to exit a franchise and discuss strategic approaches to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Signs It’s Time to Consider an Exit

1. Financial Challenges:

Persistent financial struggles may be a red flag. If your franchise is consistently underperforming or failing to generate a profit, it’s essential to assess whether the current business model is sustainable. Should this happen, it’s best to discuss the situation with the franchisor, bank and landlord to come to an agreement on repayment terms. The franchisor could also assist with the sale of the business by advertising the franchise opportunity.

2. Changing Market Dynamics:

Markets evolve, and what was once a lucrative opportunity may no longer be as viable. Technological advancements, shifts in consumer behaviour, or increased competition can impact the success of a franchise. An example of this was the wave of streaming services impacting the video rental business, putting these franchises out of business.

3. Franchise Relationship Strain:

Franchisees rely on a strong and supportive relationship with the franchisor. If communication breaks down, support dwindles, or the franchisor’s values no longer align with yours, it may be time to consider an exit.

4. Burnout and Personal Considerations:

Running a franchise is demanding, both mentally and physically. If you find yourself experiencing burnout, health issues, or personal reasons that hinder your ability to manage the business effectively, it might be time to explore exit options.

5. Opportunities for Growth Elsewhere:

As an entrepreneur, you may find new and exciting opportunities outside the current franchise model. If your skills and interests have evolved, pursuing a different path could be a strategic move for your professional development. Another opportunity for growth could be buying a franchise in the same group, as it’s more challenging to run multiple outlets. Franchisors welcome multi-unit ownership in most instances, as they deal with an experienced operator with a proven track record.

Franchise Exit Strategies:

1. Sell the Franchise:

One of the most straightforward exit strategies is selling the franchise. Work closely with the franchisor to identify a suitable buyer who meets the brand’s standards and can continue the business successfully.

2. Negotiate with the Franchisor:

If the franchise relationship has soured, consider negotiating with the franchisor for an amicable exit. Some franchisors may offer buyback programs or assistance in finding a buyer.

3. Franchise Resale Platforms:

Explore franchise resale platforms that connect buyers and sellers within the franchise network. This can be an efficient way to find potential buyers interested in established businesses.

4. Closure and Liquidation:

Closing the business and liquidating assets might be the only practical course of action if selling the franchise proves to be difficult. This allows you to cut your losses and move on to new opportunities.


Exiting a franchise is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Recognising the signs that it’s time to move on and strategically implementing an exit plan can help minimise financial losses and set the stage for future success. Be sure to consult your agreement to understand the terms and conditions of exiting the franchise. Whether you choose to sell the franchise, negotiate with the franchisor, or pursue other business ventures, having a well-thought-out exit strategy is essential for a smooth transition and a positive outcome.

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