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3 Steps to Become a Multi-Unit Resale Franchise Owner

The landscape of franchising is shifting from single-unit owner-operators to mostly multi-unit owners. In fact, 53 percent of all franchisees own multiple units.

So why choose multi-unit over a single-unit? Multiple units enable you to diversify your revenue streams. But with multiple locations, you may not get the time to visit each store all the time, and in-store presence is often an important part of franchisees’ success, especially if you’ve never worked with a specific brand before.

That’s why all franchisees within the Winmark® network of resale franchise brands start out as single-unit owner-operators. This gives new franchisees the chance to get acquainted with the brand, understand the logistics of the stores and run more successful locations when they choose to add on. Franchisees can build a successful first store and lay the groundwork for possible multi-unit ownership. When it’s time to transition to a multi-unit owner, you’ll want to cover the following bases:

1. Consider Availability

Multi-unit ownership is changing the franchise industry. Rather than a single family-owned unit, franchisees are building brand empires, whether in a region, statewide or even internationally. With this in mind, a territory with availability and flexibility is beneficial for growth-focused franchisees.


Winmark’s system makes adding units and brands to a franchise portfolio attainable to a diverse range of franchise owners. Many choose to add additional brands, and may even open a second location in the same shopping center, like placing a Plato’s Closet® and Style Encore® next door to each other.

You can continue to expand your reach beyond just two or three locations and dominate entire designated market areas (DMAs) with your brand. Franchisees can capitalize on the convenience of close locations and leverage it to drive sales.

2. Find Trusted Leadership and Managers

With the expansion from single-unit owner to multi-location operator comes a shift from an owner-operator mentality to that of a delegator. You’ll need to learn to step away from the stores to focus on growth. Making that shift can be challenging for some franchisees. While you’ll still want to visit your stores from time to time, it’s unrealistic to expect you’ll be there every time an issue arises.


To supplement this ownership shift, you’ll want to build up a stellar leadership and management team in your stores. Find team members you trust to run things when you can’t be there. Often, Winmark owners will utilize their current staff, cultivating skills in employees to generate store managers. It builds knowledgeable management teams that can effectively handle in-store operations.

3. Secure Sufficient Capital

Starting out with multiple units requires a larger upfront investment. A single-unit owner-operator can instead make a smaller initial investment, perfect systems and then use earned capital to add on units later as a lower risk investment plan. Utilizing profits to open a second is an investment in the brand and your business.

Adding to a single unit is not only a lower risk investment but also a simpler process. You can lean on the franchise system and your experiences with your first opening. Additionally, Winmark reduces the initial franchise fee for additional units by $10,000. These savings can help fund an opening and offer incentives for franchisees to expand within Winmark.

With your ownership experience, you’ll be equipped to jumpstart your revenue streams and avoid common bumps in the road you may have made the first time around. This is the beginning of a flourishing business and building up healthy capital before moving forward helps lay the groundwork for success.

Winmark has perfected the resale buy and sell model, and utilizing an owner-operator first system guides franchisees to lasting success. Once owners have mastered a single-unit operation, they have a strong foundation to build a multi-unit empire.

To learn more about becoming a business owner with one of Winmark’s franchise brands, check out our website here.